Entry Level Writing and the AWPE

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some changes in how we place UCSB students in your initial writing class. Some of you may have already satisfied the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) through SAT or AP test scores or other means. The bulleted list below describes all of the ways that ELWR can be satisfied; if you are not sure whether or not you have satisfied ELWR, contact your college (College of Creative Studies, College of Engineering, or College of Letters and Science) advising office.

If you haven't yet satisfied ELWR, you can choose one of two following options, either of which will help us place you in the best writing course to support your success at UCSB. 

  1. Take the UC Analytical Writing Placement Exam AWPE exam, which has been rescheduled as an online exam being held on Saturday, June 20 at noon (PST). More information about registration and fees is available at the AWPE website
  2. Take our new local placement program, Writing Placement 2020, which asks you to read about your course options and answer several questions; based on your responses, you will receive a placement result. This program is free, will take approximately one hour, and will be available starting in late June. If you have not satisfied ELWR or taken the AWPE, you will be contacted via email about registering for this placement program. Writing Placement 2020 will be offered during the summer as well as once a quarter on campus, and a student may fulfill the Entry Level Writing Requirement with an appropriate score.

Students may take either the AWPE or Writing Placement 2020; neither may be repeated.

Please contact placement@writing.ucsb.edu with any questions. 

International students should visit the OISS website for more information.


Entry Level Writing Requirement

The Entry Level Writing Requirement is a University of California requirement that all students must fulfill during their first year. This requirement applies to students in all three colleges at UCSB.

Students must satisfy the Entry Level Writing Requirement in one of the following ways:

  • score 3 or higher on either of the Advanced Placement English exams
  • score of 30 or higher on the ACT combined English Language Arts (ELA)
  • score 680 or higher on SAT Writing exam
  • score 5 or higher on the International Baccalaureate higher level English A Examination
  • score 6 or higher on the International Baccalaureate standard level English A1 Examination
  • receive passing score (8 or higher) on the University of California Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE)
  • receive a grade of C or higher in appropriate transfer English composition course
  • pass UCSB's Writing 1 with a grade of C or higher

It is important to note that once students matriculate at UCSB, they may no longer fulfill the University of California Entry Level Writing Requirement with coursework from another institution.