About the California State University Placement Tests

Start Smart at California State University (CSU)

The California State University (CSU) requires you to take the English Placement Test (EPT) and the Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) exam prior to enrollment in the CSU unless you are exempt by means of scores earned on other appropriate tests such as the CSU’s Early Assessment Program (EAP) tests in English and Mathematics, the SAT®, ACT®, or Advanced Placement (AP®) tests.

The EPT and the ELM are not admission tests; instead, they determine eligibility to enroll in specific courses. If you are required to take the EPT and the ELM but fail to do so, you will not be allowed to register for General Education courses at the CSU. You may take the EPT, ELM or both at a campus near you or where you plan to enroll.

Learn more about the EPT and the ELM tests and exemptions.

Download the 2014 CSU EPT/ELM Information Bulletin.

Early Start Program

The CSU Early Start Program requires students who do not perform well on the tests, or are not exempt by other means, to strengthen their English and/or math skills the summer before enrolling in the freshman year. Students who score below 147 on the EPT and below 50 on the ELM will be required to participate in the Early Start Program. For further information regarding Early Start, contact the CSU campus that you plan on attending or visit www.csusuccess.org/earlystart.

Get a Step Ahead: The Early Assessment Program (EAP)

If you are in 11th grade, the EAP is a chance for you to get a head start on preparing for the EPT and ELM exams. This program will determine how ready you are for college-level coursework and help you identify your strengths and improve your weaknesses throughout 12th grade.