Background Image
    Composition Placement Essays   |   Composition Program   |   Writing@CSU   |   Contact Info   |   Admin

Current Essay Prompt

To Write Your Composition Placement Essay...

Students can take the proctored online essay.



Not all students need to write the placement essay, so before you begin please review the detailed information about CSU’s Composition Placement Procedures at

After you have reviewed the website above and have determined you will write the Composition Placement Challenge and Re-Evaluation Essay, please read the following information carefully to ensure you don’t miss any vital steps.



This is a timed essay. You will have 90 minutes to read the prompt and write your essay. Your time will begin after you have registered with RPNow/Software Secure, our online proctoring service. Be sure to check your time closely to ensure you submit your essay within the allotted window.

Writing this essay costs money. Your total cost will be $37.00, broken into two charges:

  • A $22.00 charge for processing and rating your essay. This charge will be billed to your CSU student account.
  • A $15.00 charge to the proctoring service, RPNow/Software Secure, which ensures academic integrity for all who write the essay. This charge will be paid with a major credit card or a PayPal account.

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

You cannot use certain web browsers to write your Composition Placement Essay. Due to the technical requirements of our proctoring company, Internet Explorer and Safari are not allowed. We recommend Google Chrome or Firefox as your web browser.



Step 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.
  • An internet connection of at least 300kbps. Most people have internet connections faster than this; 300kbps is very slow and is most common in rural areas. But if you're unsure of your internet speed, you can visit this website to check:
  • 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 PayPal account to pay the $15.00 proctoring charge.
  • Access to a word processing program (e.g., Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Open Office, etc.)

Step 2: Click on the link “Students can take the proctored online essay,” in the box at the top right corner of this page.

  • You will be taken to RPNow/Software Secure's website where you will pay the $15 proctoring charge with your credit card or PayPal account.
  • RPNow/Software Secure will then determine if you have the appropriate equipment and will review your ID.
  • You will then be redirected to the Composition Placement Essay page; complete the registration page and follow the instructions for writing your essay.
  • Should you encounter any difficulties with the online proctoring program, please call 1-855-436-2039 or go to for technical support.



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. Thirty Macbook Airs can be borrowed for a maximum of 4 hours.
  • Adult Learner and Veteran Services Computer Lab - Lory Student Center 288 - three computers for non-traditional students and veterans to use.



We are happy to make accommodations for students with learning disabilities, should they be needed. Students with learning disabilities who need accommodations should NOT write the Composition Placement Challenge and Re-Evaluation Essay through this website; instead, they should contact the Student Disability Center at (970) 491-6385 or email



Please see this website to learn when and how you'll be able to access the results of your essay.



If you have any questions, please contact Emily Morgan, Composition Program Coordinator, by email at or call (970) 491-1898.