The AEPA Writing™ test is a proficiency writing test used as screening or additional screening for incoming graduate students and postdocs at the University of Chicago (UChicago). These potential test takers might not have an official standardized English test score, such as the TOEFL or IELTS, or might be requested to take an additional writing test by their department because of their insufficient official standardized English test score. Test takers who do not meet the acceptable rating required by their department are recommended to take the Written Communications courses offered by the English Language Institute (ELI).

The test aims to assess test takers’ ability to use English in a well-structured, coherent way with a good command of vocabulary, grammar, and academic writing conventions to (1) summarize and synthesize information presented from different external written sources and (2) state and support arguments sufficiently using information from those external sources as well as their own knowledge.

Test Format & Delivery

Duration: 90 minutes. Test takers are also required to fill in a short form before the test.

• Test takers have access to the texts and notes while writing.
• Test takers may paraphrase language from the texts but may not quote them directly.
• No dictionaries or other writing assistance is allowed.
The test is delivered online with live proctoring. Test takers are required to have access to (1) a computer with Crome/Firefox/Safari browser, and (2) Zoom. Only one monitor is allowed.


Test takers will receive a score report which details their overall performance as well as their performance on each of the following categories: Summarization & Argumentation, Organization, Grammar & Lexis, Source use, and Register.