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Current Essay Prompt

To Write Your Composition Placement Essay...

Students can take the proctored online essay.

Instructions for Writing the CSU Proctored Online Composition Placement Challenge and Re-evaluation Essay

This is a timed essay.  To ensure that you do not exceed the time limit, please review the detailed information about CSU’s Composition Placement Procedures at before you sign in to the program. 

Once you have completed registration with the Placement Essay proctoring service, Software Secure, (see instructions below) and have signed in to write the online essay, you have 90 minutes to complete your essay.

Software Secure Proctoring Program Support for Students:  Should you encounter any difficulties with the online proctoring program, please call 1-855-436-2039 or go to for technical support.

Your total cost for the online essay will be $37.00Note that there are two charges associated with the proctored online Composition Placement Essay:

  1. A $22.00 charge for processing and rating your essay.  This charge will be billed to your student account.
  2. A $15.00 charge will be paid to a proctoring provider (Software Secure), which ensures academic integrity for all who write the essay.  This charge should be paid with a Pay Pal account or a major credit card.

After reviewing relevant information at the Composition Placement Program website,, follow these instructions to write the proctored online Composition Placement Essay:

1. Ensure that you have the required equipment and materials to write the proctored online Composition Placement Essay:

  • A computer with a web camera and a microphone.  (If you do not have a personal computer with these features, please see the list of CSU computer labs which can accommodate your needs, below.)
  • A picture ID (Driver’s License, Government-Issued ID, Passport, or CSU Student ID).
  • A major credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card) or Pay Pal account to pay the $15.00 proctoring charge.
  • Access to a word processing program (e.g., Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Open Office, etc.)

2. Click on the link, “Students can take the proctored online essay,” in the dialog box (Current Essay) at the top right.    

  • You will be taken to Software Secure's Proctoring website where you will pay the $15 proctoring charge with your credit card or Pay Pal account.
  • Software Secure will then determine if you have the appropriate equipment and will review your ID.

3. You will automatically be taken to the online Composition Placement Essay page where you will:   

  • Complete the registration page.
  • Follow instructions for writing your Composition Placement essay.

No internet research is allowed while writing your Composition Placement Essay. This includes using your computer or smartphone to look up information. Our online proctoring company will flag your essay if you browse websites or use your smartphone while writing the essay.

Please Note:  If you need access to a computer with webcam and microphone features, the following CSU sites can make these available to you:

  • Behavioral Sciences Building Laptop Checkout (just behind Sweet Temptations Café on the first floor) has Macbooks and HP Laptops that students can borrow for a maximum of 4 hours.  On the HP Laptops there is an icon on the desktop called "Remote Proctoring-Software Secure," and you will click that icon to access the essay proctoring software.
  • Lory Student Center Laptop Checkout – Go down the LSC main staircase and then turn right – it’s in the corner.  30 Macbook Airs can be borrowed for a maximum of 4 hours.
  • Adult Learner and Veteran Services Computer Lab - Lory Student Center 288 - 3 computers for non-traditional students and veterans to use.

Are There Accommodations for Students With Learning Differences?
We are happy to make accommodations for students with learning differences, should they be needed.  Students with learning differences can contact the Office of Resources for Disabled Students at (970) 491-6385 or email  

If you have any questions, please contact Sue Russell, Composition Program Assistant, by email or call (970) 491-1898.