Writing Placement Assessment (WPA)
CSU Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the format of the WPA?
You will be given a short reading in the form of an argument and asked
to write an essay that responds to a series of questions that relate directly
to the reading selection. The questions you will be asked to address in
the essay will focus specifically on analysis of the argument presented
in the reading rather than a personal response. You will be asked to assess
the argument's structure, to explain how the author uses rhetorical strategies
to persuade an audience, and to evaluate (using evidence from the reading
itself) how convincing the argument is. Extensive personal writing (your
opinions, your experiences) will not be necessary or appropriate for this
exam. You will be allotted two hours to complete the exam.
Reading--Make sure you give yourself ample time to read carefully the selection and the questions relating to the reading. It is important that you understand what you are being asked to do. Fifteen minutes is an appropriate amount of time for reading the selection.
Planning/Organizing--After you are sure you understand
the reading and the questions, plan how you will structure your essay,
making sure you have addressed all the points in the questions. Once you
have created a tentative structure for your essay, you might reread the
prompt questions to make sure you are on course. Although there is more
than one appropriate response to most analytical questions, you need to
focus very specifically on what each question asks you to provide. Ten
to fifteen minutes is an approximate amount of time to plan.
Q: How many times can I take the WPA?
Q: What happens if I don't take the WPA during the required time