TESTING

Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE)

The university has implemented the California State University Trustee Policy for the writing skills graduation requirement for all upper-division students. All students must pass the UDWPE as a requirement for graduation.

General Information

The Trustees of the California State University have directed that "all students entering the California State University System... be required to demonstrate their proficiency with regard to writing skills as a requirement for graduation."

The Trustees further specified that writing proficiency must be demonstrated after a student earns 56 semester units and that a lower division course, such as freshman composition, may not be used to fulfill the requirement. Within these constraints, each California State University campus determines the means to meet the requirement.

Since fall 2006, the format of the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam was changed. The task must enable students "to demonstrate the advanced writing skills of analysis, synthesis and summarization."

Students are expected to read a short text (up to one page) about a current topic of interest. They are asked to briefly identify the main points of the text and to then argue the extent to which they agree or disagree. They are asked to support their position with reasons and examples from their own reading, observations and experience.

The University Catalog describes the CSUN Upper Division Writing Proficiency Requirement and the procedures by which it operates:

The university has implemented the California State University Trustee Policy for the Writing Skills Graduation Requirement for all upper-division students. All students must pass the UDWPE as a requirement for graduation.

  1. Undergraduate students are encouraged to attempt the UDWPE as early as possible after completing 56 units and meeting the Lower Division writing requirement. Students must take the UDWPE no later than the semester in which 75 units are completed. Students who have not taken the UDWPE by the completion of 75 units will have a registration hold placed on their subsequent registration.
  2. The UDWPE shall consist of an essay on an assigned topic evaluated by the faculty.
  3. The evaluation criteria shall include 1) a demonstration of analytic skills, (2) use of relevant evidence to support an argument, (3) effective organization and (4) use of standard English grammar, diction and mechanics.
  4. Transfer students are encouraged to take the UDWPE as early as possible after being admitted for transfer. Transfer students must attempt the examination no later than the semester in which 75 units are completed. Transfer students coming into the university with 75 units already completed must attempt the examination during their first semester at CSUN.
  5. Students who fail the exam shall be permitted to repeat the examination. However, before repeating the exam, it is recommended that students take further steps to improve their writing skills by contacting the Learning Resource Center or completing an appropriate writing course.
  6. Administrations of the examination will be announced on CSUN's UDWPE and Testing Center websites.
  7. The examination will be scheduled at least five times within an academic year.

Students may register for the exam at University Cash Services. According to California State University policy, certification of graduation writing competence shall be transferable from one California State University campus to another, but students must pass the WPE at the campus at which they are enrolled.

Test Dates

The UDWPE will be offered eight times throughout the academic year. The test consists of a 75-minute written essay response to an assigned topic. Including admission and instructions, expect to be in the testing room for up to two hours. Space is limited, and registration closes when capacity is full. Test dates and registration deadlines are as follows:

Test and Registration Dates for Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE)
Test DateRegistration Begins at 8 a.m. onRegistration Ends at 5 p.m. on
September 20, 2014+June 30, 2014September 12, 2014
October 18, 2014September 22, 2014October 10, 2014
November 1, 2014October 13, 2014October 24, 2014
January 10, 2015++November 3, 2014January 2, 2015
March 21, 2015January 12, 2015March 13, 2015
April 25, 2015March 23, 2015April 14, 2015
May 30, 2015+++April 27, 2015May 22, 2015
June 27, 2015June 1, 2015June 19, 2015

+Last day to take exam for summer 2014 undergraduate graduation

++Last day to take exam for fall 2014 undergraduate graduation  

+++ Last day to take exam for spring 2015 undergraduate graduation

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE EXAM PREVIOUSLY SCHEDULED FOR JULY 26, 2014 HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

For information on specific exam time and location, visit the Testing Calendar page.

