Writing Assessment Requirement UNIV 400 (WPE/GWAR)
Who must take UNIV 400?
- All Cal State L.A. undergraduates
- Most Cal State L.A. graduate students
Cal State L.A. Undergraduates:
- Must complete English 101 and 102 (or their equivalents) first with a grade of “C” or higher
- Must enroll in UNIV 400, take and pass the WPE before completing 135 quarter units
- Undergraduates who fail to take and pass the WPE before 135 units are in danger of a registration hold preventing them from registering into any Cal State L.A. courses until this graduation requirement is met.
For more information, see the 2009-2011 University Catalog, page 111.
Cal State L.A. Graduate Students:
- Should refer to the 2009-2011 University Catalog, page 140 for complete policy information, to determine if they have already satisfied this university requirement
- Generally must satisfy this requirement within the first three quarters of attendance, or before completing 16 units, whichever comes later
How do I Register for the Cal State L.A. UNIV 400 (WPE/GWAR)?
- Pay the non-refundable $25 exam fee with your registration fees, or through the Cashier’s Office
- Look in the Schedule of Classes under the UNIV 400 WPE/GWAR listing and select a section. NOTE: Graduate or credential students must register for a section specifically designated for “graduate students only.”
- Note date, time, and exam location for the section you have selected
- Register through the GET System before the add deadline
- Students who no longer have current status may enroll in UNIV 400 through Extended Education. The fee is $125. Students need to contact the Division of Extended Education at (323) 343-4900 for further information.
NOTE: Some students (transfers or pre-93 catalog and graduate students) may require an authorization to enroll into UNIV 400. Please call the Testing Center at (323) 343-3160 for assistance.
How is the Cal State L.A. WPE/GWAR Exam Structured?
- Students have 90 minutes to write an essay on an assigned topic. (For your Information, sample WPE topics are listed below.)
- The response should be approximately three (3) pages of the supplied essay booklet, or about 400 words
- On the day of the exam, students are required to:
- Be officially enrolled for a specific section of UNIV 400 (student’s name must appear on the exam roster)
- Be on time (late examinees will not be allowed to take the exam)
- Bring a valid CSLA Student ID, or other photo ID
How is the Cal State L.A. WPE/GWAR Graded?
- Each essay is graded independently by two readers
- Readers evaluate the essay in terms of :
- How well it completes the tasks set by the topic
- The effectiveness of its organization and development
- It’s demonstrated language control
- Each reader assigns the essay a score from 0 (very low) to 6 (very high)
- These scores are added together, thus the highest possible score is 12 and the lowest is 0
- To pass the exam students must achieve a score of 8 or higher
How are Students Notified of the Results?
- Approximately four (4) weeks after the scheduled exam, WPE results will be posted on the GET System
- A grade of “CR” means “Credit” and indicates the student passed the exam
- A grade of “NC” means “No Credit” and indicates the student did not pass the exam
- Students who receive “NC” and do not pass the exam are advised to meet with a WPE Consultant in the University Writing Center
- The WPE Consultant will review the essay with the student, identify weaknesses in the writing, and recommend corrective activities and strategies
- To make an appointment with a Consultant, students should visit the University Writing Center, Library South, Room 2097, or call (323) 343-5350
Sample WPE QuestionsNOTE: The following sample questions are actual WPE topics that have been withdrawn from use. Other sample questions which have not been used for the WPE but are similar to real topics are available on other WPE pages here.
- Our lives have been radically changed by the technological advances of the past few decades. Some welcome the opportunities to save time and energy that have been brought about by such devices as personal computers, electronic calculators, automatic teller machines, word processors, and computerized check-outs at the grocery store. Others feel, however, that computers have made our lives more complicated and more difficult. Write an essay in which you analyze the effect of computer technology on our lives and argue whether our increasing reliance on computers is beneficial or harmful.
- Each year Time Magazine selects a “Man or Woman of the Year,” the person who has had the greatest influence on the world over the past year, whether for good or bad. Write an essay in which you select the man or woman you believe has had the greatest influence on the world during the past year and explain why you believe this individual deserves to be recognized as the “Man or Woman of the Year.” Be as specific as possible.
- Almost everyone has a complaint about the community in which he or she lives. The issue may be a rising crime rate, or inadequate parking facilities, or poor services from officials. The problem may be major or minor, but most of us feel that there is some need that local officials should address. Write an essay in which you describe a problem in the community in which you live, discuss the ways it affects your everyday life, and suggest some means of correcting it.
For a more complete list of sample WPE essay questions, refer to the University Writing Center.