Entry-Level Writing Requirement
The Entry-Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) is a University of California reading and writing proficiency requirement that all first-year students must satisfy. This requirement is not an admissions requirement. The ELWR must be satisfied either before beginning courses on a UC campus or during the first year of enrollment. For information about individual high schools’ success rates in preparing their students to satisfy the ELWR, please go to the UC Office of the President website.
There are a variety of ways incoming students can satisfy the ELWR both before or after they officially matriculate (enroll full-time).
Ways to Satisfy ELWR
Students may satisfy the ELWR by any one of the following ways:
- 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 SAT, Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing; or
- 680 or better on the SAT Reasoning Test, Writing (last administered 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; or
- Satisfactory score on the UC Analytical Writing Placement Exam
- The requirement can also be met by earning a grade of C or higher in a transferable English composition course offered by a college or university.
Students who have not satisfied the ELWR before beginning as full-time students must enroll in one of UCR’s Entry-Level Writing courses during their first quarter on campus. The Director of the University Writing Program determines the appropriate course based on the students' AWPE exams, and placements are made available to students electronically.
- Complete with a C or better one of the following summer courses offered on the UCR campus before beginning classes in the fall.
- A seven-week, five-unit ENGL004 course at UCR from July through September.
- A seven-week, ten-unitHighlander Early Start Academy program at UCR from July through September; Students will take English 4, an Oral Communication course, and an Early Start Seminar.
- Complete with a grade of C or better an Entry-Level Writing Requirement course during the summer at another UC campus. Check UC campus' home pages for summer school information.
- Complete with a grade of C or better a 4 quarter-unit or 3 semester-unit college-level course in English composition (equivalent to UCR ENGL 001A), taken at another institution before the student enters UCR, and judged acceptable by the Office of Admissions. To find out whether a course at your local campus is acceptable, go to www.assist.org. Passing this course satisfies both the ELWR and the ENGL 001A requirements. Students who choose this option should have reason to believe they can pass an advanced writing course. This option is not available to students after they begin at UCR as full-time students.
- Complete with a grade of C or better a preparatory writing course at a CSU or community college campus, and then retake and pass the AWPE at UCR in September. The course should be completed in time to submit evidence of a passing grade to the University Writing Program Office by the start of the Fall Quarter. Students should submit evidence of passing a passing grade along with a note including their name, student ID number, and a request to be added to the September exam roster. Once the grade report is approved, students receive permission to retake the AWPE. (A photocopy of a grade report is sufficient and can be emailed, along with a note, to Sheena Thrush (UWP Counselor), at email@example.com. This option is not available to students after they begin at UCR as full-time students.
If students have not satisfied the requirement upon entrance as full-time students, they must satisfy the ELWR within three quarters of full-time enrollment.
Students who have not satisfied the ELWR after three quarters of university residence (three quarters of enrollment during the regular academic year) are not normally eligible to enroll for a fourth quarter at the University of California.
For students placed in BSWT001 or BSWT003, this three-quarter residence rule begins after satisfactory completion of BSWT003 or the start of their fourth quarter of regular enrollment at UCR, whichever comes first.
Q: Why is it important to satisfy the Entry-Level Writing Requirement before arriving on campus in the fall?
A: By doing so, students can begin their first quarter enrolled in the required English Composition sequence (ENGL 001ABC), thus taking a step toward finishing their undergraduate degrees within four years. There are a variety of ways to satisfy the ELWR before beginning in the fall, several of which are summer opportunities.
Q: Why is it important to take the UC placement examination (AWPE) in May?
A: Testing early gives students placement information in ample time for them to exercise the option of enrolling in summer school if their results are unsatisfactory. It also helps ensure that all students will be able to register for their fall quarter courses when they come to UCR during the summer Highlander Orientation.
Q: I do not live in California. Must I take the AWPE in May?
A: No. The University Writing Program will offer make-up exams for international and out-of-state students. Please view the Analytical Writing Placement Exam section above for more information about make-up exam test dates.
Q: If I do not pass the AWPE, what can I do to satisfy the requirement during the summer, before I become a full-time student at UCR?
A: If you did not pass the May AWPE, you can enroll in an ELWR course during Summer Session E. Session E is deliberately scheduled after most of the Highlander Orientation sessions to accommodate students who decide, as a result of their Orientation experience, to satisfy the writing requirement during the summer.
Q: How do I register for UCR’s summer Highlander Orientation?
A: Register online at orientation.ucr.edu.
Q: How do I find the summer school schedules for preparatory writing courses available at community colleges and the CSU campuses?
