WST FAQ

When and how do I receive my admission ticket?

Admission tickets are sent via MySJSU messages (not e-mail) about a week prior to the test date. Please log in to your MySJSU account to view and print the ticket.

If you do not have an SJSU ID, an admission ticket will be sent to you via e-mail. It will arrive about 3 days prior to the test date.

If you do not receive an admission ticket, please email our office 3 days prior to the test.

Failure to contact the Testing Office in a timely manner is not grounds to request for a rescheduling of the test date or a refund.

 

What do I need on the day of the WST?

To be able to take the exam, you must bring:

    • A valid, recognizable photo ID (see below for clarification)
    • Some pens
    • Printout of your admission ticket or late registration ticket
    • Dictionary (optional, but if you use one it must be paper-based, without a thesaurus)

Please read your admission ticket carefully. It also contains instructions and details on acceptable items that you may bring to the exam. 

 

What is considered valid ID?

We strongly encourage all candidates to present a valid, undamaged SJSU ID card as our preferred method of check-in.

If you do not have an SJSU ID card, you must provide a current, official US state-issued (or federal) photo ID that includes: 

    • A recognizable photo of you
    • Your first and last name
    • ID must be current. Expired IDs are not valid.

Note: the name on your ID must match exactly with the name that you used when you registered for the exam. You will not be admitted if your ID does not match exactly with our rosters. Please contact the Testing Office immediately if there are any discrepancies between your ID and the name that you registered with. 

Examples of acceptable IDs include:

    • State issued driver's licenses from within the United States
    • Federal issued IDs such as a United States passport, national ID, military ID, or a United States issued diplomatic ID
    • Foreign passports with a recognizable photo (including foreign diplomatic IDs)
    • A current student ID from a public school (including current SJSU Tower IDs)
    • A current work ID issued by a US state institution (or US federal government)

Unacceptable IDs may include, but not limited to:

    • Social Security Card
    • Birth Certificate (from any country)
    • Debit or credit cards issued by a financial institution (even with photo)
    • Membership IDs (even with photo) 
    • DMV renewal without a photo or without identifying information
    • Foreign ID cards from any country outside of the US
    • Any expired ID (even if otherwise valid)
    • Any ID with a smudged, damaged or faded picture (even if otherwise valid) 

 

The name on my ID does not match the name that is on my registration receipt. Is this a problem? How can I fix this?

To avoid any issues, we strongly recommend that all candidates register with the same name that is on your SJSU ID card, which is linked to your MySJSU account. On the day of the exam, please present your SJSU ID card as our preferred method of check-in.

If you do not have an SJSU ID card, please present an alternate form of ID (see above).

Unless the name on your ID is a 100% match to the name on our roster, you will not be admitted on the day of the exam. If you do not have an alternate form of valid photo ID that matches the name on your registration receipt, we will need to edit our roster to ensure that there is a match.

If the name on your ID is not a 100% match with the name on your test booklet, it will be documented as a testing irregularity, which may result in delays in the posting of your score, or the cancellation of your test score entirely.

All corrections to identifying information need to be made in-person.

Please come to the Testing Office no later than 4:00pm on the Wednesday of the week of your test date so we can edit the information for you. After that deadline, we will not be able to make any corrections.

When you come in, please bring a copy of your registration receipt, a valid photo ID, your SJSU ID Card (if applicable), and the card that you used to register for the exam.

 

Am I ready for the WST test?

Please check the preparation materials here.

If you feel you need more help, please purchase the California State University Writing Proficiency Examination Preparation by Barrons. 

 

How long is the WST test?

The WST will take approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes to complete. 

 

Do freshmen need to take the WST?

Freshmen do not need to take the WST during their first semester. Most already completed the English Placement Test prior to enrollment. However, many freshmen neglect to take the WST after completing their second-semester composition course (or other qualifying course).

Please take the WST as soon as you qualify. Read more on qualifying criteria here

 

Do I need to take the WST even though I have an Associate's Degree?

Yes.  The WST is part of the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR), which all CSU undergraduates must meet in order to complete their degrees.

 

When does a transfer student/sophomore have to take the WST?

Take the WST as soon as you complete equivalent qualifying coursework at your school.

Read more on course-to-course articulation here.
Read more on qualifying criteria for the WST here

Engineering transfer students: take the WST after completing ENGL 1B.

Nursing transfer students: take the WST before you apply to SJSU. You will need the WST score on file before the Nursing Department will process your application.

