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California State University, Long Beach
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GPE Bulletin

A. Testing Requirements

CSULB undergraduate students who have not met the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) of the CSU must first take the GWAR Placement Examination (GPE) . Graduate students are exempt if they have earned a minimum of a bachelor's degree from a U.S. college or university. If graduate students have earned a bachelor's degree outside of the U.S., they can call the Testing Department at (562) 985-4007 to see if they are exempt.

Undergraduates

Undergraduate students must take the GPE when they have achieved between 30-50 cumulative units, and transfer students must take it in their first semester of attendance or a hold will be placed on their records and they will not be allowed to register for classes until the test is attempted.

Graduate Students

Students who have earned a minimum of a bachelor's degree from a U.S. college or university are exempt from taking the GPE. Students who earned their bachelor's degree outside of the U.S. from a country on this approved list are also exempt.

Note to both undergraduate and graduate students

The GRE or GMAT analytical essay writing score of 4 or higher can be used to meet the GWAR; students who have earned these scores are exempt from taking the GPE. Students should submit their scores directly to Enrollment Services in Brotman Hall, room 123.

Also Note

Students who have GPE registration holds on their accounts can file an appeal to have a hold temporarily removed. Appeal forms are located on our website under "Forms" in the left menu.  Students should check their MYCSULB for the status of their appeal. A request for a semester's postponement of the GPE for compelling reasons (e.g., studying abroad, family illness) can be submitted to the Testing Department.

GWAR for Undergraduate Students Pathways

A student's score on the GPE shall determine which of the following course sequences that a student must complete to fulfill the GWAR.  The GPE is scaled from 0-18 points.

  • Students who score 11 or higher shall successfully complete (with a C or better) a General Education capstone course certified as writing intensive by the GEGC. 
  • Students who score an 8, 9 or 10 are required to take a GWAR portfolio course, submit a portfolio that earns a passing score; and subsequently, successfully complete (with a C or better) a General Education capstone course certified as writing intensive by the GEGC. 
  • Students who score 7 or below are required to take ENGL 301A or equivalent and successfully complete (with a C or better); and subsequently, take a GWAR portfolio course, submit a portfolio that earns a passing soc re; and subsequently, successfully complete (with a C or better) a General Education capstone course certified as writing intensive by the GEGC.

GWAR for Graduate Students Pathways

Graduate students who are not exempt from the requirement through one of the provisions above have two options. They may either attempt the writing placement test during their first semester at CSULB and follow one of the GWAR pathways described below, or they may self-place directly into a GWAR pathway without first taking the placement test. 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 the GWAR Advisor.

Graduate students who are not exempt fulfill the GWAR by one of the following pathways:

  • Students receiving scores of 11 or higher on the placement test have satisfied the GWAR and may proceed with completion of other degree requirements.
  • Students receiving scores of 8, 9 or 10 on the placement test must complete a GWAR portfolio course, including submission of a passing portfolio.
  • Students receiving scores of 7 or lower on the placement test must complete English 301A with a grade of "C" or better and must then complete a GWAR portfolio course, including submission of a passing portfolio.

Please visit the GWAR website for complete details: http://www.csulb.edu/divisions/aa/gwar/students/index.html

Students can take the GPE only once.  Please do not register for the test again if you have already taken the GPE, we do not issue refunds.

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B. Registration & Results

Registration

Students must register for the GPE online. To do so, they must select "online registration" in the upper right corner of the GPE web page. On this site, students can pay for the GPE using a major credit card or electronic check. Students are not considered to be registered for the GPE until they have completed the online registration, including payment. Students must register by the published deadline for a given test.

An email confirmation will be sent to you one week before a given test date. The email confirmation specifies the test date, time, and room assignment. The email confirmation is not an Admission Ticket and cannot be used for admission to the test. Students Admission Tickets will be provided to you in the test room, on the test date. If you do not receive your email confirmation by Wednesday before the test date, you must call the Testing Department between the office hours of 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. at (562) 985-4007 for your room assignment and further instructions.

Standby registration is not available. If students need assistance on the Saturday test date, they should go directly to the Assistance Station. The location of the Assistance Station is indicated in the students' admission tickets to the test, and by signs posted on campus on the day of the test.

Please note: we do not issue refunds or transfers. If students are unable to attend on their given test date, they will need to completely re-register for the next available test and pay the test fee again.  This policy reflects the fact that test materials, processing, and staffing costs are incurred for each examinee registered, whether the examinee actually takes the test or not.

Results

Test results are e-mailed four to six weeks after the test date. Students should make sure that CSULB has their preferred e-mail addresses. Students will be e-mailed a detailed result letter containing instructions about what their score means and how they should proceed with fulfilling the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).

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C. Test Dates & Times

The GPE is offered twice each semester and once during the summer. The test consists of a 75-minute written essay on an assigned topic. Students should expect to be in the testing room for up to two hours. No one may leave early. Saturday test takers are randomly assigned to 8:00 a.m., 10:45 a.m., or 1:30 p.m. sessions. Test dates and registration deadlines are listed in our main GPE page.

