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The GWAR Placement Exam (GPE)

The Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE) has been replaced by the GWAR Placement Exam (GPE). The new test 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. 

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. Students who do not take the GPE by these deadlines will have a registration hold placed on their records.

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.

Depending on their total scores, students will be required to take from one to three writing courses in order to graduate. Students who score an 11 or above enroll in a Writing Intensive course. Students who score 8-10 take a GWAR Portfolio course and then a Writing Intensive course. Students who score 7 or lower enroll in English 301A, then a GWAR Portfolio course, then a Writing Intensive course. 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.

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.

Upcoming GPE Testing Dates and Deadlines

November 19, 2016 (Deadline to register 10/28/16)
December 2, 2016 (This test date has just been added! Contact Testing & Evaluation for the deadline to register.)

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.

Fall 2016 Workshop Descriptions and Dates

Please call us 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, November 14, 3:00-4:30 in LAB 212
  • Monday, November 28, 3:00-4:30 in LAB 212

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, November 15, 4:00-5:30 in LAB 206
  • Tuesday, November 29, 11:00-12:30 in LAB 212

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, November 16, 3:00-4:30 in LAB 212
  • Wednesday, November 30, 3:00-4:30 in 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, November 17, 11:00-12:30 in LAB 212
  • Wednesday, November 30, 9:00-10:30 in HC 104
  • Thursday, December 1, 2:00-3:30 in LAB 212
    LAB-206

    (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.