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Placement Exams

Before you begin your first year of classes, make sure you have taken any necessary placement exams.

See the current Placement Exams and Proficiency Exam Schedule.

A few things to keep in mind about placement exams:

  • Placement exams help you determine the course level in which to enroll.
  • Don't guess answers on placement exams. Artificially high scores could lead you to enroll in a course for which you are not adequately prepared.
  • There are no fees for the Math, Writing, or Language Placement Exams.

Types of placement exams:

  • Chemistry: Learn who should take the Chemistry Placement Exam, and link to the exam if needed.
  • Math: Take the Math Placement Exam (MPE) if you have not met a math course prerequisite to enroll in a first quarter calculus. Students who do not meet a prerequisite to enroll in Calculus need to take the MPE to qualify for Precalculus or Calculus based on their math preparation. The MPE is a 90-minute, multiple-choice exam that is offered free on-campus and remotely via ProctorU (for $20).
  • Language: Take the online Language Placement Exam if you have had some exposure to a language that you would like to study further. This 45-minute, multiple-choice exam is free of charge.
  • Writing Placement Exam: If you have not fulfilled the UC Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) prior to enrollment at UC San Diego, you must complete the Writing Placement Process (WPP) before the beginning of your first quarter. You will be placed in College Writing, AWP 3, or AWP 4A.
    • If you are placed in College Writing, you have fulfilled the ELWR.
    • If you are placed in an AWP course, you must enroll in the course you are placed into (AWP 3 or AWP 4A) during your first quarter at UC San Diego.
    • Students who enroll in AWP 4A are required to enroll in AWP 4B in the subsequent quarter with the same instructor and cohort.
    • Earning a grade of C or higher on AWP 3 or AWP 4B satisfies the ELWR.
    • Students must satisfy the ELWR within a limited timeframe or they will be prohibited from further enrollment at UC San Diego.

If you have questions, please contact the appropriate resource: