Long lines plague sign up for upper division writing exam

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Students stand outside waiting in line outside of Bayramian Hall to register for the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam yesterday. Photo credit: Andres Aguila / Daily Sundial

Thousands of students lined the walls in Bayramian Hall yesterday trying to register for the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam, or UDWPE.

The doors opened at 8:30 a.m. but there were students waiting to register for the test as early as 6 a.m.

Patrick Lewis, junior graphic design major, said that his roommates told him to get to Bayramian at 6 a.m. because the lines would be long. Despite the warning, Lewis slept in and got there at 9 a.m. to lines that were already about 500 students strong.

Upon arrival, students were handed a form to fill out for the test then separated into two lines: one for those paying cash or credit and another for those paying with debit.

An equal number of forms to number of spots available were given to students, said Charity Tsechia, testing center director.

John Darakjy, assistant director of cash services, said that today is the third and last registration date available for this year.

“There have been about 1500 to 1700 students on the first day for the other two exams,” Darakjy said. “I’m not sure how many will be here at the end of the day.”

Darakjy said there seemed to be more people today than for the other two exams, and this may be because it is the last exam available for the semester.

There are 2,800 seats available for each exam and the number of seats are based off the number of classrooms available, according to Tsechia.

Gina Arnold, senior child and adolescent development major, was one of many in line today hoping to register for the test.

“I can walk, but I can’t get my diploma,” Arnold said. “Most jobs I’ve spoken to have asked for it as proof.”

Arnold registered for the exam last year but forgot to take it. The last time she registered, she was able to walk up to the teller with no wait.

The UDWPE is required for undergraduate students who have completed a minimum of 56 units and no more than 75 units. If students fail to complete the exam within this time window, a hold will be placed on future registration.

The UDWPE costs $20 and is non-refundable. For Arnold, that meant she had to pay again today.

With so many students crowding Bayramian today, Arnold and Lewis offered some advice.

“My advice is (that) I should have done this earlier,” Arnold said. “Procrastination isn’t key.”

Lewis added some practical advice for the university.

“Print the same number of forms as spots available, have more people registering students and tell students about the requirements sooner,” Lewis said, noting that he was unaware that he would not be able to register for classes for next semester until he registered for the test until his adviser told him last month.

There were five tellers open to help students with the UDWPE, three tellers helping students with issues that were unrelated to the exam and two tellers stations closed.

“Things tend to go smoothly for the first two hours of registration, until tellers have to start taking lunch breaks, which are staggered,” Darakjy said. “The exam tends to fill up by 3 to 4 p.m.”

At 12:15 p.m. the number of spots for the exam were already more than half full, hinting that the exam may close earlier than 3 p.m.

The UDWPE is available eight times a year and students that didn’t get to register yesterday for the May exam can register later for the June exam.

The center is also doing beta testing right now and hopes to have online registration available soon, Tsechia said.


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