On the Day of the Test

Graduation Writing Exam

The Graduation Writing Exam is administered on campus 5 times a year in February, April, July, September, and November. Registered students are to report to the Library East Walkway at 7:15am with an admission ticket and valid- government/ school issued photo identification. The required admission ticket is available for download at registration.


On the morning of the exam, students will be escorted by a test proctor to their assigned test room. Students must present an admission ticket and a current government/school issued photo identification at check-in. Students will not be tested without an admission ticket and an approved ID. A list of acceptable IDs is below.

Once admitted into the testing room, students will not be allowed to leave the testing room without permission from the test administrator or until the room examinees have been dismissed at the end of the exam.  Only one student at a time will be allowed to leave the test room to use the restroom.

 Acceptable forms of identification include:

  • CSUDH student ID card
  • State issued ID card
  • Driver's license
  • Passport
  • Citizenship card (with photo)
  • Military ID

Exam and Dismissal

The timed portion of the exam is 60 minutes (120 minutes for ESL students).  Exam time does not include the reading of instructions or the distribution and collection of test materials.  Once all materials have been distributed, the exam will begin.  Students may use their prompt sheet or interior of the blue book to make notes or an outline.  Only the actual essay is scored.

Students must remain for the entire duration of the exam.  Students will not be released until exam time has concluded and all materials have been collected and confirmed.  The entire exam administration may take up to 1.5 hours (2.5 hours for ESL). 

Late Arrivals

Students who arrive after the last test room closes at 7:45am will not be seated.

What to Bring and What Not to Bring

Students are to bring:

  • GWE admission ticket with CSUDH Student ID number
  • An acceptable form of photo identification
  • A writing instrument: #2 pencils or blue/black ink pens
  • A dictionary and/or thesaurus are optional.  Electronic dictionaries are permitted but may not have grammar or style check and cannot be plugged in to function.  The room supervisor will inspect all electronic dictionaries.

The CSUDH Testing Office will provide the exam bluebooks.

The following items are prohibited from the exam room:

  • Cell phones
  • Recording or photographic devices (including cameras, PDAs, or wireless e-mail devices)
  • Bottled water, coffee, tea, or drinks of any kind
  • Food of any kind, including gum, candy, and lollipops (throat lozenges and cough suppressants are allowed)
  • Books, including style guides, translators, etc.
  • Scratch paper, notebook paper, or electronic notepads
  • Computers, Palm Pilots, or any type of personal digital assistant or wireless device, including handheld games (electronic dictionaries are permitted)
  • Radios or MP3 players
  • Lapboards/desk boards or any other similar aids
  • Hats, hooded sweatshirts with the hood up, headdresses (except for cultural or religious reasons), earplugs, or headphones
  • Any other items not listed on the "bring" list above 

If there is concern as to whether an item is restricted or not, it is recommended that said item is not brought into the testing room.  Any questions regarding a specific item or items should be addressed to the Testing Center prior to the test administration date.  Special accommodations for disabilities or medical conditions must be requested 10 working days prior to the test administration date.  Please note that failure to follow the directions of the testing staff may result in dismissal from the test.