Fall 2020 FAQs

In light of the recent FAS announcement about Fall 2020, the Writing Program is available to answer any questions you may have. If you are a deferring student with questions about when to take the Writing Exam, or if you are either a deferring or enrolling student with questions about term assignments, sectioning, placement, or Expos courses, we would be very happy to hear from you. Please contact us at expos@fas.harvard.edu. Please review the FAQs for helpful information or contact us at expos@fas.harvard.edu

Additional information about fall registration will be available in August. 

If I am considering deferring until Fall 2021, when should I take the Writing Exam? 

If you have not yet notified the College that you are deferring and if you are able to take the Writing Exam this summer, we recommend that you do so. Taking the exam when you know you have time to dedicate to your essay can be a wise choice—your gap year plans could potentially mean that scheduling the Writing Exam next summer might be more difficult. If you take the Writing Exam and then defer, we will simply hold your exam until next summer. The Make-up Exam Window for the Writing Exam is open from July 8 – 15.  

Once you notify the College that you plan to defer and that notice is processed, you are no longer able to access the 2020 placement exams. In that case, you can take the Writing Exam in the summer of 2021. 

If I have taken the Writing Exam and I defer, what happens to that exam? 

If you take the Writing Exam and then defer, we will simply hold your exam until next summer. Your placement recommendation will be available for you at the beginning of fall semester 2021. 

Will taking a gap year affect my placement recommendation? 

No. If you take the exam this summer and enroll in the fall of 2021, the placement recommendation you would have received in 2020 remains the same. If you feel you are out of practice with writing from your year away from school, it can be helpful to let your Expos preceptor know that at the beginning of the semester. You can also visit the Writing Center for additional advice and feedback on your essays. 

If I am enrolling in the fall of 2020, when will I get my placement recommendation? 

Your placement recommendation will be available for you at the beginning of fall semester 2020. 

How do I find out if I am recommended for Expos Studio 10? 

The Writing Program uses the summer online Writing Exam to determine if you are a good candidate for Expos Studio 10. All students who are recommended for the course will receive an email from our office, and that information will also be displayed in my.harvard before classes start. 

If I am enrolling in the fall of 2020, how do I sign up for my Expos course? 

Enrollment in all Expos courses happens during Expos sectioning. We will post full information about that process on our Registration page by late July. There is nothing that you need to do for that process before then. 

How do I find out if I am placed in fall or spring term Expos? 

If you are beginning with Expos 20, you will be randomly placed in either the fall or spring semester, and that information will be displayed in my.harvard. If you are enrolling in Expos Studio 10, that course is only offered in the fall term, and you would follow that course with either Expos 20 or Expos Studio 20 in the spring term. 

Can I talk with someone about my questions? 

We would be happy to meet with you on Zoom! Please email us at expos@fas.harvard.edu to let us know what your question is so we can arrange a time and connect you with the most helpful person for you. In your message, please be sure to let us know where you are located so we can find a time that’s convenient for your time zone.