How to Prepare for the WST
We recommend the following resources to help you prepare for the WST:
- Download a WST sample prompt:
- Free online resources:
- View a brief Powerpoint presentation (rev Fall 2017) about the WST.
- Purdue University's Online Writing Lab has a lot of free resources.
- Peer Connections offers several sample WST prompts to help you prepare.
- Visit the SJSU Writing Center's Writing Resources page. You may find their Homegrown Handouts link to be especially helpful.
- Also, one of the student Writing Specialists at the SJSU Writing Center wrote a helpful article about timed essay writing: 10 Thoughts Every Student Has When Writing a Timed Essay (and How to Deal With Them)
- Free workshops and tutoring:
- The Writing Center offers tutorial help and workshops on various subjects on writing. Their "Essay Prompts and Time Management" workshop is useful for students who are concerned about timed writing situations (like the WST). The workshop is available right before the WST exam dates. For a complete list of upcoming workshops at the SJSU Writing Center, click here - or call (408) 924-2308.
- Peer Connections offers free tutoring that may help you prepare for the WST.
- A comprehensive list of Co-Curricular Student Success Educational Opportunities is also available, featuring a wide range of topics, including some that may help with writing.
- Available for purchase:
- California State University Writing Proficiency Examination Preparation by Barrons
- 501 Writing Prompts published by Learning Express
- Rules for Writers by Diana Hacker
- Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White
The following essays are examples of the various scoring levels. You may download them to study how the essays are structured to respond to the prompt.
Remember that each essay is scored by two different readers, so an essay with a total score of 7 means that one reader scored it with a 3, while another reader scored it as a 4. All of the essay samples provided below received the same score from both readers, so the 4 essay has a total score of 8, since both readers gave it a score of 4.
The essays are all responses to WST Sample Prompt 2 (see above):