Analytical Writing Placement Exam
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 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
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 fulfilled 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 a writing placement exam, 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 your score prior to enrollment in July will in most cases help you solidify your course enrollment and fall class schedule earlier. Core course enrollment vary from college to college. You will receive information from the college you are assigned to in late May regarding enrollment in your 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. As an incoming first-year student, no matter when you take the exam, you are assured a space in your college's Core course. However, taking the exam before September will likely provide you with more options for enrollment in desired class times.
For more information about the AWPE at UCSC see FAQ about the Analytical Writing AWPE for Incoming Frosh