EL support depends on your container and the version of the servlet spec that it implements. For example, Weblogic 8.1 will not recognize pure EL. However, it will recognize most EL if it is wrapped within a JSTL tag.
will not be recognized, but works
Weblogic 8.1 implements the Servlet 2.3 spec. The SCWCD exam covers the 2.4 spec. You will need to find out what version of the spec your app server implements.