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?

Students may meet the requirement in any of the following ways:

  • Score 30 or higher on the ACT, English Language Arts; or
  • Score 30 or higher on the ACT, Combined English/Writing (last administered June 2015); or
  • Score 680 or higher on the SAT, Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing (effective only for students who applied to UC in November 2017 and who enroll in fall 2018); or
  • Score 680 or higher on the SAT, Writing section of the Reasoning Test (last administered January 2016); or
  • Score 3 or higher on Advanced Placement Examination in English (Language or Literature); or
  • Score 5 or higher on an International Baccalaureate Higher Level English A: Literature exam (formerly known as Higher Level English A1 exam); or
  • Score 6 or higher on an International Baccalaureate Standard Level English A: Literature exam (formerly known as Standard Level English A1 exam); or
  • Score 5 or higher on an International Baccalaureate Higher Level English A: Language and Literature exam; or
  • Score 6 or higher on an International Baccalaureate Standard Level English A: Language and Literature exam; or

Students may also meet the requirement 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 UC San Diego (see ASSIST for UC Transfer Admission Eligibility Courses/UC-E English Composition).

What if I don't meet the requirement?

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 AWP course in which they are placed (either AWP 1 or AWP 2A) during their first quarter at UC San Diego. If a student’s AWPE test indicates a need for extended English language instruction, they will be placed in AWP 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.