UCLA’s Informed Placement Process (IPP)

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 UCLA as freshmen must fulfill the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR), either by demonstrating proficiency through qualifying test scores, UC- transferable college English composition courses, or by completing UCLA’s Informed Placement Process (IPP). To learn more about ELWR, please click here.

UCLA’s Informed Placement Process (IPP) is conducted online and students are allowed up to 3 hours to complete it. Students will read a prose passage of approximately 1000 words that is of the level of difficulty encountered in beginning university courses; it may be drawn from any of a number of disciplines. After reading the passage, students write a thesis-driven essay in which they are typically asked to explain a central aspect of the passage and respond in a way that supports, challenges, or modifies the author’s argument. 

Students will then respond to a survey about their experiences with academic writing, read about and watch a short video about UCLA’s first-year writing courses, and then indicate their preference of which course they’d like to begin with to meet their writing requirement(s). This preference is taken into consideration in the placement process, but the ultimate decision of which course a student will start with is made by UCLA Writing Programs faculty.

IPP

Who needs to complete UCLA’s Informed Placement Process (IPP)?

You need to complete the IPP if you entered UCLA as a First-Year student  (no matter where you come from) and you haven’t satisfied the Entry-Level Writing Requirement in one of the following ways:

  • Score 680 or higher on the Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing section of the SAT (The digital SAT Reading and Writing section score has not been approved to satisfy ELWR.)
  • Achieve a score of 30 or better on the ACT, English Language Arts or 63 or better on the ACT, English Plus Reading. The English Language Arts score represents your overall performance on the English, Reading, and Writing sections of the exam.
  • Score 3 or better on the AP English Language or Literature Examination or the AP Seminar examination or the AP Research examination
  • Score 5 or higher on the International Baccalaureate Higher Level Examination in English
    • The IB Exam must be a Language A or A1 (native) exam in English to satisfy the ELWR. Language A2/B (2nd native/non-native) exams do not satisfy the ELWR. Click here to learn more.
  • Score 6 or higher on the International Baccalaureate Standard Level Examination in English
    • The IB Exam must be a Language A or A1 (native) exam in English to satisfy the ELWR. Language A2/B (2nd native/non-native) exams do not satisfy the ELWR. Click here to learn more.
  • Complete a UC transferable college course in English composition with a grade of C or
    better before enrolling at UCLA. Once you have enrolled at UCLA, you must complete
    your ELWR writing requirement by taking UCLA composition courses only.

Continuing students who have not yet done the IPP, have not already satisfied the ELWR, and have not been placed into a writing class must also complete the IPP.

Questions? Contact the Writing Programs Office.

What is the IPP like?

The IPP is conducted online and students are allowed up to 3 hours to complete it. Students will read a prose passage of approximately 1000 words that is of the level of difficulty encountered in beginning university courses; it may be drawn from any of a number of disciplines. After reading the passage, students write a thesis-driven essay in which they are typically asked to explain a central aspect of the passage and respond in a way that supports, challenges, or modifies the author’s argument. Students will then respond to a survey about their experiences with academic writing, read about and watch a short video about our first-year writing courses, and then indicate their preference of which course they’d like to begin with for meeting their writing requirement. This preference is taken into consideration in the placement process, but the ultimate decision of which course students will start with is made by UCLA Writing Programs faculty.

To see a sample essay prompt from several years ago, click here.

How is the IPP evaluated?

Each IPP essay response is evaluated by at least one faculty reader who measures it against a rubric to determine a recommended first-year writing course for the student writer. If the faculty reader’s placement matches the student’s course preference, then that student is placed in their preferred course. If the faculty reader determines a different placement is appropriate from what the student preferred, then a second faculty reader will read the student’s IPP essay response and determine which first-year writing course best suits the student’s abilities.

When should I complete the IPP?

If you are an incoming freshman and have not met the ELWR requirement in one of the ways listed under “Who needs to complete UCLA’s Informed Placement Process (IPP)?” then you must complete the IPP before attending your New Student Orientation session. Otherwise, you will not be able to enroll in an English Composition course for the fall quarter. Keep in mind that you must complete the required English Composition course or sequence of courses with a grade of C or better as early as possible during your first year in residence. Further, if you are required to take more than one course, you may not take them concurrently—you must pass each course with a C or better before taking the next one. Learn more about UCLA’s undergraduate writing requirements here.

Upcoming IPP Dates and Times

FOR First-Year Students Entering in Fall 2024 & Continuing Students

Summer 2024

  • Monday, June 24th, 2024: 10-2pm (New Student Orientation 101, 102, 103)
  • Monday, July 8th, 2024, 10-2pm (New Student Orientation 103)
  • Monday, July 15th, 2024, 10-2pm (New Student Orientation 104, 105, 106)
  • Wednesday, July 31st, 2024, 10-2pm (New Student Orientation 107, 108, 109)
  • Thursday, August 15th, 2024, 10-2pm (New Student Orientation 110, 111, 112)
How much does the IPP cost?

You will be charged $167 unless your UC application fee has been waived. You will receive the charge on your BruinBill after you complete the IPP. We only charge the fee if you show up to complete the IPP and submit an essay response.

Who can I contact if I have questions?
  • If you have questions about registering for or completing the IPP, contact wpfirstyearplacement@humnet.ucla.edu.
  • If you have questions about your placement result, please know that the placement result is final unless you have met the ELWR in some other way. You must submit your qualifying scores or final college transcript to the UCLA Office of Admissions in order to fulfill the ELWR. If you continue to feel that you were placed in the wrong course and would like to request a review of your placement, please complete our appeal questionnaire before September 6, 2024. 
How can I request a testing accommodation?

If you need testing accommodations, you should register with UCLA’s Center for Accessible Education (CAE). Go to this link to learn how to apply for an accommodation.

NOTE: CAE takes up to 2 weeks to review requests, so please submit your registration to CAE in a timely manner.

IPP Registration

How do I register for the IPP?

If you intend to complete the IPP, register here.

If you need special accommodations because of a documented disability, please see the section titled “How can I request a testing accommodation?”

IPP Results

How and when will I be notified of my results?

Placement results are usually available approximately two to three weeks after the IPP administration date.

You will find out your placement by looking at your DARS screen under the “Entry Level Writing/ESL Requirement.”

What does my writing placement mean?

If you placed into English Composition 1, click here to learn more about your placement.
If you placed into English Composition 2, click here to learn more about your placement.

Frequently Asked Questions