Creative ideas: College placement test essay topics

At different points in your studying, you may need to complete a placement test that aims at showing your level of skills on a particular subject. This may be needed for your transition to a language group or for estimating whether you should take additional math courses. Placement tests often consist of two parts: multiple choices and a creative writing task. You may be asked to compose an essay and demonstrate your deep knowledge of the topic in it. However, it can be hard to come up with good college placement test essay topics right on the spot, especially in the conditions of limited time and great responsibility. Therefore, it is useful to design some of the topics beforehand and prepare some theses to use in your future paper. 



To write a decent essay, you need to know the required material really well. Then, once you receive the prompts for writing, you will be able to deal with any theme. Before starting to write the essay itself, try to analyze your topic and see what ideas it contains. Use the brainstorming technique if needed, and note down some key theses that can be included in your paper. As a rule, the college placement test essay topics contain a controversial idea that you need to address. In such cases, you have to take a clear position regarding the issue and defend it with convincing arguments. Thus, before writing, make sure to make up your mind and think how you can prove your point of view effectively. It is better to write down all the facts and arguments that can contribute to your discourse. 


In the conditions of placement test, you will not have time to write a lengthy paper, so it is advisable to use a five-paragraph structure for your essay. Classically, they include introduction, three body paragraphs, and conclusion. You should place the thesis statement at the end of the opening paragraph, making it clear what your essay will try to prove. Then, every paragraph of the essay body should start with an idea that proves or supports the provided argument, and the following sentences should contain the evidence. In fact, not a single sentence of your paper should stand on its own: they all should serve the purpose of confirming the thesis statement. 


When you compose a great piece of writing, it is sure annoying to lose points over some minor errors like typos or formatting mistakes. Therefore, a special attention should be paid to the proofreading phase of work. Check your paper’s structure, grammar, punctuation, word choice, spelling, and format, correcting the mistakes you notice. In addition, make sure that the text is coherent, which means that all the paragraphs are linked one to another by meaning and appropriate linguistic tools. 

Time management

The biggest mistake of everyone dealing with different college placement test essay topics is failing to plan their time properly. At the test, you will have a very limited amount of time, and all your knowledge and mastery will not mean a thing if you do not have enough time to demonstrate them. Thus, the first thing you need to do before working on your essay is to set clear timeframes for each of your work stages. For instance, if you are given 60 minutes to do your task, give yourself 10 minutes for prewriting, 30 minutes for writing, 10 minutes for proofreading, and additional 10 minutes just in case one of the phases takes up longer than planned. 

For you to have an understanding what the college placement test essay topics can look like, we have prepared some examples below.

Ideas for college placement test essay

Social issues

You may be asked to analyze the current problems of your local community or educational establishment and reflect on them:

  • What is the social issue of your community that requires the fastest solutions?
  • If you were a president of students’ government, what changes would you make in the colleges policies?
  • What do you think the education should raise the nation’s awareness about?

Personal achievements

One of the most common topics for placement tests is describing the successful moments of your studying or career:

  • Did you ever have to organize a group of people and take the leader’s position? Describe your experience.
  • Which traces of your character do you think people value the most? Why?
  • What are the situations of utmost success you have been in? 

See also: “Tips on passing numerical reasoning test”

Important figures

Making an impression about a student is easier with some information about his or her background and the people who were near. Therefore, an essay on one of the following topics may be required:

  • Who of your surrounding has impacted your career choice the most? Explain how.
  • Does one’s family influence one’s success in life? Share your story.
  • Is teacher’s personality decisive for one’s studying success? Who is your favorite teacher?

Planning future

To test your enthusiasm and willingness to improve, you may be asked to address one of the topics below:

  • What are your long-term goals? Why are they important to you? Which steps are you taking now to achieve them?
  • What are your personal criteria of one’s success? Do you think your life will match them in 20 years? 

Although it is impossible to predict which topics will be given to you, knowing the basics of the test and being prepared is always useful.

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