ECE Prep

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Editing Competency Exam

The ECE (Editing Competency Exam) is an assessment tool the English Department uses to measure the students’ grammar comprehension. As a registered student at Northwestern, you can take the ECE in the ALPHA Center whenever it is open. Don’t procrastinate!


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Q: What can I expect on the ECE?

A: The ECE is a 75-question, multiple-choice exam covering three specific aspects of writing: (1) usage, (2) punctuation and (3) diction.

Q: What do I need to score to pass the ECE?

A:  To pass the test, you must answer 56 out of the 75 questions correctly (75%)

Q: What happens if I don’t pass the ECE?

A:  If you don’t pass the ECE the first time you take it, there is a required remediation process to complete through the ALPHA Center. This consists of working 1:1 with a tutor over a series of tutoring sessions until you have worked through the required material. On average, it takes about 4-6 hours of tutoring to complete ECE remediation.

Q: How can I best study for the ECE?

A:  We’re glad you asked! The best way to study for the ECE is by downloading the ECE Guidebook and working through that at your own pace. There are also practice questions at the end of the Guidebook that are similar to the questions that you will see on the exam.

You can download the complete ECE Guidebook here.


If you are looking for some extra practice for the ECE, this Moodle page has a practice exam that you can take. You will also be able to see your score so that you know what you might need extra review on. After you login to Moodle, you will have enroll yourself in the course. [aio_button align=”center” animation=”pulse” color=”gray” size=”small” icon=”file” text=”Extra ECE Practice Work” relationship=”dofollow” url=”″]


If you have additional questions about the ECE, stop by the ALPHA Center (N4012), call 651-628-3316 or email