A: Go to the home page of each of your local community college and/or CSU campuses and follow the prompts to the summer schedule. Look for courses in basic writing or preparatory writing. Remember that on this pathway you take a preparatory English course, pass with a C or better, and then retake the AWPE at UCR in September. For complete information about this option, view the ‘Summer Options’ listed above.
Q: How do I find what courses will satisfy the ELWR and earn transfer units for the first course in the Freshman Composition sequence?
A: If you are considering taking a course that will satisfy the ELWR and earn transfer units for ENGL 001A, use www.assist.org to identify these courses at community colleges and CSU campuses. For approved courses from other colleges or universities, check with the UCR Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
Q: I plan to take, or have already taken, the AP Examination in English. Why do I need to take the AWPE in May?
A: If by April 1 the University has not received evidence that you have passed the AP exam, you will receive a ticket for the May AWPE. We recommend that you take the May test to increase your chances of passing the Entry-Level Writing Requirement. A passing score on either exam (the AP or the AWPE) is enough to satisfy the writing requirement. However, a score of 3 or better on the AP examination will enable you to be exempted from one or two of the required Freshman Composition courses (ENGL 001A, ENGL 001B).
Q: Is there a fee for the Systemwide Analytical Writing Placement Examination?
A: Yes, there is a $110 fee for the Analytical Writing Placement Examination. You may go online and pay your fee with a credit card. This fee will be partially or completely waived if you have already received a waiver of your UC application fees.
Q: What if I take ENGL 004 and do not earn a “C” or above?
A: You will not have satisfied the Entry-Level Writing Requirement and will need to repeat the course in the following quarter. Register for the same English course again via R'Web during open enrollment. R'Web can be accessed on the web at https://rweb.ucr.edu.
Q: How will I know if I satisfied the Entry-Level Writing Requirement or if I need to repeat the course the next quarter?
A: Check your grades on R'Web. You will be able to see if you passed your English course with a grade of “C” or above. If you receive a “C” or above in ENGL 004, you will have fulfilled the Entry-Level Writing Requirement and can register for the first course in the Freshman series of English Courses, ENGL 001A (Beginning Composition). If you received a “C-“ or lower as a grade in the ENGL 004 course, you will need to repeat the course to try to attain a “C” or above.
Q: What if I do not want to repeat ENGL 004?
A: You must repeat the course. You have three quarters of academic residence to satisfy the Entry-Level Writing Requirement. After this time, students who have not satisfied the Entry-Level Writing Requirement are not typically allowed to register for a fourth quarter.
Q: Will financial aid apply to my fees when I repeat my English course?
A: Yes, full-time students eligible for financial aid will have their fees paid in accordance with their financial aid package allocations for the repetition of ENGL 004.
Q: What if I need to talk to someone about my schedule?
A: Students who have declared majors should go to the administrative offices of their major department or to the College office. Those students who are undeclared are linked with one of the three Colleges and should go to that College to obtain academic advising.
The locations of the College Student Affairs Offices are:
- College of Engineering – Student Services Building, 1228
- College of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences – HMNSS Building, 3400
- College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences – Pierce Hall, 1223
- Graduate School of Education – Sproul Hall, 1207
- School of Public Policy – CHASS INTS, 4133
Q: How many times can I repeat ENGL 004 if I do not receive a grade of “C” or above? Will I need to pay extra fees?
A: First year UCR students have their first three (3) quarters to earn a satisfactory grade in ENGL 004. Students who have not fulfilled the Entry-Level Writing Requirement by the end of this time period will not be allowed to register in courses for the following (fourth) quarter. No extra fees will be charged for repeating the course during a student’s first three quarters of enrollment.
Q: Is there some place I can go to get help if I find I am having difficulty in ENGL 004?
A: Talk with your instructor. Make use of office hours. You can also go to the UCR Academic Resource Center. The ARC provides assistance through an English “drop-in” tutoring program. UCR students are available to help you with your work. To check the drop-in tutoring hours, please consult the ARC website, http://arc.ucr.edu. The ARC website also explains the many programs offered to assist students. They are there to help you.
Q: Who can help me if I am having financial questions?
A: You can stop by the Financial Aid Office, Student Services Building, between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, or call the office during these hours at 951-827-3878. For the UCR policy on remedial and repeated courses, see the Financial Aid website at www.finaid.ucr.edu and select “Maintaining Eligibility.”
The Financial Aid office assists students with meeting educational expenses that cannot be met from personal resources. For more information on grants, loans, employment, scholarships and corresponding application deadlines, go to finaid.ucr.edu or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.