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The Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE) has been replaced by the GWAR Placement Exam (GPE).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

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 GPE score, 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 a couple of 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.

For testing information, visit the following link:

Testing, Evaluation & Assessment
1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Brotman Hall, Room 216
Long Beach, CA 90840-0110
(562) 985-4007

You must sign up through testing services prior to the deadline in order to take the GPE. You can register for the test here.

Upcoming GPE Testing Dates and Deadlines

November 19, 2016 (Deadline to register 10/28/16)
February 18, 2017 (Deadline to register 1/27/17)

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


Fall 2016 Workshop Descriptions and Dates

Please call the WRL at (562) 985-4329 to reserve a seat in the GPE workshops listed below. Students are welcome to attend workshops without being signed up for the test.

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.

  • Tuesday September 6th 9:00AM-10:30AM in LAB 206
  • Monday September 12th 9:00AM-10:30AM 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.

  • Wednesday September 7th 9:00AM-10:30AM in HC 104
  • Tuesday September 13th 3:30PM-5:00PM in LAB 206

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.

  • Thursday September 8th 9:00AM-10:30PM in LAB 212
  • Wednesday September 14th 10:00AM-11:30AM in LAB 206

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.

  •  Friday, September 9th 9:00AM- 10:30AM in HC 104
  •  Wednesday, September 14th 3:30PM-5:00PM in 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.