University Writing Test – i further recant


My indignation about the University Writing Test had been largely due to a previously-held belief that it would be impossible for anyone who attended an English or French language institution for high school in Canada to fail it. It seemed insanely redundant and a waste of time. I still think there should likely be an exemption for students who are completing programs in English and French literature, but quite clearly, there are many native-Canadians who are failing the test. I am astounded. What has the education system come to? How are these papers really this bad? Why is one essay only two paragraphs? Why are some paragraphs (in another essay) only one (albeit insanely run-on) sentence?

In other news – i forgot to mention last week that i received my first response from a grad school. I was rejected from Yale. To be perfectly honest, i didn’t deserve to get in. The package i sent was not even up to my own standards.


4 thoughts on “University Writing Test – i further recant

  1. Hey, I guess I haven’t commented here for a while. Don’t worry I’m still reading. Yours is probably one of the few blogs that I read that is regularly updated.

    I agree with you 100%. It’s sad to see how many people at the university level are still unable to write. It’s unfortunate because many profs who grade on a curve are likely forced to lower their standards when it comes to correcting papers and exams. For some reason, though, I’m not surprised. To be honest, I doubt that many can adequately read at the university level either (myself included sometimes).

    Sorry to hear about Yale. I’m sure you’ll get into a great grad school.

  2. Would you support a manditory writing course for university students, to be taken within the first two semesters of their program?
    It could be offered by the department in which the student is enrolled and taylored to the specific research and writing styles of the discipline. Of course, it would mean one more assigned course and the trend lately has been to reduce the specific requirements, leaving the program as blank as possible. It also means that chemistry and physiotherapy students, who already have little wiggle-room in their curricula, will have to concern themselves with what is essentially the least of their priorities for as long and with as much attention as they would any other of their more fundamental credits.
    No, the problem should be addressed earlier. It’s not a post-secondary problem. Students should learn to write in elementary and high schools. Yes, even elementary school should already be making inroads into the technicalities of writing so that by high school, students can begin to study style and form. Then the post-secondary schools could have entrance standards of writing instead of exit standards.

  3. I think there is an entrance requirement. Sometimes.

    Proof of Language, Proof of Intelligence. They come in the form of specialised exams, ala SAT/GMAT/GEDs.

    But hey, the UWT is only as bad as you let it be. Personally? I thought it was *hysterical.* “Which is your favourite season, and why?” I thought to myself, while sitting there next to a Russian friend, “Are they for frickin’ real? Which is my favourite bleedin’ season? This is some kind of Lovecraftian hallucination, right? In what cosmos do these people live that they can ask a question such as that without getting a heavily smarmed-out and ad hominem-filled answer?”

    Ah, the UWT. *

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