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Writing Skills Test for Engineering Students

The Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science ensures that you have all the skills you need to excel in your courses and in your future career. As such, all students are automatically enrolled in Writing Skills (CEN 199). Although it is graded on a Pass/Fail basis and appears on your transcript, it is important to note that CEN 199 is not an actual course; it is used solely to track the results of the mandatory Writing Skills Test (WST).

All students admitted into engineering are required to write the mandatory WST during orientation week. Students who pass the WST by achieving a grade of “B” or higher will receive a grade of "Pass" in CEN 199, and may enroll in their chosen liberal studies courses. To proceed into the third year of your engineering program you must pass the WST.

The curriculum also requires that all students take Communication in the Engineering Professions (CMN 432). Students may also take approved communication courses as part of their liberal studies requirements.


Next Test Date

Monday, April 29, 2024 at 10:00 AM EDT (Virtual)

If you are a first-year or an upper-year engineering student who has not yet passed and is planning to write the virtual Writing Skills Test on Monday, April 29, 2024 at 10:00 AM EDT, please register through this form (external link, opens in new window) .
If you have already written and passed the test, please do not register.

The best part about the WST is that it’s an open-ended essay question, which means that there is no right or wrong answer. You will be given a topic and asked to write about it in approximately 500 words. To prepare, you may find it helpful to check out the online resources offered through Student Learning Support (opens in new window) .

If you don't pass the WST, you will receive a grade of INP (in-progress) in CEN 199, and will be required to enroll in LNG 111LNG 112LNG 113, or LNG 121, depending on the outcome of the WST assessment. These are writing-intensive humanities and social science courses designed to give you the opportunity to strengthen your foundation in communication. They also count as lower-level liberal studies courses.

If you don't pass your second attempt at the WST, or you just want to further develop your language and writing skills after completing the LNG courses, you may benefit from Toronto Metropolitan University's online and/or in-class preparatory English language courses offered through the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education (opens in new window) .

Note: You may not proceed into the third year of your engineering program without passing the WST. But if you don't pass the test during orientation, you will have more chances to write and pass the test. (See dropdown below.)

The test is held three times a year: end of August (during orientation), November, and late April/early May. If you miss one test date, you can write it at the next. Once the details are confirmed for each test (date, time, location), an email will be sent to all students.

For more information about the WST, please contact the First-Year Engineering Office at