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D. GPE Identification Policy

Students must test under the name for which they have a government-issued I.D. with a current, valid photo and signature . NO ONE WILL BE ADMITTED TO THE GPE WITHOUT ACCEPTABLE IDENTIFICATION, REGARDLESS OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES. The following forms of identification are currently acceptable for admission to the test: California Driver's License, California Identification Card, U.S.A. Passport, U.S.A. Military I.D. or U.S.A. Naturalization Paper. A second form of I.D. may be requested of any examinee.

Please Note: A CSULB student identification card is not acceptable as the only form of identification for your admission to the GPE test. The CSULB student identification card must be presented with at least one other form of positive photo-signature I.D. A temporary driver's license may be acceptable in some cases if that license has both a physical description and your signature. If you are uncertain about whether your forms of I.D. will be accepted (e.g., out-of-state licenses or non-U.S.A. passports), you should bring all available forms of I.D. to the Testing Department by the Wednesday before the test date. If you cannot come to the Testing Department by the Wednesday before the test date, you should bring all available forms of I.D. to the assistance station on the day of the test at least thirty minutes before your reporting time indicated on your email confirmation. For questions, you should call the Testing Department between the office hours of 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. at (562-985-4007), no later than the Wednesday before the test date.

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E. On the Day of the Test

  • Arrive 30 minutes prior to your test time to allow for parking.
  • Bring your admission ticket, identification, pencils and a pen.
  • Do not bring any aids to the test, such as a dictionary, scratch paper, white-out, paperback, or any other reading material.
  • Comply with all written and oral testing regulations.
  • Understand that you will be assigned a seat upon admission to the testing room.
  • If you experience any difficulties on the day of the test, go directly to the Assistance Station.
  • You will not be admitted to the test if you are late.
  • You will not be permitted to leave early from the test.

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F. If You Miss a Test Date

There are no refunds and no transfers of test dates. This policy reflects the fact that test materials, processing, and staffing costs are incurred for each examinee registered, whether the examinee actually takes the test or not. If you do not attend the appointment date and time on your Admission Ticket, you must completely reregister for the next test cycle and pay the full fee.

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G. Special Accommodations for the GPE

If you are seeking accommodations through Disabled Student Services, such as extended time or other support due to physical or learning disability, please contact the Accessible Instructional Materials Center (AIM) at (562) 985-1663, located in the Academic Services Building, Room 116. You will be given instructions about how to register for this exam. 

PLEASE DO NOT USE THE ONLINE REGISTRATION FORM.

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H. Non-Saturday Testing

Non-Saturday testing is available for religious reasons only. Students must provide documentation by the registration deadline. If students do not provide required documentation, they will be automatically assigned to a Saturday test time. Testing is generally done one day during the next two weeks following the published Saturday test date.

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I. GPE Preparation Resources

Free workshops are offered in the two-week period prior to each test date. Pre-registration is not required. Workshops last about 3 hours. One workshop is especially helpful for students for whom English is a second language; however, both workshops are open to all students. Materials are supplied to students at the workshop.

Exact date, time, and room information are determined one month prior to each test date. Call the Testing Department at 562-985-4007 or the website for more information.

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J. Extended Time

Students may petition to take the GPE with extended time. Students who are approved will be given two hours (an additional 45 minutes) to complete the test. To apply for extended time, please complete this form and submit it to the Testing Department by the extended time deadline:

Extended Time Application - PDF

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K. Waivers

In rare circumstances, students can apply for a GWAR Waiver. These are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. To apply for a waiver, please complete this form and submit it to the Testing Department with all required documents:

Waiver Form - PDF

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L. Sample Essay Topic

Below is a sample of a GPE topic. The topic format is identical to the one below. Topics have been carefully pretested for bias and equal levels of difficulty:

                                                      THE CSULB GWAR Placement Examination (GPE)

You will have a total of 75 minutes to respond to the topic below. A time warning will be announced 10 minutes before the end of the test. 

You will not be allowed to leave early.

DIRECTIONS: Write a clear and well-organized essay in response to the topic below. Be sure to respond to all parts of the topic. Provide examples and evidence to support your ideas.

DO NOT WRITE ON A TOPIC OTHER THAN THE ONE ASSIGNED BELOW

QUESTION

Using information from at least one of the sources below (texts, charts, and/or pictures), as well as your own personal experience, explain what you think can be done to improve foreign language learning outcomes for people who begin learning a foreign language in their teenage years or in adulthood.

Text

Learning to speak a foreign language is very difficult for people who begin learning the language as teenagers or adults. It is estimated that only 5-10% of late language learners (people who begin learning a foreign language in their teenage years or adulthood) achieve true mastery of that language. In addition, many people give up. One website estimated that between 50 to 90% of all foreign language learners eventually quit trying to improve their foreign language skills.

Picture

Graph: Main difficulty experienced when learning a new language

 

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