The WEPT Exam

The Written English Proficiency Test (WEPT) is the test designed by Sonoma State University to fulfill the California State University Graduate Written Assessment Requirement (GWAR). The GWAR decrees that all graduates of any CSU campus must demonstrate writing proficiency before being awarded a degree. SSU’s WEPT is also used for access to many of our graduate programs. The two-hour test asks students to write a persuasive article, essay, or letter on a topic of general interest and is scored on the basis of organization, appropriateness of content, clarity and facility of expression, and mechanics.

Tips for WEPT Success

  1. Take the WEPT in your Junior Year: You cannot take the WEPT before your junior year. Plan to take it in the first semester of your junior year. The WEPT is given three times per semester (and once in the summer), and results take 3-6 weeks to process. If you do not pass the exam, you may need an extended period of preparation, advising, practice, and possibly coursework in order to pass. That means you will be just fine if you plan ahead, but if you try to rush at the end of your senior year you will have a very tough time. Accordingly, take the exam as early as possible; that way, if you do not to pass you will have ample time to get advising and take the exam again (several times if necessary).

    Even writers who have performed well on other writing tests can encounter unexpected difficulties. Take the exam early on even if you are very confident in your abilities as a writer.
  2. Increase your chances by preparing: Look over materials that detail the exam's expectations. You will have a better chance if you are familiar with the general parameters of the exam. The Writing Center provides extensive online materials that you can consult as you prepare:
    • And be sure to check out the "WEPT Book" online, which contains sample responses:
  3. If you do not pass the exam at first, prepare actively for next time: If you take the exam and do not pass, worry not—sometimes that happens! But please do take active responsibility to prepare for the next time. Do not just take a "better luck next time" attitude. Instead, check in with the WEPT office in Salazar Hall, go to the Writing Center in the University Library for tutoring, practice on your own, or consider coursework to fulfill the requirement.
  4. Be aware of any special WEPT-related requirements for your major or program: Some majors or programs require that the WEPT be passed in order to enroll in certain courses. Check to see if that is the case in your major/program.

For More Information on the WEPT

Find more extensive information about the test at:

For the SSU WEPT policy, go to:

For inquiries about signing up for the exam and about exam dates, contact the Writing Center (707 664-4401). For questions about advising or the technicalities of the WEPT requirement, contact the WEPT Office (707 664-2058 or

If you are a student with a disability and you think that you may require accommodations, please register with the campus office of Disability Services for Students (DSS), located in Salazar Hall - Room 1049, Phone: (707) 664-2677, TTY/TDD: (707) 664-2958. DSS will provide you with written confirmation of your verified disability and authorize recommended accommodations, possibly including advising by disability specialists. Students must be registered with DSS before any accomodations can be made on the WEPT.