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Placement Exams

4 PLACEMENT EXAMS FOR FIRST YEAR ADMITS

First year students admitted to UC Merced may need to take 4 placement exams:

Read the sections below to determine which placement exams you are required to take.

All placement exams are one-time-only exams.

All placement exams are offered on a specific date (UC AWPE) or during a certain timeframe (UCM placement exams).

 

UC ANALYTICAL WRITING PLACEMENT EXAM (AWPE)

All UC schools require first years in every major to complete the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) by the end of their second semester at the UC school.

The UC Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE) is one way to satisfy ELWR before you arrive at UC Merced.

Other ways to satisfy ELWR can be found here.

The AWPE is usually given on the second Saturday in May and is open only to California high school seniors admitted to a UC school.

Fee waivers are available for the AWPE.  Talk to your high school counselor if you have questions about the AWPE.

If you have not satisfied ELWR before April 1st of your senior year in high school, take the AWPE.

 

Your AWPE score determines which English composition course you can take at UC Merced.

Based on your AWPE score, you will place into WRITING 1 (WRI 001, Academic Writing, 4 units) or WRITING 10 (WRI 010, College Reading & Composition, 4 units).

If you place into WRI 1, you will take that class in your first semester at UC Merced.

 

If you are a fall semester admit who took a California community college course during high school that is the equivalent of Writing 1 (check the ASSIST site for transferability), request the official college transcript be sent to UC Merced before July 1.

If you are a fall semester admit who earned an AP English exam score that satisfies Writing 1, request that College Board send the official AP exam score to UC Merced before July 1.

 

UC MERCED PLACEMENT EXAMS

UC Merced offers online placement exams in math, chemistry, and computer science & engineering.

Fall semester admits must complete the placement exams in May before the June 1 deadline.

Results from placement exams determine eligibility for certain classes at UC Merced.

If you miss or choose not to take the placement exams, you will automatically be placed in the preparatory class in that subject.

Placement exams are free. There is no disadvantage to taking the placement exams.

If you take a placement exam and later receive AP or IB scores that place you into a more advanced class, you will be allowed to take the more advanced class. (This is also true if you complete a transferable college course during the summer and submit the official transcript to UC Merced before fall semester begins.)

 

MATH PLACEMENT EXAM

Required for first years in every major.

For more info and possible exemptions, see FAQ.

To access the exam, see Step 9 on the Next Steps Checklist and this site.

 

CHEMISTRY PLACEMENT EXAM

Required for first years in all majors in the School of Engineering and School of Natural Sciences.

Required for all pre-health (pre-med, pre-nursing, pre-dentistry, etc.) students.

Required for all first years who may later change to engineering, science, or pre-health.

For more info and possible exemptions, see FAQ.

To access the exam, see Step 9 on the Next Steps Checklist and this site.

 

COMPUTER SCIENCE & ENGINEERING PLACEMENT EXAM

Required for all first years in the Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) major.

Required for all first years in the Applied Math--CSE emphasis major.

Required for all first years who may declare the CSE major or Math--CSE emphasis major in the future.

Exam determines placement in the new CSE major course sequence that began in Fall 2020.

For more info, see this site.

To access the exam, see #7 in the FAQ.