What Is the ELM?

The ELM is a one-time assessment that helps CSU determine what mathematics courses you should take upon enrollment.

Test Description

The test consists of 50 questions that you have 90 minutes to answer. The topics covered include numbers and data, algebra and geometry.

You May Be Exempt

You do not have to take the ELM if you present proof of one of the following:

  • A result of Standard Exceeded: "Ready for CSU or participating CCC college-level coursework in mathematics" on the CAASPP Early Assessment Program (EAP) exam
  • A result of Standard Met: "Conditionally Ready for CSU or participating CCC college-level coursework in mathematics" on the CAASPP Early Assessment Program (EAP) exam.
  • A Conditional Ready status may also be earned by receiving a qualifying score on the SAT or ACT test as follows:
    • New SAT Test: A score between 520–560 on the mathematics section of the new SAT Test*
    • Old SAT Test: A score between 490–540 on the mathematics section of the old SAT Reasoning Test
    • A score between 20–22 on the mathematics portion of the ACT Test
    The conditional requirement may be met by completing an approved mathematics course in the 12th grade and earning a grade of "C" or better. Students who do not meet the conditional requirement will need to participate in the CSU’s Early Start Program, unless the student met other Early Start Program exemptions. For more information visit: http://www.csusuccess.org/earlystart/early-start-faq.
  • New SAT Test: A score of 570 or above on the mathematics section of the new SAT*
  • Old SAT Test: A score of 550 or above on the mathematics section of the old SAT Reasoning Test
  • SAT Subject Test: A score of 550 or above on the SAT Subject Test in Mathematics (level 1 or level 2)*
  • A score of 23 or above on the ACT Mathematics Test
  • A score of 3 or above on the College Board Advanced Placement® Calculus AB or Calculus BC exam
  • A score of 3 or above on the College Board Advanced Placement® Statistics examination
  • Completion and transfer to CSU of a college course that satisfies the requirement in Quantitative Reasoning, provided such a course was completed with a grade of "C" or better

*In March 2016, the College Board® began administering a new SAT Test. The new SAT scores are different than the old SAT scores. The CSU will accept both old and new SAT scores for students graduating in 2020 and prior. Students graduating after 2020 will be required to take the new SAT Test.

How Much Does It Cost?

The fee for taking the ELM is $20. Payment is required at the time of registration and must be paid by credit card, e-check or PayPal®. If you cannot pay by credit card, e-check or PayPal, please contact ETS at EPT-ELMRequest@ets.org or 1-925-808-2142. Fees are nonrefundable during the two weeks prior to the test date. All fees are subject to change.

Additional Information

For more details about the ELM and additional sample questions, download Focus on Mathematics or visit www.csumathsuccess.org.