Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE)

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The Universitywide AWPE

The universitywide Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE) is administered statewide every year in May. The only UC freshmen from California who won't receive tickets of admission to take the examination are those who have test scores that satisfy the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) recorded in the University's admissions system by April 1.

The results of the AWPE will not affect your acceptance to any University of California campus.

For a full explanation of the universitywide AWPE (complete with sample examinations, scoring guide, and Frequently Asked Questions), see Frequently Asked Questions about the universitywide Analytical Writing Placement Examination.

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The AWPE at UCSC

Like all UC campuses, UCSC uses the AWPE to determine whether a student has satisfied the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR), which is a first step in satisfying UCSC's lower-division writing requirements (known by the general education codes C1 and C2). The AWPE also helps UCSC determine whether a student has satisfied the C1 writing requirement prior to starting first-year classes.

Accurate placement in an appropriate section of your college's Core course (part of UCSC's required first-year writing sequence) generally depends on your AWPE score. Incoming frosh who have not satisfied the ELWR by the time classes start will be placed in a college Core course section with an instructor qualified to help them with their writing. At the end of fall quarter, ELWR-unsatisfied students will have the opportunity to demonstrate whether they have satisfied the requirement by means of the AWPE, with the additional possibility of passing by appeal using a portfolio of papers from their Core course.

We strongly recommend that incoming frosh take the May universitywide AWPE because having a score prior to enrollment in July will, in most cases, help solidify course enrollment and fall class schedule earlier. Core course enrollment varies from college to college. Students will receive information from their assigned college in late May regarding enrollment in a Core course and other fall classes.

Incoming frosh who are unable to take the universitywide exam in May (and who do not satisfy the ELWR by other means) will have the opportunity to take the exam during UCSC's Welcome Week in September. Incoming first-year students, no matter when they take the exam, are assured a space in a college Core course. However, taking the exam before September will likely provide students with more options for enrollment in desired class times.

For more information about the AWPE at UCSC see FAQ about the AWPE for Incoming Frosh