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California State University, Long Beach
Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement
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GWAR Guidelines for Students

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GWAR Requirements

Undergraduate students must attempt the WPE after they complete 30 units and before they complete 50 units. Transfer students must attempt the WPE in their first semester in residence at CSULB.  All undergraduate students are expected to satisfy the GWAR within 1 year (i.e., two semesters) of their first WPE attempt and must satisfy the requirement to graduate.


Graduate and certificate program students are required to satisfy the GWAR, and graduate students must complete the requirement before advancement to candidacy.  Graduate student have several options for satisfying the GWAR.  Graduate students who have previously (1) received a degree from an accredited college or university in the United States; or (2) received a degree from an accredited non-US institution located in a country where English is a primary language of communication; or (3) received a score of 4 or higher on the analytical writing portion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) have satisfied the GWAR.  Graduate students who have graduated from a CSU have satisfied the GWAR and are not required to complete additional assessment.

Graduate students who have not satified the requirement through one of the provisions above have two options.  They may either attempt the WPE during their first semester at CSULB or they may self-place directly in a GWAR pathway without first taking the WPE.  To self-place into an appropriate GWAR pathway, graduate students must first meet with a GWAR Advisor who will assess their English writing skills and issue a permit for enrollment in the appropriate GWAR course.  Graduate students cannot enroll in a GWAR course without first receiving a permit from a GWAR Advisor.


Students who receive a score of 4 or higher on the analytical writing test of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) may submit their score to satisfy the GWAR.  A copy of the official score report should be submitted to Enrollment Services (123 Brotman Hall) or to Testing, Evaluation & Assessment (BH-216). Students who are off-campus or reside outside the United States may contact the GWAR coordinator for more information.


Under certain circumstances, students may request 2 hours (“extended time”) to complete the WPE.  This option is primarily intended for students who are non-native English speakers who will benefit from having more than 75 minutes to complete the exam.  To request extended time, download the Extended Time Application Form, complete the form, and submit it to Testing, Evaluation & Assessment (216 Brotman Hall) by the extended time deadline.


  • See the WPE Bulletin for complete information about testing

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GWAR Pathways

Based on their scores on their first WPE attempt, students are required to follow an appropriate GWAR pathway.  Students who fail to comply promptly will have registration holds placed on their records.  Students whose 1st WPE attempt was prior to Fall 2010 are urged to follow the appropriate pathway based on their highest WPE score.


WPE score notices include instructions to comply with one of the following pathways:

WPE Scores of 11 or Higher

Students with scores of 11 or higher have satisfied the GWAR.  No further assessment is required.


WPE Scores of 8, 9 or10

Students with scores of 8, 9 or 10 should enroll in an appropriate GWAR course in the following semester and submit a portfolio for assessment.  Students who have questions about their next step or need help selecting an appropriate GWAR course can schedule an appointment with a GWAR advisor in the Learning Assistance CenterStudents are not permitted to attempt the WPE more than one time.

WPE Scores of 7 or Lower

Students who score 7 or lower are required to enroll in English 301A in the following semester.  English 301A is not a GWAR portfolio course but will help students improve their writing skills to successfully complete a GWAR portfolio course.  Following completion of English 301A, students are required to enroll in a GWAR course in the following semester and submit a portfolio for assessment.

GWAR Course Sections for International & Returning Students

Designated sections of English 301B are offered through the College of Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE) for international students and students who are returning to complete degrees.  International students and returning students should contact Cynthia Pastrana for permits and registration instructions.  Current schedules for special sections are posted at GWAR Courses.

GWAR Advising & Information

The GWAR Coordinator and GWAR advisors are located in the Learning Assistance Center at 104 Horn Center.  For more information about the GWAR program or to schedule an appointment with a GWAR advisor, contact or call 562-985-4192.

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