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Incoming students can now satisfy the Writing Requirement with credit earned from AP exams.

Credit: Courtesy of radagast51/Creative Commons

Members of the incoming freshman class may not have to sit through hours of writing seminar.

Beginning with the incoming Class of 2019, the writing requirement for Penn undergraduates can now be fulfilled with Advanced Placement credit, according to the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing.

In an announcement sent to all writing seminar instructors, the directors cited concerns that student were not fully benefiting from the class, as students are allowed to use laptops for the duration of the class period and often become distracted.

“Unfortunately we cannot prevent students from Facebooking, Instagramming, Tweeting and whatever else they do,” the email said. “It is with heavy hearts that we must allow this course to be fulfilled with AP credit.”

A score of 5 on the Advanced Placement English Language and Composition exam or the Advanced Placement English Literature exam will waive the requirement.

Members of the Class of 2019 are happy about this change in policy, citing the negative sentiments surrounding the requirement and course loads taken in high school.

“I’m really excited about this,” incoming College freshman Rebecca Black said. “I read online that most Penn students hate writing seminar with the burning passion of a thousand fiery suns.”

Incoming Wharton freshman Jesse McCartney agreed. “This means the 12 AP classes I took this year were worth it ... so I’m happy.”

The policy change will only apply to the Class of 2019 and later, program directors said, meaning that current students who have not yet taken the writing seminar but have earned a 5 on an AP English exam will need to take the course.

Penn students currently taking writing seminar are upset that they will not be allowed to retroactively use AP credit to fulfill the requirement.

“It’s so unfair. I’m already a good writer, so why should I be forced to take this course?” College freshman Howie Dorough said. “We should at least be able to drop it now.”

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