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First Semester: Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR)


All University of California schools require first year (freshman) students to complete the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) by the end of their second semester.  

Ways to satisfy ELWR can be found at this link.

If you have not satisfied ELWR before April 1st of your senior year in high school, take the Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE) on the second Saturday in May.  This English placement exam is given to all California high school seniors admitted to a UC school.  Talk to your high school counselor if you have questions about the AWPE.

Your AWPE score determines which English composition course you can take at UC Merced. 

Based on your AWPE score, you will place into Writing 1 (WRI 1, Academic Writing, 4 units) or Writing 10 (WRI 10, College Reading & Composition, 4 units).



If you tested into Writing 1, enroll in this course in your first semester at UC Merced.  You must earn a C or higher in Writing 1 to satisfy ELWR.  After you pass Writing 1 with a C or higher, you will move on to Writing 10.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  If you have not satisfied ELWR before you start your first semester at UC Merced, the only way to complete ELWR is to pass Writing 1 at UC Merced with a C or higher by the end of your second semester.

*You are NOT allowed to take an English composition course at another school (community college or 4-year school) to satisfy ELWR after you begin at UC Merced.*

Talk to your Bobcat Advising Center advisor if you have questions about this important requirement--and plan to complete Writing 1 in your first semester.



If you have an AP exam score, IB exam score, SAT writing score, or transferable college composition class that satisfies ELWR, send the official score report or transcript to UC Merced by the July deadline. 

Did you complete a college English composition class during high school?  Use the ASSIST web site to see how English classes at a California community college transfer to UC Merced.

Tell your Bobcat Advising Center academic advisor if you think you have already taken a college English composition class at a 2-year or 4-year college that might count as Writing 1 or Writing 10.  Do not waste your time repeating a course that you have already completed!



If you graduated from high school in another state or country, your English composition placement will be determined by your individual academic record.

If you have not satisfied ELWR with a qualifying test score or transferable college English composition class before you start at UC Merced, you will be placed into Writing 1 and should complete Writing 1 in your first semester.