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). This is one of the undergraduate degree requirements.
How do I meet the ELWR?
Students may meet the requirement in any of the following ways, prior to enrollment at UC San Diego:
- Score 30 or higher on the ACT, English Language Arts (ELA) Note: ACT English cannot be used to fulfill the ELWR.
- Score 30 or higher on the ACT, Combined English/Writing (last administered June 2015)
- Score 680 or higher on the SAT, Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (effective only for students who enrolled in Fall 2018 or after)
- Score 680 or higher on the SAT, Writing section of the Reasoning Test (last administered January 2016)
- Score 3 or higher on Advanced Placement Examination in English (Language or Literature)
- Score 5 or higher on an International Baccalaureate Higher Level English A: Literature exam (formerly known as Higher Level English A1 exam)
- Score 5 or higher on an International Baccalaureate Higher Level English A: Language and Literature exam
- Score 6 or higher on an International Baccalaureate Standard Level English A: Literature exam (formerly known as Standard Level English A1 exam)
- Score 6 or higher on an International Baccalaureate Standard Level English A: Language and Literature exam
Students may also meet the requirement by earning a grade of "C" or better 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).
Can other exams be used to meet the ELWR?
No. TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS, Cambridge English exams, iGCSE, GCE, or other types of language assessments cannot be used to meet the ELWR.
Can the college composition course I took outside of California be used to meet the ELWR?
It depends. If you earned a C or better on a college composition course in other states in the U.S. prior to enrollment at UC San Diego, contact the Analytical Writing Program at firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information. We will let you know whether it is a qualifying course.
- College name and the state it is located in
- Course name and course number
- Letter grade earned
If you took a college composition course outside of the U.S., it cannot be used to fulfill the ELWR.
What should I do if I meet the ELWR?
If you have met the ELWR but have not submitted your official scores/transcripts to the Office of Admissions at University of California San Diego, do so by the following deadlines:
- College transcripts*: July 1
- AP or IB scores: July 15
- SAT or ACT scores: July 15
*High school transcripts displaying college composition courses will not be accepted. You must submit the official college transcripts in order to clear the ELWR.
Review your "Triton Checklist" to see if your official records are displayed. Self-reported scores will not be accepted. Note that it is students' responsibility to ensure that their scores/transcripts are received by UC San Diego.
What happens if I don't meet the ELWR?
All students who have not previously met the ELWR must take the 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.
What if I'm a transfer student?
All transfer students must complete two UC-transferable English composition courses prior to their transfer. So if you are a transfer student, you have met the ELWR and do not need to take the AWPE.