Guided English Placement FAQs

What is Guided English Placement (GEP)? 

As stated on the GEP main page, the free, online GEP is an alternative to using standardized test scores for placement into your required composition course. Through the GEP, you can reflect on your composition strengths, understand expectations of the courses, and offer your input on the class you believe will lead to your greatest success. In addition to how you’d place yourself, we’ll be integrating your experiences, your GPA, and your learning dispositions to help place you in the course that best suits your needs.

Why use the GEP?

We believe that the more a student charts their own path within the school’s requirements the more invested and interested they are in their work. Additionally, a writing class that lines up with your strengths is more likely to result in your success and satisfaction.

Who is required to complete the GEP?

If you did NOT submit ACT or SAT scores to UWM and do not have any transferable college English credit, you will need to complete the GEP. You also have the option to complete the GEP if you aren’t happy with your standardized test scores and would like to use GEP to find the right course for you. If you are a student who might benefit from a smaller class and/or more-intense language focus, you can also use the GEP to make that determination.

How do you prepare to take the GEP survey?

No preparation is required! This is not a test, and there are no right or wrong answers. This is a tool that helps you recall your past experiences with writing and then communicate those experiences to us in various ways. Things you will find helpful:

  • Find a quiet place where you can focus and reflect.
  • Set aside 30-60 minutes to complete the survey. You will be able to save progress and return to the survey if you’re unable to complete it in one sitting.
  • Be honest with yourself when answering the survey questions.

How do you complete the assessment?

You will review typical college-level readings, writings, and assignments to gain insight into what will be expected of you at different levels of placement. Assessing yourself honestly will give you the greatest chance to be successful in the class you choose.

Where do you take the GEP survey?

The GEP is located on the English Department’s website at You will also find a link to the survey on the freshman placement website: You will be able to complete the GEP on a computer or mobile device.

When should you take the GEP?

Our standard recommendation is that students should complete all course placement requirements at least two weeks prior to their academic advising appointment. All freshmen will have an academic advising appointment as part of their mandatory new student orientation. However, it is important to note that if you are an incoming freshman who has not submitted ACT/SAT scores, you will be required to complete the GEP before you can even register for your mandatory New Student Orientation (NSO) session, in which case you should complete the GEP as soon as possible to have the best selection of orientation dates.

Do you have questions?

Please contact Professor Shevaun Watson, Director of Composition at with questions or concerns.