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College Writing Exam

What is the CWE?

I need to sign up for the CWE

How do I pass the CWE?

When should I take the CWE?

What if I don’t pass the CWE?

Did I pass the CWE?

I didn’t pass the CWE! Now what?

Tracktion

How do I pass the CWE?

First, check out this PowerPoint:

Grammar Test

The grammar portion of the test consists of multiple-choice questions on grammar. If you need a brush-up on your grammar skills, you can find many online, interactive grammar programs. We recommend the following:

Capital Community College Guide to Grammar and Writing

Purdue Online Writing Lab (click on "Grammar and Mechanics")

Writing

The other part of the test requires that you write a short essay to answer a question that is designed to allow you to use your general knowledge. Your essay should contain the following:

  1. introduction with a thesis statement
  2. 3-4 body paragraphs with topic sentences
  3. conclusion

The ideas in your essay should flow well from one to the next. Your paragraphs should function to explain one idea apiece. Your entire essay should work together to support your thesis statement. You should demonstrate a good command of grammar, mechanics and syntax..

Some hints:

  1. TAKE OUR WORKSHOP, "WRITING UNDER PRESSURE." In Tracktion, click "Review CWE or Class Paper" to sign up.
  2. PREWRITE! We find that the students who think about what they want to say and make a plan before writing tend to do better than those who don't.
  3. Don't be overly simplistic. If you worry about your grammar, it is not helpful to write the entire essay in short, choppy sentences to avoid writing complicated sentences. If you have trouble managing grammar, come to the Writing Center for some help with your grammar before you take the test.
  4. Answer the question as it is posed. Be sure you understand the question you're answering and refer back to it a few times so you're sure you don't go off on a tangent.
  5. Go back to check that you followed your plan. After you've written the essay out, go back to your original plan to see if you followed it. If you veered from the plan, be sure your diversion was a good one.
  6. Proofread! Take your time with proofreading.
  7. Plan to take the full three hours. You're given three hours to do the exam. Block out those three hours and devote as much time as you need to completing the test.


CADE - Center for Academic Development & Enrichment
SUNY College at Oneonta
225 Alumni Hall, Oneonta, NY 13820
(607) 436-3010 | cade@oneonta.edu

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Last Modified: June 14, 2010