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Writing Placement Assessment (WPA)

CSU Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)


Welcome to the Writing Placement Assessment (WPA) Information Site

The purpose of these web pages is to assist you with a greater understanding of the WPA. Understanding and practicing for this writing assessment will help you to write a better response.

We strongly recommend that you carefully read the "Understanding the WPA" page for some strategies and information that will help you practice; then, go to the "How to Prepare" page and follow the suggestions on ways that you can prepare for the WPA.

What is the WPA?

The California State University (CSU) system has long recognized the role of writing, reading, and critical thinking in the success of our students.  We seek to foster students’ abilities to understand and respond to the arguments of others, as well as to articulate their own arguments in ways that will enable them to benefit the communities they serve in California and beyond our state.

The Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) reflects our commitment to these abilities.  The 2002 CSU GWAR Review Committee’s report encourages CSU campuses to “devise writing prompts that challenge students to demonstrate the comprehensive writing skills expected of college graduates, not just the proficiencies required of students when they enter the university” (1).  This instruction speaks to the significance of enhancing writing skills at both the lower- and upper-division levels, a charge that is fulfilled at San Diego State University (SDSU) through the combination of the Writing Placement Assessment (WPA) and the classes into which students are placed by the assessment.

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