Testing Office


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result of the “stay at home” order issued by California Governor Gavin Newsom, all in-person testing has been suspended until further notice. SDSU continues to monitor the evolving situation around COVID-19 and follow the guidance of our national, state and local government officials as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Please review the Testing Services Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Writing Placement Assessment (WPA) Registration Information

NOTE:  ALL students registered to take the WPA, MUST bring a printed copy of their admission ticket to check-in to take the WPA.  A copy of a confirmation or admission ticket on a cell phone will NOT be accepted.  You will be sent to print the admission ticket and failure to return by the test time will result in a cancellation of your test and you will be required to register again and pay the $45 registration fee.   
According to the SDSU General Catalog, all undergraduate students must demonstrate competency in writing skills at the upper division level as a requirement for the baccalaureate degree within the California State University System (CSU). (Students seeking a second bachelor's degree in nursing have satisfied the GWAR with their first baccalaureate degree from a college/university accredited by a regional accrediting association.) The Writing Placement Assessment (WPA) is a two-hour examination used by SDSU to evaluate writing competency.

The exam fee is a non-refundable $45.00 and may not be transferred to another individual or to a different exam.

Come to the SDSU Imperial Valley Cashiers Office during business hours (M-Th 8:30 am - 4:15pm, Fri 8:30 am - 4:00 pm)

Once you have registered and paid for the exam, your Admission Ticket will be available to print. You must bring a printed copy of your Admission Ticket to be admitted to your exam. Electronic copies are not acceptable. You can access and print your Admission Ticket at the Testing Services Student Login https://stuapp.sdsu.edu/SdsuExam/Login/Student

Students are strongly encouraged to prepare in advance for attempting the Writing Placement Assessment at the following link https://wpa.sdsu.edu/
In addition to the general testing information found here, the WPA Information & Preparation Site contains study materials, test-taking strategies, and sample essays.
Free workshops are also offered prior to each exam.
SDSU Testing Services also hosts a limited number of appointments with an RWS WPA Advisor (on a first-come, first-served basis) to review a WPA test taken in the prior six months. To schedule an appointment, please call 760-768-5667. Walk-ins are not accepted.

Testing Time Frames

Students must take the WPA within the time frames described below. Once students are enrolled in Rhetoric and Writing Studies 280 or 281 or Linguistics 281, they may not take the WPA to test out of an upper division writing course. 

  • Continuing Students. Continuing students must take the WPA during the semester in which they are completing 60 units or in the semester immediately following.
  • Transfer Students. Transfer students are eligible to take the WPA once they have received an offer of admission. They must take the WPA by the last test date offered during their first semester at SDSU. The following majors require the WPA as a prerequisite to upper division courses that transfer students must take their first semester; students in these majors should take the WPA prior to attendance at New Student Orientation: Accountancy, English, History, Journalism and Media Studies, Liberal Studies, Linguistics, Management Information Systems, Religious Studies, and Rhetoric and Writing Studies.
  • Students who transfer from another California State University campus having fulfilled the GWAR will not be required to repeat it. However, a course listed below may be required for the major. Contact the Academic Advising Center if you believe you have fulfilled this requirement at another CSU .

Students who do not take the examination and receive the scores by the end of the required time frame will not be able to register for future terms. Scores must be received before you can register for classes.  Students may file a leave of absence for the next semester and maintain continuing student status. If the examination is completed during the leave of absence, the student may re-enroll the following semester. Students who have not taken the examination by the end of the leave of absence term will be required to file another leave of absence to maintain eligibility until the examination has been taken and a score is posted on the record. Students are allowed a maximum of four leaves of absence.

Scoring Information

Students who achieve a score of 10 on the WPA satisfy the statewide GWAR and do not have to take a writing course unless an upper division writing course is required by the major.
Students who achieve a score of 8 are required to satisfy the GWAR by completing an approved upper division writing course with a grade of C or higher. See the list below.
Students who earn a score of 6 or lower are required to complete Rhetoric and Writing Studies 280 (or Rhetoric and Writing Studies 281, or Linguistics 281 if English is your second language) with a grade of C or higher before enrolling in one of the approved upper division writing courses. The SDSU class registration system will require students who earn a 6 or lower to register for the required course in the semester immediately following the test date. D. Students are allowed to attempt the WPA twice within the time-frames and restrictions described above. Students may not drop a course in which they are registered if test results are received after the schedule adjustment deadline. Students must pay the required fees for the examination each time it is taken. Fees are non-refundable.

Approved Upper Division Writing Courses

  • Accountancy 390W
  • Africana Studies 305W
  • Chicana and Chicano Studies 396W
  • Economics 449W  
  • English 306W (Liberal Studies majors Only)
  • English 308W
  • English 508W (Required for English and Comparative Literature majors; open to other majors)
  • English 581W  
  • English 584W  
  • History 390W  
  • Humanities 390W
  • Journalism and Media Studies 310W
  • Journalism and Media Studies 312W
  • Linguistics 305W  
  • Management Information Systems 396W
  • Political Science 390W
  • Recreation, Tourism and Management 396W  
  • Religious Studies 396W
  • Rhetoric and Writing Studies 305W  
  • Rhetoric and Writing Studies 390W
  • Rhetoric and Writing Studies 500W  
  • Rhetoric and Writing Studies 503W
  • Rhetoric and Writing Studies 508W 

Test Scores

Effective May 2008, you will now be able to access and print score results for SDSU proficiency exams on-line. Using buttons on the opening page and entering your SDSU RedID number and your SDSU Web Portal password, you will be able to access a history of your SDSU campus tests and print out assessment results. Score reports will no longer be mailed to your home or residence.

Students requiring disability accommodations must contact at 760-768-5667 a week prior to the exam (WPA, Math LS, EPT and ELM).

Test Results

Workshops and Guides

Date Time Location
January 30, 2020 3:45pm to 5:00pm 124B
February 13, 2020 3:45pm to 5:00pm 124B
February 27, 2020 3:45pm to 5:00pm 124B
March 10, 2020 3:45pm to 5:00pm N108
Date Time Location
July 2, 2019 Section I: 10:00am to 12:00pm LA-4
July 2, 2019 Section II: 2:00pm to 4:00pm LA-4


Be prepared with the Math  LS study guide, note paper, pencils and of course your questions.

For workshops registration or more information you can contact the Student Affairs Division  @760-768-5502

Learn more

We look forward to hearing from you!

With fewer than a thousand students, SDSU-IV provides a uniquely intimate educational experience.

SDSU Imperial Valley
720 Heber Avenue
Calexico, CA 92231

Welcome to SDSU Imperial Valley

Small classes with convenient accessibility to a dedicated faculty and staff.