SDSU GRADUATION WRITING ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENT
According to the SDSU General Catalog, all undergraduate students must demonstrate competency in writing skills at the upper division level as a requirement for the baccalaureate degree within the California State University System (CSU). (Students seeking a second bachelor's degree in nursing have satisfied the GWAR with their first baccalaureate degree from a college/university accredited by a regional accrediting association.) The Writing Placement Assessment (WPA) is a two hour examination used to evaluate writing competency.
A. Students must take the WPA within the time frames described below. Once students are enrolled in Rhetoric and Writing Studies 280 or 281 or Linguistics 281, they may not take the WPA to test out of an upper division writing course.
Students who do not take the examination by the end of the required time frame will not be able to register for future terms. Students may file a leave of absence for the next semester and maintain continuing student status. If the examination is completed during the leave of absence, the student may re-enroll the following semester. Students who have not taken the examination by the end of the leave of absence term will be required to file another leave of absence to maintain eligibility until the examination has been taken and a score is posted on the record. Students are allowed a maximum of four leaves of absence.
B. Writing Placement Assessment Scores:
Students who achieve a score of 10 on the WPA satisfy the statewide GWAR and do not have to take a writing course unless an upper division writing course is required by the major.
Students who earn a score of 6 or lower are required to complete Rhetoric and Writing Studies 280 (or Rhetoric and Writing Studies 281, or Linguistics 281 if English is your second language) with a grade of C or higher before enrolling in one of the approved upper division writing courses. The SDSU class registration system will require students who earn a 6 or lower to register for the required course in the semester immediately following the test date.
C. Students who transfer from another California State University campus having fulfilled the GWAR will not be required to repeat it. However, a course listed below may be required for the major. Contact the Academic Advising Center if you believe you have fulfilled this requirement at another CSU.
D. Students are allowed to attempt the WPA twice within the time-frames and restrictions described above. Students may not drop a course in which they are registered if test results are received after the schedule adjustment deadline. Students must pay the required fees for the examination each time it is taken. Fees are non-refundable.
Preparation for the Writing Placement Assessment
Free writing presentations and workshops are also offered prior to each exam.
WPA Advisor: SDSU Testing Services hosts a limited number of appointments with an RWS WPA Advisor (on a first-come, first-served basis) to review a WPA test taken in the prior six months. To schedule an appointment, please call (619) 594-5216. Walk-ins are not accepted.
The exam fee is a non-refundable $45.00 and may not be transferred to another individual or to a different exam. To transfer to a different exam date and/or time, you must bring a printed copy of your Admission Ticket to Testing Services (SSW 2549) no later than 12:00 p.m. the business day prior to the exam date. Testing Services is open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Once you have registered and paid for the exam, your Admission Ticket will be available to print. You must bring a printed copy of your Admission Ticket to be admitted to your exam. Electronic copies are not acceptable. You can access and print your Admission Ticket here.
1. Sign up and take the exam at SDSU. Exam dates, times, and deadlines are listed below. You may register one of three ways, although online registration is preferred.