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Write well at UC.

Writing effectively is an important part of the undergraduate experience. The Entry Level Writing Requirement is designed to ensure you are prepared to succeed at any UC campus.

How do I satisfy the Entry Level Writing Requirement?

The University of California’s Entry Level Writing Requirement is a writing proficiency expectation for first year success. The ability to read carefully, analyze what you’ve read, and write effective essays is an essential part of thriving at UC. All students entering UC as freshmen must fulfill the Entry Level Writing Requirement, either by demonstrating proficiency through qualifying test scores, UC-transferable college English composition courses or by following your campus’s instructions for meeting the Entry Level Writing Requirement.

Visit your campus web page to learn about campus-specific guidelines for meeting the ELWR: UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Merced, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Santa Cruz.

Note: The ELWR must be satisfied either before beginning courses on a UC campus or during the first three quarters or two semesters of enrollment. Check with your campus if you have questions about the ELWR time limit.

ELWR qualifying test scores

Score 30 or better on ACT English Language Arts, or 63 or better on ACT English + Reading.

Score 680 or higher on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section of the SAT. Please note: The digital SAT Reading and Writing section score has not been approved to meet the ELWR. 

Score 3 or higher on the College Board Advanced Placement Examination in English (Language or Literature) or Seminar. 

Score of 3 or higher on the College Board Advanced Placement assessment in Research. 

Score 5 or higher on an International Baccalaureate Higher Level Examination in English (Language A only) or 6 or higher on a Standard Level Examination in English (Language A only).

Test score information

While UC will not consider SAT or ACT test scores when making admission decisions or awarding Regents and Chancellor’s scholarships, test scores can be used for course placement after you enroll. If you have a qualifying test score that satisfies the Entry Level Writing Requirement that you have not reported to UC, you can arrange for the testing agency to send your scores to your UC campus. Official scores from testing agencies are due by July 15.

Note: The ACT English alone will not fulfill the ELWR. For the ACT English + Reading scores, the combined scores must come from the same exam sitting.

AP Exam

3 or above on either the AP English Language and Composition exam, the AP English Literature and Composition exam, AP Seminar exam or AP assessment in Research. AP and IB scores should be sent to your intended UC campus by July 15.


International Baccalaureate Exam

Score 5 or higher on an International Baccalaureate Higher Level Examination or 6 or higher on the Standard Level Examination in English (Language A only).

ELWR Qualifying College Courses

Students may also meet the requirement by earning a grade of "C" or better in a UC-transferable English composition course from a college or university accredited by one of the seven former regional accreditation agencies, prior to enrollment at UC. The course must be worth 3 semester or 4 quarter units.