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College Dean’s Office Information

Placement Exams

Students studying outside the Chemistry lecture hall.
Students studying outside the Chemistry lecture hall.

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

  • Mathematics
  • Foreign language
  • English

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

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

Math Placement Exam
*This exam is not offered during Orientation.

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

First-year students will have the opportunity to take the exam online during assigned times prior to Orientation. Test scores will be available during Orientation. The Math Placement exam is administered by the UC Davis Mathematics Department. For more information about the Math Placement Exam, please visit the UC Davis Mathematics website.

Chemistry Placement Exam
*This exam is not offered during Orientation.

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. Visit the UC Davis Chemistry website for more information about enrollment in the General Chemistry Series.

First-year students will have the opportunity to take the exam online prior to Orientation. Test scores will be available during Orientation. 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
(Spanish, French, German, Russian, Italian, Japanese and Chinese exams only)

The Foreign Language Placement Exam measures a student’s ability in a foreign language. Although this exam is not mandatory, it is beneficial to the student who wishes to continue in the 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 the first level of a foreign language they have not taken before do not need to take this exam.

The Japanese and Italian placement exams consist of an oral component that must be scheduled after taking the computerized portion.

All placement exams are offered during Fall Welcome and can also be scheduled by going to the website for the UC Davis Languge 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.  Students participating in International and National Orientation may take the AWPE during Orientation or during Fall Welcome.

Entry Level Writing Requirement for ESL Students

International and domestic students who speak a language other than English at home, and who have not satisfied the ELWR will be required to take the English Language Placement Exam (ELPE). Follow the steps on the International and Academic English website to satisfy this requirement if you speak English as a Second Language (ESL).

Need Help Registering for Classes?

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

  • Schedule Builder - use this site to identify open courses, enroll in classes, adjust your class schedule, view and print your class schedule,  change your address, and much more. Students will be prompted to enter their Kerberos Login and Passphrase. 
  • Online General Catalog – locate class descriptions and major program requirements.
  • Final Exam Schedule - review the final exam schedule for all classes.