Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR)

The University of California requires all undergraduate students to demonstrate a minimum proficiency in English composition through 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?

If you do not meet any of these requirements, you must take the Analytical Writing Placement Examination, or AWPE, prior to matriculation at UCSD. For more information on what that exam is, when it's offered, how to sign up for it, and what to do if you don't pass it, see our AWPE information and visit the AWPE website.

What happens if I do not pass the AWPE?

If you do not meet the requirements listed above or score high enough on the AWPE, you must take an analytical writing course: either ELWR 1 or ELWR 2A-2B.  You will be placed into one of these courses based on the results of the AWPE.  Generally speaking, native English speakers take ELWR 1 and English Language Learners take ELWR 2A-2B.  Once you submit a successful portfolio, you have fulfilled the ELWR.

How many chances to I get to pass ELWR 1 or ELWR 2A-2B?

If you are placed in ELWR 1, you have three consecutive quarters to fulfill your ELWR, with fall term counted as quarter number one. You may also take ELWR 1 in Summer Session. Summer Session does not count as one of your three quarters in fulfilling the ELWR.

If you are an ELL student, you may be placed in ELWR 2A-2B prior to attempting ELWR 1. You may also take ELWR 2A-2B in Summer Session. Summer Session does not count as one of your quarters in fulfilling the ELWR. At the end of ELWR  2B, you will submit your portfolio for evaluation. If your portfolio demonstrates readiness for College Writing, you will pass directly to College Writing. If your portfolio does not demonstrate readiness for College Writing, you will enroll in ELWR 1 the following term. Students will not be able to repeat the 2A-2B sequence. You can take up to three consecutive quarters of ELWR 1 as outlined above.

For further information about the Analytical Writing Program, please contact Grace Aspiras at gaspiras@ucsd.edu or you may visit the Analytical Writing Program office, 227 Literature Building. Office Hours: Monday – Thursday, 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

How do I enroll in my analytical writing course?

To enroll in the course, log on to TritonLink and add a class. You will find ELWR courses listed under the MyTritonLink Schedule of Classes.

I couldn't sign up for my analytical writing course in Fall Quarter 2017 because all of the sections were full. What do I do?

We may not have sufficient space for ELWR students in Fall Quarter 2017.  If all ELWR sections are full, you must see Grace Aspiras in Literature Building 227.  She will confirm that there are no available seats, and forward your name to your college.  If you fail to enroll and do not confirm with Grace Aspiras that all sections are full, you will have wasted one quarter of your eligibility in which to fulfill the Entry Level Writing Requirement.

You must then enroll in ELWR in winter quarter.  If you are unable to find an open section, see Grace Aspiras immediately.

Does my analytical writing course count towards my graduation requirements?

Under current Academic Senate regulations, the Analyical Writing courses cannot be counted towards the graduation requirements. The course units do count as workload credit towards the minimum progress requirement and eligibility for financial assistance.