There are no refunds and no transfers of exam dates. This policy reflects the fact that exam materials, processing and staffing costs are incurred for each examinee registered, whether the examinee actually takes the exam or not. Students who do not attend their exam date must completely re-register for the next exam and pay the full fee. Undergraduate appeals for the UDWPE will be available through the Undergraduate Studies Office in University Hall 215. University policy requires students to take the UDWPE no later than the semester in which 75 units are completed. Students will be prevented from registering for classes in the semester following that in which 75 units were completed until the UDWPE has been attempted. Please remember, the hold will not be removed until the student sits for the exam. The hold will be removed within one week of the exam date. Registration for the exam does not remove the hold. This hold does not block winter or summer registration. If your registration appointment will be prior to an upcoming exam, students should consider submitting the Appeal for an Extension Appeal for an Extension. Questions regarding a student's appeal for an extension are to be directed to the Undergraduate Studies Office in University Hall 215.

Registration

Students have the ability to register for the UDWPE exam online. Students must have available their CSUN user ID, password and CSUN email before accessing the online registration system. The registration process is convenient and easy. It should take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete.

All students must register online for the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam. Space is limited, and registration will close when capacity has been met. Visit the Register for Tests page to register.

There is a $20 charge for the UDWPE. Students must have a credit card (VISA or MasterCard) or a checking account in order to pay and finish the registration process. If a student cannot pay by these methods, they should visit the Testing Center in Bayramian Hall 190 during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Testing Accommodations

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Alternative testing accommodations such as extended time, electronic text, readers or scribes are available through the Disability Resources and Educational Services department to students that have a documented disability and require accommodations to take an exam.

If you are not a registered student with DRES and have a disability, please visit the DRES website for registration procedures.

If you are currently registered with DRES or plan to register, please check the box to request this accommodation. You must contact the DRES office to receive this accommodation request. Accommodations will NOT be made on the day of the exam. The Testing Center reserves the right to review student registration information and ensure eligibility to receive the accommodation requested. Space is limited and registration will close when capacity has been met.

Accommodations for Religious Observances

Non-Saturday testing is available for religious observances. If your religious observance prevents you from taking the exam on the scheduled exam date, please check the box for a religious accommodation. You must contact the Upper Division Proficiency Exam Office at udwpe@csun.edu after online registration has been completed. Additional documentation is required to support your need for accommodations and must be submitted by the deadlines listed above. The Testing Center reserves the right to review student registration information and ensure eligibility to receive the accommodation requested. Space is limited and registration will close when capacity has been met.

Accommodations for English 90

If you are currently enrolled in English 90, please check the box to request this accommodation. Students will have their exam arranged in conjunction with their class. Students are to contact their instructor to confirm exam time and reporting location. The Testing Center reserves the right to review student registration information and to ensure eligibility to receive the accommodation requested. Space is limited and registration will close when capacity has been met.

Printing your Admission Ticket

Go to Register for Tests

Log in to the registration website using your CSUN user ID and password (at the bottom of the page)

  • Select the "View my tests" link
  • Locate the test for which you need an admission ticket
  • Under the action column, select the "Admission Ticket" link

Admission ticket will open in a new window allowing you to print

UDWPE Checklist

Weeks before the test

  • Check your ID

    • Is it an acceptable government-issued ID?

    • Is it current (or has it expire in the last 90 days)?

    • Do your first and last name match the names on your UDWPE admission ticket and your ID exactly? Corrections must be submitted no later than 4:00 PM (PT) on Friday the week prior to testing.

1 week before the test

  • Obtain a clear, plastic zip lock bag (maximum size 1 gallon/3.79 liters) to contain “allowable” items in the testing room.

The day before your scheduled test

  • Print an updated UDWPE admission ticket from the Testing Center Online Registration webpage to ensure that you have the final and correct reporting address for the test.

  • Check the Testing Center’s website for reporting location directions and a map.

  • Review the list of “items allowed” in the zip lock bag.

Test day

  • Report to test location no later than start time of your respective exam.  Allow yourself at least 15 minutes for arrival and parking is recommended.

  • Take only page 1 of the admission ticket to the test.  Leave this checklist at home.

  • Do not take any prohibited items or electronic devices (including cell phones) to the test.  Possession and/or use of such items is grounds for immediate dismissal from the test.

