Universitywide AWPE (spring of HS Senior year)

UCSC AWPE (during Fall Welcome Week)

Do I have to take the AWPE?

All students who enter UCSC as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by fulfilling the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR). The universitywide Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE) is administered statewide every year in spring. The only UC freshmen from California who won't receive tickets of admission to take the exam are those who have satisfied the ELWR by other means and satisfaction has been recorded in the University's admissions system by April 1.

How do I check my AWPE Score?

Scores can be viewed once they have been matched to your academic record and posted in the student portal at

1. log into the portal

2. click on "Main Menu" at the top of the page

3. click on "My Student Center"

4. click on "View Test Scores"

Your AWPE score is contained in the list of test scores that will display, but you may have to click "View All" to see it.

What does my AWPE score mean?

Your AWPE essay was scored by at least two evaluators. Each evaluator independently assigned your essay to a scoring category 1-6. These two scores were combined to arrive at your final score, which will total between 2 and 12. This combined score is what has been posted to your record.

If you received a combined score lower than 8 (two scores of less than 4), that means you have not satisfied the ELWR. You will be placed in a section of your College Core course with an instructor qualified to help with your writing.

If you received a combined score of 8 or 9 (one score of 4 and a second score of 4 or 5), you have satisfied the ELWR.

If you received a combined score of 10-12 (two scores of 5 and/or 6), you have satisfied the ELWR and the first course in composition (C1) of UCSC's general education requirements.

Your AWPE score will appear on your student portal under “View Test Scores.” Note that you may have to select “View All” to see it if you have taken a number of placements tests.

You can see the full AWPE Scoring Guide here.  To interpret your score, you will need to remember that your posted combined score is a total of two scores. To see which two scores your combined score represents see the table below.

If Your Combined Score Is…

You Received Individual Scores of…


Two scores of 1


One score of 1; one score of 2


Two scores of 2


One score of 2; one score of 3


Two scores of 3


Two scores of 4


One score of 4; one score of 5


Two scores of 5


One score of 5; one score of 6


Two scores of 6

Can I retake the AWPE to try and improve my score?

No, you cannot retake the AWPE. Your score indicates what College course you will enroll in for Fall.

I am confused about whether or not I have satisfied the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR).

See Pathways to Satisfying the ELWR

I am sure I have satisfied the ELWR, but I received a letter from UC telling me that I am required to take the exam. Do I have to take it?

Receiving this letter from UC indicates that your academic and test records do not include evidence of having satisfied the ELWR, and you are required to take the AWPE. If you believe there is an error in your academic or test records, contact the appropriate testing agency or school to be sure your score report or transcripts have been sent to UCSC. For SAT or AP score release procedures, visit the testing agency web site at

Students should confirm that the testing agency or school has sent its official score report or transcript to UCSC. To ensure your transcripts and test scores have been received, continue to check your student portal at (FAQs). For further questions regarding transcripts and test scores, please contact the Admissions Office.

How will I know where to go and what to bring for the May AWPE?

You will receive a notice from UC with detailed instructions on your testing location and other important information.

Do I need to provide payment for the May AWPE?

The letter you receive from UC will provide instructions for completing your payment online.

If I was not able to take the May AWPE, can I arrange a time to take it at UCSC over the summer?

No. The next available AWPE will be offered during Welcome Week in fall. 

I was supposed to take the universitywide exam in May, but I was not able to appear for the exam. What should I do?

Incoming frosh who do not take the universitywide exam in May (and who do not satisfy the ELWR by other means) will be unable to enroll in an appropriate section of Core until further assessment after their arrival at UCSC. They will have the opportunity to take the AWPE during UCSC's Welcome Week in September. While these students are guaranteed a space in a College Core course, their choice of class times will be limited and may affect their ability to enroll in other classes.

While I have not yet satisfied the ELWR, I am sure that I will satisfy it by other means before starting classes at UCSC. Do I have to take the May exam?

Yes. The University of California requires all students who have not yet met the ELWR to take the May exam, regardless of whether they think they are apt to satisfy ELWR by other means.

How do I arrange for exam accommodations for a disability?

Students needing exam accommodations should contact the Disability Resource Center at 459-2089 or by e-mail at

Do I need to provide payment for the Fall AWPE?

If you already paid for the May exam, but did not take it, print and bring your proof of payment with you to the Fall AWPE.
If you did not already pay the exam fee, complete payment online on the universitywide AWPE page. Print and bring your proof of payment with you to the Fall AWPE.

How will I know where to go and what to bring to the Fall AWPE?

You will receive details from your orientation packet, advisers, orientation advisers, and you can also check the Writing Program's Important Dates section on the Home Page for up-to-date details.