DePaul University College of Education > Student Resources > Academic Success Center > Test of Academic Proficiency > Writing


This subarea of the TAP asks students to write a unified, focused, sustained essay that takes a position on a contemporary social or political issue and to defend that position with reasoned argument and supporting examples.

Start with the Writing Subarea. It may be preferable to begin the Test of Academic Proficiency with the Writing Assignment. The writing for this test requires some forethought and contemplation if the result is to be an organized, concise flow of ideas expressed in a grammatically correct, well supported, logically progressed series of paragraphs. Writing a great essay can take more time than multiple choice questions. You cannot rush through it and expect to do well. If you do not finish the essay, you will not pass this portion of the test.

Make a List. When you examine the writing assignment given, write a brief list of pros and cons supporting each side. After completing your list, see which side has more valid items. Chances are the side with the longest list is the one that you, perhaps even subconsciously, feel most strongly about, and will be the easiest to support.

Organize the Essay. After you have decided which side to take, choose the three strongest arguments from your list of pros. These will be the three points that you will make in your thesis statement at the end of your introductory paragraph. Arrange them in order from least important to most important. The thesis statement, and subsequently, the essay, should grow in importance as it progresses. As the importance of the points argued in the essay grow in importance and scope, so does the persuasiveness of the essay, making it highly effective and well-written.

Online Resources

Do you need more practice? Check out this more extensive list of online study guides and practice tests.

ASC Workshops & Tutoring 

Workshops. Multiple workshops are offered for each test area. See our calendar of dates and times or pick one up in person at 2247 N. Halsted, Room 270. 

Tutoring. Individual assistance is available and free for students who have attended workshops and/or completed the Longsdale ICTS online course. Current DePaul students can make appointments by calling the ASC at (773) 325-1652 or emailing