     

If you have any questions, please contact the Testing Center at 818.677.2369 or via email at  .

DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO CONTACT US WITH QUESTIONS.

 

Test Day

Items Needed for Admission Testing

  • Admission Ticket. When you registered for the UDWPE you should have printed out your ticket.  If not, visit the Testing Center Online Registration webpage to do so prior to testing day. You must take the ticket with you to testing. Your ticket will contain the following pertinent information: reporting time, reporting address, test center instructions, and test center procedures.

    The address on the ticket is a reporting address. Test takers are responsible for obtaining directions and arriving at the test location no later than the reporting time. The Testing Center strongly advises you to check the institution's website for specific directions to the test location, as well as for parking information and a campus map. Internet map searches may not provide reliable information specific to the reporting location. On test day where multiple rooms or buildings are used, the address will be a centralized location. You will be directed from there to a specific testing room or building.

    For the administrations of the UDWPE, test takers are required to be at the reporting location no later than their respective test time. Refer to your UDWPE Admission Ticket for the exact test date and reporting time.

    Prior to reporting to the test location, you must carefully read all pages of your admission ticket. Only page one of the admission ticket should be brought to the test. Your ticket may be used only for the test date printed on it.

    All test takers can reprint their UDWPE ticket if it is misplaced. Visit the Testing Center Online Registration webpage and log in with your CSUN username and password.

    The Testing Center recommends that test takers print out their UDWPE Admission Ticket the night before the exam to ensure that they have the most recent and accurate reporting address for their test. Alternate admission tickets will NOT be available on test day. 

NOTE: Test takers should expect the test day to cover up to two hours.

  • Identification. You must have a valid government-issued ID that is current (or has expired within 90 days of your test date) and contains a recent and recognizable photo. Your first and last name on your ID must match exactly the first and last name on your UDWPE Admission Ticket or else you will be denied admission.

    Acceptable common forms of ID include, but are not limited to:

    • Passport book

    • Passport card

    • Driver's license

    • State or province-issued ID card

    • US military ID card (Common Access Card, or CAC)

    • US Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)

    • Canadian Permanent Resident Card

    • National ID card

    • Consular ID card

    • In some cases, a temporary driver's license if that license has both a physical description and a signature and must be presented along with CSUN student identification card

      IMPORTANT: All of the above forms of ID, along with all other forms of ID that may be acceptable, MUST contain a recent and recognizable photo, your first and last name. The ID must sufficiently authenticate your identity to the test center supervisor. Under no circumstances will access be permitted to the test center without proper ID. If you have questions about whether your ID is acceptable, you must contact the Testing Center at least seven (7) days PRIOR to your registered test date and be prepared to submit a scanned copy of your ID for review.

      The following items are NOT acceptable forms of ID for access to the test center: Social Security card, Social Insurance card, birth certificate, credit card (including those with photo), ID expired for more than 90 days prior to your test date, photocopied ID, employee ID (even for government employees), or student ID.

  • Pencils/Pens. Bring to the test center three or four sharpened No. 2 or HB wooden pencils—with good erasers and pens. Pencils or sharpeners will not be supplied at the test center. A pencil/pen or a highlighter may be used to underline passages on the topic sheet. Ink or ballpoint pens are permitted to write your essay in the test booklet only.

Items Allowed in the Test Room

Test takers may bring into the test room only a clear plastic ziplock bag, maximum size one gallon (3.79 liter), which must be stored under the chair. The sealed ziplock bag may contain only the following items: valid ID; wallet; keys; analog (nondigital) wristwatch; medical or feminine hygiene products (including diabetic testing supplies); #2 or HB wooden pencils, a highlighter, erasers, pencil sharpener, pens, and tissues. All items must fit in the ziplock bag such that the bag can be sealed.

Items Allowed on the Desktop

Test takers may only have pencils/pens, erasers, a pencil sharpener, and a highlighter on the desktop. No electronic devices are permitted. Neither are timers of any kind except analog wristwatches.

Items Prohibited in the Testing Location

You may not bring into the testing center or use any of the following:

  • electronic timers of any kind

  • electronic cigarettes

  • digital watches, alarm watches, beeping watches, calculator watches

  • cell phones, pay phones, beepers, pagers, personal digital assistants (PDAs)

  • personal computers

  • calculators

  • photographic or recording devices

  • listening devices

  • headsets, iPods, or other media players

  • books, dictionaries, papers of any kind

  • rulers

  • briefcases, handbags, backpacks of any kind

  • earplugs

  • hats/hoods/beanies (except religious apparel) may not be worn on the head

  • weapons or firearms 

IMPORTANT: Electronic devices, including cell phones, are not permitted in the test room, and the use of any electronic device is strictly prohibited. Any test taker discovered in possession of or using an electronic device, including but not limited to cell phones, pay phones, pagers, iPods™ or other media players, or personal computers, will be dismissed from the test and their test will not be scored. This policy will be enforced from the time test takers arrive at the test until they leave at the conclusion of the test—including restroom breaks. Violations will be grounds for score cancellation and you may be subject to a CSUN investigation. Test center staff assume no responsibility for personal items.

 

Test Center Regulations

  • Seating. The supervisor will assign each test taker a seat. Test takers are not permitted to choose their own seats, rooms, or building.

  • Data sheet signature. You will be required to complete and sign your data sheet attesting that the person taking the test is the person whose name appears on the admission ticket and data sheet are the same and that you are taking the test for the sole purpose of completing the UDWPE requirement. Failure to sign your data sheet could possibly delay the reporting of your score.

  • No latecomers. Under no circumstances will supervisors admit anyone after testing begins.

  • Restroom use. Use the restroom before checking in; once you are checked in, you will not be permitted to leave until after the start of the test.

  • Test administration. The supervisor will tell you when to start and stop work.  Start and stop times will be written on the board.

  • Time. Supervisors will keep the official time. You may take an analog (nondigital) wristwatch to the test center. No other timers—including electronic and countdown timers—are allowed.

  • Testing staff. Testing staff will circulate throughout the testing room to ensure that examinees are working on the exam and no other materials are in use. The supervisor will announce a ten-minutes-remaining warning.

  • Scratch paper. Scratch paper or any other paper is not permitted.

  • Underlining passages. You may use a No. 2 or HB pencil, ballpoint pens or a highlighter to underline passages on the topic sheet.

  • Hats/hoods/beanies. No hats, hoods or beanie may be worn on the head (except items of religious apparel).

  • Handbags, backpacks, briefcases. No handbags, backpacks, briefcases, or bags of any kind—except a maximum-sized one-gallon (3.79 liter) clear plastic ziplock bag (sealed)—are allowed in the test room.

  • Food and drink. Food and drink may not be consumed during the test. Food and drinks are allowed if placed in the sealed ziplock bag in the testing room.

  • Leaving the room. If you find it necessary to leave the room during the test, raise your hand and obtain permission from the room supervisor. Your test materials will be collected and held until your return. You will not be permitted to make up the time. Use the restroom before reporting to the check-in station; once checked in, you will not be permitted to leave until after the start of the test.

  • Test Center Violations/Irregularities. Room supervisors will report to Testing Supervisor any test center violation/irregularity that occurs during the administration.

  • Testing materials. All testing materials, including test booklets, data sheets, and the topic sheets are the property of California State University Northridge Testing Center and must be returned to the room supervisor before dismissal from the test. Under no circumstances may test content or any part of the test be removed, reproduced, or disclosed by any means (e.g., hard copy, verbally, electronically) to any person or entity. Legal action may be taken against anyone who removes or reproduces test materials in any way, or shares CSUN test content.

  • Left-handedness. Room supervisors attempt to accommodate left-handed test takers. However, room supervisors cannot guarantee special desks or tables for you.

  • Creating a disturbance. Disruptive behavior in any form will not be tolerated. The test supervisor has sole discretion in determining what constitutes disruptive behavior. The test supervisor is authorized to dismiss from the test center any test taker who creates a disturbance.

 

Rights and Responsibilities of Test Takers

When you take the UDWPE, it is your responsibility to report all instances of suspected cheating on the part of any test takers and any other inappropriate behavior that becomes known to you.

You are an important part of protecting the UDWPE and ensuring a fair test environment. Cheating impacts everyone. If you believe that you have information about actual or potential test security violations, please contact the Testing Center office immediately.

 

Test Center Violations and Irregularities

If you engage in any test center violation or irregularity during the test—such as creating a disturbance; giving or receiving help; working on or reading the test during a time not authorized by the supervisor; removing test materials or notes from the testing room; taking part in an act of impersonation or other forms of cheating; failing to follow the directions of test center staff; or using books, ear plugs, rulers, papers of any kind, or other aids—you may receive a warning or you may be dismissed from the testing room, have your test score canceled by the Testing Center and you may be subject to other penalties for test center violations or irregularities.

 

Possible Penalties

Test takers who violate test center regulations, including but not limited to those listed below, will be subject to a warning notice, dismissal from the test center, and/or cancellation of their test score. Test takers may have their cases referred for further investigation to the Student Misconduct Board.

 

Possible Test Center Violations

  1. Attempting to take the test for someone else or having someone else take the test for you.
  2. Obtaining or attempting to obtain improper access to the test, a part of the test, or information about the test.
  3. Creating a disturbance. (Disruptive behavior in any form will not be tolerated; the test supervisor has sole discretion in determining what constitutes disruptive behavior.)
  4. Removing or attempting to remove test content from the test center.

    NOTE: Under no circumstances may test content or any part of the test content, including the topic sheet, be removed, reproduced, and/or disclosed by any means (e.g., hard copy, verbally, electronically) to any person or entity. This includes making notes on paper, erasers, or other items and removing them from the test center. Legal action may be taken against anyone who removes test materials and/or reproduces test materials in any way.
  5. Bringing a weapon or firearm into the test center.
  6. Leaving the test center vicinity during the test session or during a restroom break. Test takers may not leave the building or the floor where the test room is located.
  7. Leaving the test room without permission.
  8. Reading, working on, marking, or erasing during unauthorized times, either beyond time limits or before the start of the test in the test booklet.
  9. Copying or other forms of cheating.

 

Electronic Devices: NO-TOLERANCE POLICY

The Testing Center has adopted a no-tolerance policy with regard to possession of electronic devices. Under no circumstances are test takers permitted to bring an electronic device into the test area. Test supervisors and their staff are advised NOT to hold such items and are instructed to dismiss any test taker found in possession of or using an electronic device. Such devices include, but are not limited to:

  • electronic timers of any kind

  • electronic cigarettes

  • digital watches, alarm watches, beeping watches, calculator watches

  • cell phones, pay phones, beepers, pagers, personal digital assistants (PDAs)

  • personal computers

  • calculators

  • photographic or recording devices

  • listening devices

  • headsets, iPods, or other media players

Any test taker found in possession of or using an electronic device will be dismissed from the test center and their score will be cancelled.

 

Test REPORTING LOCATION

Visit our Test Reporting Locations Map for driving directions to all on-campus testing locations.

 

 

 

Viewing UDWPE Scores on SOLAR

Go to CSUN at www.csun.edu.

  • Log in to the Portal
  • Select the "Academics" tab
  • Locate the "Tools for Academic Success" section (has black background)
  • Click on "Check Test Scores"

Scores are available through SOLAR approximately four weeks after the test administration. Scores are not provided over the phone or via email.

Each essay is read and evaluated by at least two faculty members in a carefully planned and supervised reading. Each reader scores the essay on a scale of 1 to 6, and the two scores are combined. The highest possible total score is 12. A score of 8 or above is passing.

