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The GWAR Placement Exam/Upcoming GPE Workshops

What is the GPE?

The GWAR Placement Exam (GPE) was created with three main goals: first, to identify and help students who are having difficulty producing college-level writing; second, to place students in appropriate writing classes so that they can satisfy graduation requirements; third, to promote writing across all campus disciplines. 

The GPE is not a pass/fail test; it is a placement test. Students will have 75 minutes to write their response. Each student’s response is scored three times using a point scale of 1-6. The three scores are combined to produce the student’s total score. Review the GPE Scoring Rubric to become familiar with the point system used to score GPE responses.

Here are two Sample GPE Prompts that will help students become familiar with the format and expectations of the GPE: Sample GPE Prompt #1 and Sample GPE Prompt #2.

When should I take the GPE?

Undergraduate students must take the GPE when they have achieved between 30-50 cumulative units. Transfer students should take the GPE before they enroll at CSULB, but they must take it no later than their first semester of enrollment. Some graduate students are exempt from taking the GPE. Graduate students should check with their major department as soon as possible to learn whether the GPE is required. If so, graduate students should take the GPE no later than their first semester of enrollment. Students who do not take the GPE by these deadlines will have a registration hold placed on their records.

You must sign up prior to the deadline in order to take the GPE. You can register by visiting Testing & Evaluation in Brotman Hall, Room 216 or by calling 562-985-4007. You can find additional information about the test here: Testing & Evaluation.

What happens after I take the GPE?

Depending on their total scores, students may be required to take from one to three writing courses in order to complete their degree programs. Graduate students who score an 11 or above have satisfied the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) and are not required to take further writing courses. Undergraduate students who score an 11 or above enroll in a Writing Intensive course. All students who score 8-10 take a GWAR Portfolio course and then a Writing Intensive course. All students who score 7 or lower enroll in English 301A, then a GWAR Portfolio course, then a Writing Intensive course.

Upcoming GPE Testing Dates and Deadlines

September 16, 2017 (Deadline to register 8/25/17)

November 18, 2017 (Deadline to register 10/27/17)

Please note that if you are applying for extra time to complete the GPE exam, you must contact Testing & Evaluation one week in advance of these deadlines.

GPE Workshop Descriptions and Dates for Spring 2017

Please call us on or after April 3rd at (562) 985-4329 to reserve a seat in one or more of the workshops listed below. Students are welcome to attend workshops without being signed up to take the GPE.

Workshop #1: Understanding and Responding to GPE Prompts

In this workshop, students will learn about the format of GPE prompts and will practice deciphering and responding to prompts quickly and effectively. Students will work with sample prompts to create quick outlines with the help of WRL tutors.

  • Monday, April 10th  1:00-2:30pm  MHB-315

Workshop #2: Writing Effective Thesis Statements for the GPE

This workshop will expose students to several types of thesis statements that they can use to effectively answer most GPE prompts. With the help of WRL tutors, students will work with sample GPE prompts to practice writing effective thesis statements.

  • Tuesday, April 11th  3:30-5:00pm  LAB-212
  • Friday, April 14th  11:00-12:30pm  MHB-315

Workshop #3: Study Resources and Time Management Techniques for the GPE

In this workshop, students will learn strategies to help them prepare to take the GPE, including time management and pre-writing techniques that will help them approach any timed writing situation.

  • Wednesday, April 12th  2:00-3:30pm  LAB-212

Workshop #4: Revising and Editing Your GPE Essay

This workshop provides students with revising and editing strategies to use when writing a timed essay, such as the GPE.

  • Thursday, April 13th  10:00-11:30pm  LAB-212

    (562) 985-4329

    The WRL is open for tutoring Monday-Thursday from 9 AM to 7 PM and Fridays 10AM-1PM Call or come in to make your appointment.