The new GWT course, CPU 401, starts fall 2009. This is a hybrid course that satisfies the GWT requirement. If you have struggled to pass the GWT, this course is a good alternative. Here is a flier describing the course and an application.
New one-page handout: Ten Steps to GWT Success
See the GWT Workshop Schedule. The GWT Workshop is a 90-minute Powerpoint presentation that teaches how to analyze a topic, write a strong thesis, organize your essay, generate ideas, and proofread your paper. Also see our GWT Grammar Workshop schedule.
Here are important resources from the Writing Center's GWT Student Guide, plus sample topics and other information. All previous topics have been revised. Many new topics have been created.
The Graduation Writing Test (GWT) is a graduation requirement for all students. All students subject to degree requirements listed in the 1977-78 and subsequent University catalogs must demonstrate competency in writing skills as a requirement for graduation.
GWT is to be taken between the time a student has completed 90 units and the quarter following completion of 120 units. The GWT is given once each quarter.
Students are given 75 minutes to write an essay on a topic given at the exam.
The University Writing Center offers GWT workshops. Call 909-869-5343 for a current workshop schedule.
Information on the GWT can be found in the complete University Writing Center's GWT Student Guide (.pdf). Also be sure to get a copy of the Graduation Writing Test Student Guide and Information Bulletin available at the Testing Center in the CLA Building.
At Cal Poly Pomona, students who have failed the Graduation Writing Test at least three times are offered the chance to apply for a waiver of the requirement. If the waiver is granted by the waiver committee, you are allowed to graduate, but your transcripts will say "Writing Competency Not Certified-Special Waiver Granted." It is not possible to remove this notation, and you will not be allowed to take the GWT again.
To become eligible to apply for a waiver a student write at least six handwritten essays and go over them with a writing cetner tutor. Each of these essays must then be revised. Because these practice essays and revisions are designed to help you pass the test, all of the essays and revisions must be completed before the last attempt of the GWT. If you have completed all your course work and are working full time, or if you have moved away from the area, it is possible to submit the essays for a response from a tutor by fax.
The University Writing Center can help you fulfill these requirements by providing practice GWT topics and written feedback from tutors. We will also provide a list of the dates and times of the tutoring appointments you completed, and a letter signed by the Director verifying that the work has been done.
We recommend that you start out with one of our 90-minute GWT workshops. These workshops cover the exam process, the scoring guide, thesis development, analyzing a topic, organizing your essay, and writing a conclusion. After the workshop, you can pick up a practice topic, write another essay, and make an appointment to get feedback from a tutor, who will stamp your paper and sign it. You do not have to work with the same tutor every time.
Further information about the GWT waiver is available in "Selected GWT Resources."
Deadlines for GWT Waiver petitions are available on the Undergraduate Studies web site.