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Athabasca University

Academic Writing Assessment

AWA Diagnostic Assessment

The Academic Writing Assessment (AWA) is a requirement for all new MA-IS Program Students. As part of the Application process into the MA-IS Program, all applicants must complete an Academic Writing Assessment (AWA) and comply with the results. There are no exceptions to this; all students must complete the assessment.

Success at the graduate level requires reading and writing skills that many MA-IS applicants may not have had an opportunity to develop or to practice for a number of years. To help applicants determine their level of proficiency in this area, we have developed an Academic Writing Assessment (AWA) writing diagnostic assessment. The AWA is designed to help us decide if applicants are well enough prepared to commence graduate studies, or whether they need to develop or refine their writing and composition skills before commencing, or while in the early stages of, their studies. We are committed to helping our students succeed, and every effort will be made to ensure that appropriate assistance is provided to those who need to develop or refine their writing and composition skills.

The AWA is located at

  • Username: maisawa
  • Password: awa0107

The assessment will take approximately 90 to 120 minutes to complete and cannot be saved. Upon completion of the AWA, your answers will not be saved to your computer and the cache will be cleared as soon as you select "Submit Academic Writing Assessment" or leave the web page. As a result, you may wish to copy and save lengthy responses to a text file prior to submitting. Once you have completed and submitted the AWA, a message confirming receipt of your test will appear. AWA's are marked in the order they are received; results could take up to 2 months depending on processing times.

Students will receive an assessment of a 1, 2, 3 or 4. Assessments 2 and 3 will require students to work with a writing coach; assessment 4 will require students to complete a recommended undergraduate English course AND/OR MAIS 606 Academic Writing for Graduate Students.

Should it be determined that a student needs to further develop his/her writing and composition skills, a Writing Coach may be assigned to assist the student. Although the Writing Coach may change from time to time the role remains the same; to help MAIS Program students bring their writing skills up to the graduate level.

For more information on the Write Coaches, we encourage students to visit the Athabasca University Write Site. Students will find valuable information on various writing resources on this site.

Updated September 15 2016 by Student & Academic Services

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