To Jepet or Not to Jepet

To Jepet or Not to Jepet

To JEPET, or not to JEPET JEPET is one exam that is most negatively talked about amongst students due to such a high failing rate with roughly half of the students at San Francisco State University failing the exam. With so many students failing, we ought to think about what’s causing this dilemma. Who do we blame: teachers, students, or the system? Whatever the case maybe, it is very important that each college graduate must know how to write a clear, well organized, and thoughtful essay. To test students writing skills, JEPET is an excellent tool.

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SFSU should continue to use the JEPET exam to assess student’s writing ability, but make progress to prepare the students for the exam. JEPET is a great way to test students on their writing skills and should be continued as an examination at SFSU. The University has been using the JEPET as an exit exam for past 20 years and that suggests that it has been working well in opting out students with good writing skills and offering an extra class to help students become better writers. This helps both the students and the school.

With budget-cuts, SFSU cannot afford to offer extra classes to students; therefore JEPET plays a huge role to cut back on classes. Also, Students who are good writers do not want to take another English class so by passing the test, they can avoid taking Eng 414 and concentrate on their core major classes. JEPET maybe a good way to test students, but with over 50% failure rate, SFSU needs to look deep into this issue and prepare students for the test thoroughly. As a student at SFSU, I can witness that my English 214 teacher made no effort to teach me anything new than what I already knew.

Not once, did she discuss the JEPET or what is expected of us as writers. Professors should give JEPET like essay topics in class to prepare students for the exam. Another reason behind such a huge failure rate is that after students pass Eng 214, they delay signing up for JEPET till last semester in college. In that time off, most students are not exposed to writing essays and have forgotten to structure their sentences well, causing them to write poorly in the exam. SFSU needs to set up a system that requires students to take a JEPET tutoring workshop immediately after taking English 214 and sign up for the exam.

This way, students will walk into the test room with confidence and write a well written essay. The fact that SFSU is considering replacing the JEPET with a third English class that relates to each major is a great idea, but that’s really not needed. The problem SFSU students face is that most students cannot write a simple organized essay. Most students, including me have trouble structuring sentences. Professors must do their best to teach students to organize their thoughts and give exercises to improve students’ sentence structure. That will prepare students for the real world.

And tests like JEPET help students prepare for the real world by asking writers to take a position on a controversial issue and to support it with evidence provided. SFSU needs to reevaluate their teaching criteria in English classes rather than adding GWAR courses in each major. A college graduate must be able write a good, well organized and structured essay. To implement this, SFSU must keep the JEPET to evaluate students’ writing abilities. Those who perform poorly in the test must then take an additional English class to make them better writers.


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