Writing & Rhetoric Center

Right here. Write now.

Preparing for the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE)

Writing is a learned skill that composition and other writing-intensive classes will help you cultivate. Reviewing the writing skills you have learned in the past can help you succeed on the WPE.

There are also a number of resources to help you with WPE preparation:

WPE Workshops

All Writing Exam Workshops are given on a space-available basis. Sign-ups are not necessary, and there is no fee. All workshops follow the same format.

WPE workshops are scheduled before each exam.  Dates, times, and locations are posted here.

Essay Writing Tips

Reference and Preparation Books

  • A Writer's Reference by Diana Hacker is a good general handbook that reviews composing and revising, constructing arguments, sentence style, word choice, punctuation, grammar, and mechanics.
  • Grammar Troublespots: A Student's Guide to Writing by Ann Raimes (2004), Cambridge UP. It has 20 or so self-contained units to work through, and it's very user-friendly with flow charts and explanations.

These books may be available at the University Store.

Related Content

Upcoming Events

Summer Tutoring 

July 10 - August 31
Mon., Wed., and Thurs. 
10 am - 4 pm

WPE Dates 

July 7, 14, 21, and 28
*For summer graduates

August 14
*For incoming transfer students

October 4, 7, and 10
*For all eligible students


Writing Consultations

The University Writing & Rhetoric Center offers free writing consultations to all Cal Poly students.  Students may visit one of four locations and work with a consultant for thirty or sixty minutes.  Plan ahead and visit with a writing consultant before a writing project due date to make the most of your visit!

English Placement Test (EPT)

On the basis of pre-college exam scores, students are deemed ready, conditionally ready, or not ready for college-level coursework.  The CSU requires conditionally ready first-year students to show that they are exempt from English remediation before they can enroll in ENGL 133 or 34. Any student who does not clear a conditional status is placed in writing courses to prepare them for academic success on campus. If developmental coursework is required, students must fulfill the yearlong stretch course by the end of the first year or risk disqualification. 

Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR)

The GWR must be fulfilled by all Cal Poly students who are seeking a degree, including Master's degree and teaching credentials.  Undergraduate students must complete 90 units before they can fulfill the requirement and should fulfill the requirement before the senior year.  Visit the GWR page for more information on how to complete this requirement.