Some people on campus, namely Administration, think the Effective Writing Test is a valuable part of entering university. Others, more specifically everyone else, think it's a cash cow. Like it or not, every student must satisfy the Effective Writing Requirement within their first year.
To do this, each student must successfully pass a written test unless they meet one of the following criteria:
• 75 per cent or higher on the Alberta English Diploma Examination;
• a combined English 30 mark of 80 per cent or higher;
• a mark of five or higher on the International Baccalaureate Higher Level English a exam;
• a mark of four or better on the Literature and Composition Advanced Placement exam;
• a completed degree from an accredited institution;
• a passing grade on a test equivalent to the Effective Writing Test;
• a grade of B or better in a U of C English course or equivalent;
• a grade of C+ or higher in a U of C Academic Writing Course;
• a passing grade in the Effective Writing course offered by the Effective Writing Program;
• a special exemption by the dean of the student's faculty
• a grade of 65 per cent or higher in the Certified General Account-ants Association of Canada's Business Communications (CM) course.
If you haven't met any of the above requirements, you're stuck writing the Effective Writing Qualification Test.
The test isn't free. You'll be out $50, and if you fail you'll drop $50 each time you write it.
The exam is offered various times throughout the year and it's best to write it as soon as possible. If you wait until the last exam and you have to repeat it, you won't be able to register for program courses until you pass.
The test consists of a short position paper. Topics in the past have ranged from "Should players with AIDS be allowed in the NBA?" to "Should university students have access to credit cards?" Essays are marked on sentence structure, grammar, spelling, punctuation and structure.
If this makes you a little nervous, don't worry, help is available. Students who need help can visit the Faculty of Communication and Culture Effective Writing Centre, which offers students a chance to look at old exam questions and have staff look at their writing, offer advice and provide tutoring.
To register for an exam, the Effective Writing Course or tutoring, you can phone 220-7255 or visit the Effective Writing Centre in the first floor of Social Sciences.
But hurry, you only have a year--it'll run out sooner than you think.
For more information, visit www.comcul.ucalgary.ca/Web/efwr/efwrhome.html.