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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: How can I satisfy the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR)?  

A: All UC campuses will accept qualifying ACT, SAT, AP or IB exam scores to satisfy the ELWR. All UC campuses will also accept a grade of C or higher earned in a UC-transferrable college or university English Composition class to satisfy the ELWR.

Students may also satisfy the ELWR by earning a passing score on the Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE) if they have submitted their Statement of Intent to Register at UC Berkeley, UC Merced, UCLA, UC Riverside, or UC San Diego. Students who intend to enroll at UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara or UC Santa Cruz should not take the AWPE. These campuses offer alternative ways to fulfill the ELWR.

Q: Why is the UC Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE) given in May? 

A: The exam is given in May so we can score your essay before you select your fall classes. The May test date is also intended to allow you to demonstrate your writing ability at the peak of your high school training..

Q: I'm taking the AP English exam in May. Should I still take the Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE)? 

A: Yes. If you receive the AWPE notification email, you should take the exam unless you have already satisfied the requirement by the May 21 exam date.

If you take the AWPE and an AP English exam, you will have two possible ways to meet the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR). In addition, if you score 3 or higher on an AP English exam, you will earn 8 quarter or 6 semester units. Please note that UC campuses typically receive AP English test results in July, and your scores may not available before the May AWPE.

On most campuses, a score of 4 or better will also award you exemption from one or more courses subsequent to meeting the ELWR.

Q: Why didn't I receive the Analytical Writing Place Exam (AWPE) notification email? 

A: Only students who still need to satisfy the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) and have already submitted their Statement of Intent to Register to one of the five campuses (UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Merced, UC Riverside and UC San Diego) that use the AWPE will receive the notification email. Please note that international students, and students already attending one of the five campuses that use the AWPE, should not take the May 21, 2022 exam. These students will have the opportunity to take the exam through their campus. Students who intend to enroll at UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara or UC Santa Cruz should not take the AWPE as these campuses offer alternative ways to fulfill the ELWR.

Q: I have not been admitted to any UC campus, but I am on a campus waitlist. Should I take the May exam? 

A. No. If you have not yet submitted your Statement of Intent to Register to UC Berkeley, UC Merced, UCLA, UC Riverside, or UC San Diego, do not pay the exam fee or take the May exam. However, if you submit your SIR to one of the five campuses prior to the test date and have not satisfied the Entry Level Writing Requirement, contact us at (833) 404-5001 to receive important information about the exam.

Q: Is there a fee for the exam?

A: Yes. There is a $110 fee for the Analytical Writing Placement Examination. You’ll receive payment information with your test notification email. The fee can be paid by credit card using the Exam Fee Payment link on this website. The fee will be waived if you received a waiver of the UC admission application fee.

Q: How do I request test accommodations?

A: Please visit our Accommodations page to learn more about requesting test accommodations. The test notification email also provides information about accommodations.

Q: I'm experiencing technical difficulties and can't log in to the May exam. What should I do?

A: If you can’t log in to the exam, review your exam instructions email to confirm you are accessing the correct exam site URL and have logged in to the exam as instructed. Web browsers supported by the exam include Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari but not Internet Explorer.

If you are still experiencing technical difficulties or other exam access issues, call (833) 404-5001 to reach the AWPE Help Desk. The AWPE Help Desk has extended hours on May 20 and May 21.

Q: How should I prepare for the Analytical Writing Placement Exam?  

A:  You've been preparing for this exam throughout your high school career, and all the reading and writing you've done so far should help you succeed. Keep the exam instructions email (sent the week of the exam) available and follow the directions carefully. Make sure you have a way to monitor your time on exam day. This will help to ensure you log in to the exam on-time and to ensure your exam essay is submitted before the exam ends.

Q: May I write a draft of my essay?

A: For the May 21 exam, you will have two hours to complete the exam and submit your essay. You should plan your essay before you begin writing and allow time for proofreading. The exam will provide instructions for how to compose your essay using word processing software on your computer (Word, Google Docs, etc.) and how to paste the completed essay into the exam’s text for submission. You may also type your essay directly into the text field provided within the exam system. Be sure to monitor your time!

Q: May I submit my essay before the two hours are over? 

A: Yes. However, remember that the readers who score your essay will assume that it’s the product of two hours' work.

Q: How will I find out how I did on the exam?

A: About one month after you take the exam, you can log in to your campus’s student portal to learn if your essay satisfied the Entry Level Writing Requirement.

Q: What if my essay doesn't satisfy the requirement?

A: A passing score on the exam is only one way of fulfilling the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR). If your examination essay doesn't satisfy the ELWR, you can still satisfy the requirement before you arrive at your UC campus by achieving a test score that fulfills the requirement, such as an AP English score of 3 or higher. Your campus may also place you in a course that satisfies the ELWR.