This is the "BASIC INFORMATION" page of the "CWE College Writing Exam" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

CWE College Writing Exam  

The successful completion of the College Writing Exam is an important graduation requirement for all PCCC students.
Last Updated: Aug 31, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates


The College Writing Exam

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the College Writing Exam?

The College Writing Exam (CWE) is an important graduation requirement for all PCCC students. Students will be asked to write an essay based on one of two questions provided. 

The exam is administered by computer.  The essay will be typed and the computer will allow you to use spell check, but not grammar check or the Internet. The exam usually lasts 3 hours.

Who evaluates the exam?

Your essay will be read and evaluated by at least two readers. Readers are faculty and staff members from PCCC who have been trained in scoring the exam using a standard rubric (scoring guide).
When will I find out if I passed the exam?
Results are:
  1. E-mailed to students at their PCCC e-mail address
  2. Posted on their degree audits
  3. Mailed to students

If you take the exam:

  •  by the 15th of the month, you will receive your results by the 30th of the same month.  
  •  later than the 15th of the month, you will receive results by the 15th of the following month.
Can failure on the CWE prevent me from graduating?

Yes, a failing score on the CWE will delay graduation.
Is it possible to take the CWE again if I fail the first time?
Yes. Students who need to retake the CWE need to contact the Writing Center to review strategies to improve their chances to pass on their next attempt. Taking the exam again after a failure without getting help is unlikely to allow you to pass the next time.
Should I wait until I'm close to graduating to take the CWE so that I have had more writing experience?
No! Our research shows that students that delay taking the exam - sometimes several years after completing the required writing courses - are more likely to fail. This may be because they have not had similar writing experiences in their later courses, or because they now feel more anxiety about needing to pass the exam because they are close to graduation.
It is important to take the exam as soon as possible, in order to have enough time to practice, get tutoring and attend workshops offered on the CWE, and allow time, if necessary, to retake the exam.

When should a student take the College Writing Exam?

Students are eligible to take the exam after completing EN 101 and one Writing-Intensive course required for their degree. Students who do not meet these requirements may still be admitted to the exam with approval of the department chair.  

Where can an eligible student register to take the exam?

Registration requirements vary by campus. Click HERE for details. 

Meeting with a Tutor

Students who want help preparing for the College Writing Exam (CWE) can make an appointment by emailing the Writing Center at

Though we recommend making an appointment to make the best use of your time, walk-in sessions are available if a tutor is free. 

Any student who wants to review their failed exam with a tutor  must make an appointment as the Writing Center will need at least 24 hours to obtain a copy of your exam.


Writing Center Hours


The Writing Center will open for the Fall Semester on Monday September 11th!


Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
9:00 AM 9:00 AM- 9:00 AM- 8:00 AM- 9:00 AM- 10:00 AM-
4:00 PM 6:30 PM 4:00 PM 6:30 PM 3:00 PM  3:30PM



Rm 118
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
8:00 AM-
1:00 PM

Wanaque RM 098
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
10:00 AM-


All Writing Center hours are subject to change. For exact availability, or to make an appointment, please visit:



Loading  Loading...