Writing Skills Test (WST)

General Information

All SJSU students complete the WST as part of the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR), implemented systemwide through all the CSU campuses in 1977 to evaluate university-level writing skills. 

For Undergraduate Students: 
All students must pass both the WST and 100W course in order to satisfy the GWAR.

The GWAR must be completed prior to graduation unless the requirement has been met through other approved provisions. We strongly recommend completing a second-semester composition course prior to taking the WST.

Since both components of the GWAR are also prerequisites for many upper division courses, we strongly recommend that all students complete the test before reaching upper division standing, as soon as you are eligible to take the test. 

As of Fall 2014, to qualify for the WST, students must complete English 1A (GE Area A2) and one of the following:

    • A second semester Humanities Honors Program course with a grade of "C-" or better (not "D+")
    • Completion of Stretch English Courses with a "C-" or better
    • English 1B (for SJSU Engineering majors only)
    • One course from GE Area A3 (all other majors)

Your course options are severely limited if you have not completed the WST by the time you reach 75 units. Please consult with an academic advisor and plan ahead to ensure that you take the test at the appropriate time. You must complete the test 3+ weeks in advance of any deadlines in order for your score to be available in time.

Register for the WST

For Transfer Students:

We strongly encourage all incoming transfer students to take the WST before transferring, or at the very latest, no later than their first semester after transferring. Since the WST is a prerequisite for many upper-division courses, especially the 100W course in your major and the SJSU Studies courses, you will have access to a wider selection of upper division courses if you have completed the test ahead of time.

Depending on your major, you may be required to take the WST several months prior to transferring, or even before applying to SJSU. Please communicate with your major advisor to ensure that all your deadlines are being met on time.

If you are transferring to SJSU from another CSU campus and have completed the GWAR at your previous campus, please ask their Testing Office to send a score report to SJSU with a notation that you have fully completed the GWAR. 

Please note: this requirement can only be transferred if you have completely satisfied the GWAR as a matriculated student at that CSU campus. Partial GWAR completion cannot be transferred and/or combined, as per CSU Executive Order 665. If you completed the test only, you will need to complete the entire GWAR requirement at SJSU by taking the WST (even if you have taken an equivalent exam previously) and then pass the 100W course.

For Graduate Students: 
All graduate students are required by SJSU to demonstrate competency in written English as a requirement for advancement to graduate candidacy.

Register for the WST


2017 WST Test Dates

Please plan ahead and register early. Test registration is limited to the first 2000 students.
You must complete the WST at least 3+ weeks in advance of any deadlines for registration and/or admission, otherwise your scores may not be available in time.

      Test Date    
Deadline ** 
Late Registration
Number of Late
Registration Spaces*
 February 4, 2017
 January 19, 2017
 January 4, 2017
 January 24, 2017
 April 22, 2017
 March 30, 2017
 March 22 , 2017
 April 4, 2017
 June 3, 2017
 May 11, 2017
 May 3, 2017
 May 16, 2017
 July 22, 2017
 June 29, 2017
 June 22, 2017
 July 5, 2017
 September 16, 2017
 August 24, 2017
 August 16, 2017
 August 29 , 2017
 October 28, 2017
 October 5, 2017
September 28, 2017
 October 10, 2017

The testing fee is $38. Late registration is an additional $15.
Fees are non-refundable and may be subject to change.

* Late registration spaces are limited and fill quickly. Seats are only available to current SJSU students during the first week of late registration. After the first week, any remaining seats will open up to all registrants on a first-come, first-serve basis until late registration closes. Current SJSU students may either register online or in-person at our office (IS 228); non-SJSU students must register in-person at our office (IS 228). Please e-mail the Testing Office at testing-office@sjsu.edu for availability.

** Students requiring test accommodations must submit the appropriate documentation to the Accessible Education Center (AEC). To ensure accommodations can be made, an appointment must be scheduled with an AEC counselor at least one month prior to your exam date to determine eligibility and prescribe test accommodations. Students unable to meet this deadline should contact the AEC as soon as possible; you may also elect to take the exam under standard conditions without receiving accommodations.