Graduate Writing Exam: Details

What’s on the exam?

The Graduate Writing Exam (GWE) consists of one analytic summary essay of 750 – 1250 words written between May 21-May 28, 2019, and submitted online.

When do I take the exam?

Students must register in advance beginning on May 6, 2019. Readings and the essay question will be posted on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Essays will be due the following Tuesday, May 28, 2019.

An on-line make-up exam will run in September 2019 for students who are unable to take the online GWE. Please note that the May evaluation does not interfere with your coursework or other requirements during your first weeks of graduate school, and we encourage students to take the May exam. Therefore, students should take the make-up only if it is impossible for them to take the online May examination.

Please see Dates & Deadlines for this year’s full GWE schedule.

How do I take the exam?

  1. Register before 8 AM on May 21, 2019 by going to the MIT Essay Evaluation Site.
  2. Follow the New User prompt and select the “Click Here” to set up your account option. You will receive an email with a link to set up a password.
  3. On the date readings and prompt become available, log in to the MIT Essay Evaluation Site to view them.
  4. When you’ve written your essay, log in to the MIT Essay Evaluation Site and submit your essay by the due date and time.

How long will the exam take?

We expect that carefully reading the articles will take about 2 – 3 hours, and that writing the essay will take another 4 – 7 hours. We allow multiple days for the reading and writing because we know that people have other commitments during that time, and to allow time for a complete writing process, including reflection and revision.

What will I be writing about?

The GWE asks you to read 4 – 5 articles on a technical, but interdisciplinary, topic and to then write an analytical summary that synthesizes the information from the articles clearly, in a logical structure, and with careful attention to accurate paraphrase and citation of the sources.

How do I find out how I did?

Your department will receive your score and your Graduate Administrator will send you your result.

Still have questions? Please visit our FAQ page.