Test Scores

Each essay is read and evaluated by at least two faculty members in a carefully planned and supervised reading. Each reader scores an essay on a scale of 1 to 6, and those two scores are combined to give the student an overall score.  The highest possible total score is 12. A score of 8 or above is passing. Each reader uses the sample scoring guide listed below.

Passing Reader Scores

  • 6 — Superior
  • 5 — Strong
  • 4 — Adequate

Non-Passing Reader Scores

  • 3 — Inadequate college writing
  • 2 — Seriously inadequate
  • 1 — Incompetent
  • 0 — Off topic or no response 

Scoring Guide

"6"
— A superior paper addresses the topic in a complex way and executes its plan convincingly and skillfully.

  • Purpose: Shows a sophisticated sense of its own purpose throughout, along with sophisticated organization.
  • Critical Thinking and Logic: Supports its own ideas and addresses opposing ideas, revealing occasional inadequacies in arguments or details of opposing viewpoints.
  • Development: Shows extensive development both in terms of abstractions and details; often offers cogent or imaginative sources of information that go beyond those presented in text.
  • Style: Has variety and sophistication in both sentence structure and diction.
  • Usage and Grammar: Exhibits superiority in written English, though it need not be flawless.


"5"
— A strong paper addresses the topic in a meaningful way and executes a solid plan.

  • Purpose: Shows a clearly identifiable purpose with good organization.
  • Topic: Addresses the topic by competent employment of many issues raised in the reading passage.
  • Critical Thinking and Logic: Supports its own ideas and reveals awareness of opposing ideas.

  • Development: Shows full development

  • Style: Has effective use of sentence structures and vocabulary.
  • Usage and Grammar: Exhibits a command of written English, though there may be flaws.

 
"4" — An adequate paper takes a satisfactory approach.

  • Purpose: Shows a clearly identifiable purpose and adequate organization.
  • Topic: Has engaged the primary issues raised by the reading passage.
  • Critical Thinking and Logic: Supports its own ideas, but may not present awareness of opposing ideas.
  • Development: Offers appropriate and reasonable support, though less specifically.
  • Style: Has adequate use of sentence structures and vocabulary.
  • Usage and Grammar: Exhibits control of written English. Flaws do not detract from essay content. 


"3"
— An inadequate paper fails to develop or address the issue in a satisfactory way, but demonstrates developing skills. It will have one or more of the following attributes:

  • Purpose: Shows some focus but occasionally wavers in its sense of purpose; often shows problems in organization.
  • Topic: Addresses some issues of the reading passage, but some significant aspects may be slighted or ignored.
  • Critical Thinking and Logic: Reveals contradictions or flaws in logic.
  • Development: Has underdeveloped portions or merely echoes and uncritically paraphrases elements of the reading.
  • Style: Has sentences that are difficult to read or seem confused.
  • Usage and Grammar: Exhibits wavering control of written English. Flaws detract from the essay content.


"2"
— A seriously inadequate paper will reveal serious and repeated problems, including confusion as to the task or uncertainty as to the plan. It will have one or more of the following attributes:

  • Purpose: Shows very little sense of focus.
  • Topic: Addresses the reading only marginally or randomly.
  • Critical Thinking and Logic: Shows very little analysis of materials or is often illogical.
  • Development: Is significantly underdeveloped; often avoids expansion or explanation of ideas throughout the essay.
  • Style: Has sentences that pose significant difficulties for readers; frequently misuses vocabulary.
  • Usage and Grammar: Exhibits persistent problems in grammar and mechanics.


"1"
— An incompetent paper will fail to communicate. It will have one or more of the following attributes:

  • Purpose: Shows no sense of purpose or direction; often incoherent.
  • Topic: Does not address the reading or exhibits little understanding of the writing task.
  • Critical Thinking and Logic: Reveals chaotic or nonexistent analysis of materials and serious problems in logic.
  • Development: Is radically underdeveloped. Essays in this category make little attempt at offering evidence or argument.
  • Style: Has very few sentences that are coherent or clear.
  • Usage and Grammar: Exhibits pervasive errors that regularly prevent understanding.

Resources