Advising Resources for Fall Orientation

College Dean’s Office Information

Placement Exams

Placement exams are required before students register for the following courses:

  • Calculus
  • Foreign language
  • English

A placement exam for chemistry is also offered as one pathway for enrolling in general chemistry.

Transfer Students: In some situations, transfer students may need to take a placement exam to start the introductory level of a subject (i.e. calculus, chemistry, or a foreign language). Students who need to complete a placement exam should review the details listed below.

First-Year Students: All first-year students should expect to take two placement exams prior to course registration.

Placement exams are also offered during Fall Welcome and the first week of each academic term. For placement exam accommodations during Orientation, contact the Student Disability Center in advance at (530) 752-3184.

Math Placement Exam

*Online Exam

The Math Placement Exam is required of all students who intend to enroll in Mathematics 12, 16A, 17A, 21A, 21AH, 36, or 67, or Chemistry 2A or 2AH, regardless of SAT or AP scores.

Students will have the opportunity to take the exam during a specific testing window. Review the UC Davis Mathematics website to receive information and to register for a testing window.  

Chemistry Placement Examination
*Online Exam

The Chemistry Placement Exam is one of the pathways to place into general chemistry (Chemistry 2A or 2AH) and is offered in an online format by the UC Davis Department of Chemistry.

Students will have the opportunity to take the exam online during a specific testing window. Review the Department of Chemistry website to receive important information including the pathways into Chemistry 2A and 2AH and to register for a testing window. The test may only be taken once. Basic, non-graphing calculators can be used during this exam.

Foreign Language Placement Examination

This exam measures a student’s ability in a foreign language. Although this exam is not mandatory, it is beneficial to students who wish to continue in a language studied in high school or for students with prior language experience.

The results of the exam place the student in the appropriate course, equal to the student’s level of comprehension. The test may be taken as an advisory guide for further study, and to also fulfill or "pass out" of a college language requirement completely by placing at the fourth-quarter level or higher. Students enrolling in a foreign language they have not taken before do not need to take this exam.

Exams are offered in Spanish, French, German and Russian on a regular basis. Note that the Japanese placement exam takes a significant length of time and that the Chinese placement exam is only offered directly through the department. The Italian placement exam is subject to space availability.

All placement exams are offered during Fall Welcome and can also be scheduled by going to the website for the UC Davis Language Center.

Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE)

The university requires every undergraduate student to demonstrate college-level proficiency in English composition. Satisfaction of the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) is a prerequisite to all other undergraduate courses in English. The requirement, as determined by the Undergraduate Admissions Office, may be met in a number of ways (see Entry Level Writing Program ).

One way of satisfying the requirement is by writing a passing essay on the Analytical Writing Placement Examination (AWPE). This exam may be taken only once prior to enrollment at the university. It is offered in the spring (early May) at local sites and high schools throughout California; a student who has not already satisfied the requirement must take this examination. Although not offered during Orientation, students may take the AWPE on Monday, January 4, 2016 at 5:45-8:00 P.M. Students must bring a valid photo ID, a pen, and proof of payment (exam fee or exam fee waiver). You can obtain the proof of payment or waiver by going to the AWPE website and following the directions for payment. Fee is $110. Note that this fee is partially or completely waived if you have already received a waiver of your UC application fees. Results will be emailed to students the day following the exam.

Need Help Registering for Classes?

Refer to the following sites to assist you with the process: