Students must satisfy the writing requirement to graduate from any UC program.

They may meet the entry level writing requirement in any of the following ways:

  • Score 680 or higher on the Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing section of the SAT
  • Score 63 or higher on ACT English + Reading sections
  • Score 3 or higher on the College Board Advanced Placement Examination in English
 (Language or Literature)
  • Score 5 or higher on the International Baccalaureate Higher Level Examination in English (Language A only)
  • Score 6 or higher on the International Baccalaureate Standard Level Examination in
 English (Language A only)
  • Complete with a grade of C or better a UC-transferable college course in English composition
(worth 4 quarter or 3 semester units) prior to UC matriculation
  • Achieve a passing score on the UC Analytical Writing Placement Examination, given 
in the spring every year (freshmen who are admitted to UC will receive detailed information in the spring about the exam; nonresidents may take the exam in the fall after enrolling)
  • Complete an appropriate English course at UC with a grade of C or better.

Taking the Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE)

We offer the AWPE each spring to California-resident freshmen who plan to enroll at UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Merced, UC Riverside, or UC San Diego in the following fall. Students must take the exam if they have not satisfied the requirement by the date on which the AWPE exam is offered. Notification of the AWPE test date will be sent to students after acceptance of an offer of admission.  Non-California residents may take the exam in the fall after enrolling at one of the five campuses offering the AWPE. 

Students intending to enroll at UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, or UC Santa Cruz will need to review their campus’s instructions for meeting the Entry Level Writing Requirement.

Students receive detailed information about the exam in the spring, and must pay a nonrefundable fee of $110 to cover test administration costs. Those who received a UC admission application fee waiver will automatically have the fee waived for the AWPE.

Look at samples

Review a past Analytical Writing Placement Exam example with your students.