Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Entry Level Writing Requirement? 

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

What happens if I don't meet the ELWR prior to my enrollment?

All students who have not previously satisfied the ELWR must take the Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE) or UC San Diego Writing Placement Test (WPT) prior to enrollment at UC San Diego in order to determine their writing course placement.

What course do I take to fulfill the ELWR at UC San Diego?

Based on the placement test results, students are placed in either AWP 3 or AWP 4A. If you are placed in AWP 3, you must pass this class with a C or higher to fulfill ELWR. If you are placed in AWP 4A, you must receive a Pass in AWP 4A and pass AWP 4B with a C or higher to fulfill ELWR.

AWP 10 cannot be used to fulfill the ELWR, but it can fulfill the undergraduate DEI requirement. 

Why was I placed in AWP 4A?

If a student’s placement result indicates a need for extended English language instruction, they will be placed in AWP 4A, the first of two courses they will be required to take. Students who enroll in AWP 4A are required to enroll in AWP 4B in the subsequent quarter with the same instructor and cohort.

Are AWP 3, AWP 4A, and AWP 4B credit-bearing courses?

Yes! In May 2020, UC San Diego’s Academic Senate approved a change that allows UCSD to offer full baccalaureate credit for courses that fulfill the Entry Level Writing Requirement. Unlike AWP 1, 2A, and 2B, students will receive full credit for AWP 3, 4A, and 4B that will count towards their GPA and their graduation units. This change brings UCSD in line with the other UC campuses, supports student progress towards degree completion, and recognizes the meaningful writing instruction that students encounter in these courses.

What happens if I do not pass AWP 3 or AWP 4B with a C or higher?

You must receive a C or higher in AWP 3 or 4B to fulfill ELWR. If you do not pass AWP 4B with a C or higher, you must enroll in AWP 3. If you do not pass AWP 3 with a C or higher, you must repeat AWP 3. You can take AWP 3 a maximum of 3 times.

Students are not allowed to repeat AWP 4B once they have completed it. If you do not pass AWP 4B with a C or higher, you will enroll in AWP 3. Since you are not allowed to repeat AWP 4B, your eventual grade in AWP 3 will override your grade in AWP 4B in your GPA calculation.

All grades you received will remain on your official transcripts. 

What if I get a C- in AWP 3?

Generally, students are not allowed to repeat a course if they receive a C-. However, because the University of California requires students to earn a C or higher to fulfill ELWR, you must repeat AWP 3 if you receive a C- or lower.

How will AWP 3 and AWP 4B factor into my GPA?

Once you receive a C or higher in either AWP 3 or AWP 4B, that course will fulfill ELWR and will factor into your GPA, overriding previous grades for AWP 3 and 4B. In other words, while the course will affect your GPA until you retake it, the final course that you pass with a C or higher will be the only one that is calculated into your final GPA. The only exception to this is if you are found responsible for academic dishonesty; in this case, both the initial course in which you are found responsible for academic dishonesty and the repeated course will be calculated into your GPA. All grades you received will remain on your official transcripts. 

Does repeating AWP 3 or 4A count toward the maximum number or times I am allowed to repeat a course?

No. Courses completed by students to satisfy ELWR are exempt from the general rule for repeating coursework. Repeating AWP 3 and 4A will not count against the 16 units of allowable repeats.

Can I appeal the outcome of my AWPE or AWP course portfolio? 

No. AWPE and portfolio results cannot be appealed except in the rare case that a student has been discriminated against. Please see our policy on appeals.

Contact the Analytical Writing Program if you have any questions.