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 register for the exam online. 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.

UDWPE Paper-Based Exam

The UDWPE format changed in March 2017. 

For the past two years, we have piloted a new UDWPE format on a limited basis, and now have permanently transitioned to that new format beginning March 2017. A sample prompt and sample student responses will be posted in early January. The Learning Resource Center will continue to provide workshops and boot camps to help students prepare; space will be limited, so make sure to check the Learning Resource Center website for dates and sign-up instructions. 

The UDWPE will be offered seven times throughout the academic year.  The test consists of a 2 hour written essay response to an assigned topic. Including admission and instructions, expect to be in the testing room for up to two and a half hours.  A limited number of computer-based exams will be offered each time; please see "UDWPE Computer-Based Exam" listed below.

Space is limited and registration closes when capacity is full. After registering online, remember to print your admission ticket.  This ticket will give you important information about when and where to report for the test, as well as important information regarding what is and is not allowed inside the test building.

Test and Registration Dates for Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE Paper/Pencil)
Test DateRegistration Begins at 8 a.m. onRegistration Ends at 5 p.m. onExam Times
November 18, 2017CLOSED - FULLCLOSED- FULL8 a.m., 11 a.m. or 2 p.m.
January 20, 2018++November 20, 2017January 12, 20188 a.m., 11 a.m. or 2 p.m.
February 24, 2018January 22, 2018February 16, 20188 a.m., 11 a.m. or 2 p.m.
March 31, 2018February 26, 2018March 23, 20188 a.m., 11 a.m. or 2 p.m.
May 5, 2018+++April 2, 2018April 27, 20188 a.m., 11 a.m. or 2 p.m.

++ Last day to take exam for fall 2017 undergraduate graduation.

+++ Last day to take exam for spring 2018 undergraduate graduation.

Additional Information

Students found taking the exam more than once during the same administration will be referred for student disciplinary action. 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.

UDWPE Computer-Based Exam

The UDWPE will be offered seven times throughout the academic year. A limited number of computer-based exams will be offered each year. The test consists of a 2 hour written essay response to an assigned topic. Including admission and instructions, expect to be in the testing room for up to two and half hours.

Space is limited and registration closes when capacity is full. After registering online, remember to print your admission ticket.  This ticket will give you important information about when and where to report for the test, as well as important information regarding what is and is not allowed inside the test building.

Test and Registration Dates for Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE Computer Based)
Test DateRegistration Begins at 8 a.m. onRegistration Ends at 5 p.m. onExam Times
January 16, 2018++November 20, 2017January 9, 201810 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.
January 17, 2018++November 20, 2017January 10, 201810 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.
January 18, 2018++November 20, 2017January 11, 201810 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.
January 19, 2018++November 20, 2017January 12, 201810 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.
February 19, 2018January 22, 2018February 12, 201810 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.
February 20, 2018January 22, 2018February 13, 201810 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.
February 21, 2018January 22, 2018February 14, 201810 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.
February 22, 2018January 22, 2018February 15, 201810 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.
February 23, 2018January 22, 2018February 16, 201810 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.
March 26, 2018February 26, 2018March 19, 201810 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.
March 27, 2018February 26, 2018March 20, 201810 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.
March 28, 2018February 26, 2018March 21, 201810 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.
March 29, 2018February 26, 2018March 22, 201810 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.
April 30, 2018+++April 2, 2018April 23, 201810 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.
May 1, 2018+++April 2, 2018April 24, 201810 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.
May 2, 2018+++April 2, 2018April 25, 201810 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.
May 3, 2018+++April 2, 2018April 26, 201810 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.
May 4, 2018+++April 2, 2018April 27, 201810 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.

++ Last day to take exam for fall 2017 undergraduate graduation.

+++ Last day to take exam for spring 2018 undergraduate graduation.

Additional Information

Students found taking the exam more than once during the same administration will be referred for student disciplinary action. 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.

Appeal for Time Extension

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

Registration opens online at www.csun.edu/testing at 8:00 a.m. on the first day of registration and closes at 5:00 p.m. on the last day of registration.  SPACE IS LIMITED AND REGISTRATION MAY CLOSE EARLY IF CAPACITY IS MET.

Students have the ability to register for the UDWPE exam online. There are now two formats to choose from to take the UDWPE.  Students are allowed to take only one (1) option during a given administration. Students found taking the exam more than once during the same administration will be referred for student disciplinary action.

  1. Paper exam

  2. Computer exam

There are limited computers available for each administration of the test.  Students should register early if they want to use a computer. Once the computer spaces are allocated, only the paper exam option will be available.  Please note: the computer UDWPE may be held on a different date/time.  Students registered for the computer UDWPE will not be able to make changes to their registration once it has been submitted.

To register 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.

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 reasons. If your religious convictions prevent you from taking the exam on the scheduled exam date, please check the box for a religious accommodation during the registration process. Additional documentation is required to support your need for accommodations. After registering for the exam, you must contact the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam office at   for further instructions.

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.

Accommodations for Tseng College MPA Cohorts

If you are currently enrolled in CSUN's online Master of Public Administration Cohort for Executives through Tseng College, please check the box to request this accommodation. Students will have their exam arranged in conjunction with their cohort. Students are to contact their cohort 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. If it cannot be confirmed you are currently enrolled in this program, you will be reassigned to the Saturday exam administration.

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 My Registrations tab

  • Locate the test for which you need an admission ticket

  • Click on the button, Show Ticket

  • Print ticket

UDWPE Checklist

Weeks before the test

  • Check your ID

    • Does you name (first and last only) on your photo ID match the name on your UDWPE admission ticket? Corrections must be submitted to the Admissions & Records Office. If you file a name change, be sure to notify the Testing Center.

1 week before the test

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

  • 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 clear plastic 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 administration 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.

    Identification. You must have a photo ID that contains a recent and recognizable photo containing your first and last name. 

    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

    • CSUN ID

    • 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: Photo identification MUST contain a recent and recognizable photo, your first and last name. 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 for review.

Acceptable ID's include: CSUN ID, Driver's license, Military, National, Passport, etc.

The following items are NOT acceptable forms of ID for access to the test center: Social Security card, Social Insurance card, birth certificate, photocopied 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 bag, maximum size one gallon (3.79 liter), which must be stored under the chair. The sealed clear bag may contain only the following items: valid ID; wallet; keys; analog (non-digital wristwatch; medical or feminine hygiene products (including diabetic testing supplies); #2 or HB wooden pencils, a highlighter, erasers, pencil sharpener, pens, and tissues. Beverage in a clear plastic container or juice box (maximum size: 20 oz/591 ml)—no aluminum cans or metal containers permitted. All items must fit in the clear 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

  • 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) must be removed when entering the room and placed at the front of the room until completion of the exam

  • weapons or firearms 

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.

  • Bringing a weapon or firearm into the test center.
  • 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.
  • Leaving the test room without permission.
  • Reading, working on, marking, or erasing during unauthorized times, either beyond time limits or before the start of the test in the test booklet.
  • 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

Resources