Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR)

The University of California requires all undergraduate students to demonstrate a minimum proficiency in English composition by meeting the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR).

How do I meet the requirement?

You can meet the requirement by achieving one of the following scores:

  • 30 or better on the ACT, English Language Arts; or
  • 30 or better on the ACT, Combined English/Writing (last administered June 2015); or
  • 680 or better on the College Board SAT Reasoning Test, Writing (last administration January 2016); or
  • 3 or above on either Advanced Placement Examination in English; or
  • 5 or above on an International Baccalaureate Higher Level English A: Literature exam (formerly known as Higher Level English A1 exam); or
  • 6 or above on an International Baccalaureate Standard Level English A: Literature exam (formerly known as Standard Level English A1 exam); or
  • 5 or above on an International Baccalaureate Higher Level English A: Language and Literature exam; or
  • 6 or above on an International Baccalaureate Standard Level English A: Language and Literature exam

The requirement can also be met by earning a grade of "C" or higher in a UC-transferable English composition course from an accredited college or university, prior to enrollment at UCSD (see www.assist.org for UC-transferable English courses).

What if I don't meet any of these requirements?

All students who have not previously satisfied the ELWR must take the UC Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE) prior to enrollment at UC San Diego. Students who do not pass the AWPE are instructed to enroll immediately in the ELWR course in which they are placed (either ELWR 1 or ELWR 2A) during their first quarter at UCSD. If a student’s AWPE test indicates a need for extended English language instruction, they will be placed in ELWR 2A, the first of a two-quarter course designed to offer students more time to develop their English language skills and critical thinking and writing abilities.