If you have graduated from another CSU campus, please ask their Testing Office (or GWAR Office) to either fax a score report to (408) 924-5909 or mail a score report to:

SJSU Testing Office
One Washington Square (IS 228)
San Jose, CA 95192-0039

Do I have to take the WST if I am a graduate student?

Currently, you do have to take the WST to take 200W. Please see your major department advisor for  more details if your major does not have a 200W course. 

If you are not certain that courses you have taken are equivalent to English 1A and English 1B, please follow the directions below or contact your Graduate Advisor for assistance:

    • Visit Articulation and then select Course to Course.
    • Select the college you attended. If your college is not listed, please email your Graduate Advisor.
    • Scroll down to English Courses (SJSU courses are on the left column, the right column lists course numbers at your college.)

 

Can I take the WST if I have not completed a second semester English (or an equivalent course) as an Undergraduate student?

Yes.

However, we highly recommend completing a second-semester composition course or other qualifying course with a grade of "C-" or better (not "D+") before registering for the WST. It will help prepare students to pass the WST.

Courses in progress are acceptable, but we recommend registering for the WST towards the later half of the semester, once you are nearly finished with the course.

 

I want to challenge my scores. Is this possible because I only missed the essay portion by one or two points?

No. There will be no rescoring of any part of the test.

Please talk to Professor Sara Cook, WST Coordinator, for information on how to improve your essay score.

 

May I get an official replacement score report?

No, an official score report for your records can only be generated once. You can obtain an unofficial score report for yourself by presenting the Testing Office with a picture ID.

If you need the official report for another institution, please download and complete our score report request form, and then mail it back to our office with a check for $2.00 (payable to SJSU). Once received, your report will be sent directly to the institution of your choice within 5-7 business days.

 

May I send my WST score to another CSU campus without being matriculated?

You may send scores whether or not you are a matriculated student.

However, in order for any California State University campus to accept the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) from another CSU campus, you need to have completed the requirement while you were a matriculated student.

Completion of the GWAR requirement at SJSU includes passing the WST test and attaining a "C" or better grade in the 100W course. 

 

Do I have to take the LLD or ENGL course after I have failed the WST twice?

You are required to take the LLD course after two failures. You will either take ENGL or LLD 100A. Once you have passed the course with a "C-" or better and grades are posted, you do not need to retake the WST and you can enroll in courses that require the WST.  The 100A course can only be taken at SJSU.

NOTE: Effective Fall 2017, 100A only requires 1 failed attempt on the WST.

 

Are there still spaces available to take the WST?

Before the deadline, registration is open and we can guarantee seats for all registrants.

After the registration deadline, only 50-150 late spaces will be available, depending on the total number of registrants. Late spaces are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis, and only to students with a valid SJSU ID number.

 

How can I register or receive scores if I do not have an SJSU ID Number?

You cannot register online for the test without an SJSU ID Number. You will need to request a paper registration form. Please e-mail testing-office@sjsu.edu to request a temporary ID number and a paper registration form by mail.

The temporary ID is not an SJSU ID number. It will only be used for the test.

Once you receive your SJSU ID number, send us an e-mail with your full name, the assigned ID you were given, and your SJSU ID number. We will upload your scores to your account within 3 business days so that you can enroll for classes.


Why is the Writing Skills Test fee set at $38?

The fee for the Writing Skills Test helps to cover the operating costs of administering the test, which includes essay scoring, proctors, interpreters, mailing costs, etc.


May I mix and match WST scores to get a pass?

No. Scores are based on the essay that you write that day.

If you fail the WST, please try again. 


Can I reschedule my WST test date?

You can move/reschedule your test date to a later date. You must contact the Testing Office at testing-office@sjsu.edu prior to the registration deadline. We can only honor requests to reschedule once.

After the registration deadline, we can only reschedule for qualifying documented reasons. You will need to submit official documentation with your request.

The Testing Office reserves the right to grant or deny rescheduling requests.


What must I do if I have a conflict with my WST testing time?

Students who cannot appear at the given testing time for compelling reasons, such as documented health concerns, may be given a different testing time.

Please e-mail documentation to testing-office@sjsu.edu no later than 14 days prior to the test date. Late documents will not be accepted.

The Testing Office reserves the right to grant or deny rescheduling requests.


What must I do if I have a last minute conflict with the WST test date?

Students who must miss the WST for compelling reasons, such as a death in the family or medical emergencies, may be allowed to take the next WST.

Please email documentation to the testing-office@sjsu.edu within two weeks of the original WST test date. Documentation provided later than the deadline will not be accepted.

The Testing Office reserves the right to grant and deny rescheduling requests.