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Online Writing Sample

Writing samples for our master’s and doctoral-level applicants are collected and evaluated using the ETS Criterion Service. Your writing sample will be scored on basic composition structure, proper grammar and style, so please plan to submit your essay accordingly. You will receive immediate feedback on the essay from the ETS Criterion Service.

Please submit your writing sample using the directions below.

  1. Start at the following webpage: http://criterion.ets.org.
  2. Click “Create User Account.”
    • Be sure to use the same spelling of your name as you provided on your admissions application
  3. Fill in your account information.
    • Access Code for Master’s Degree Applicants: B8GG – D6WN
    • Access Code for Ph.D. in Theological Studies Applicants: 96JW – WHZ3
  4. Click “Submit.”
  5. Click “OK.”
  6. Fill in your new User name and Password under “Returning User.”
  7. Choose the “Assignments” tab.
  8. You will see one assignment, named “Admissions Writing Sample.” Click on “Start Response” and you will be provided with the writing prompt on the next screen.
  9. Click “OK” to enter the essay screen. The timer will begin once this screen is opened.
  10. Read the instructions for submitting your essay. Please keep in mind that you have 40 minutes to read the instructions and complete your writing sample. You will receive a warning when there are 10 minutes remaining on the timer.

***The font used by ETS is different than that used by Word. Some functions, such as the Tab, are disabled. If a function is disabled just continue with your essay. Do not try to compensate for the disabled function or your essay will be marked with errors by ETS (i.e.: do not press the space bar 5 times for a Tab, just don’t Tab).***

Your writing sample will be reviewed by the admissions committee to ensure that your writing acumen is at a level to meet the demands of graduate school academic writing. Most incoming students will be required to take Regent’s ENGL 500 Writing Course, but those applicants who excel on the writing sample may be exempt from having to take ENGL 500.