California State University

CSU English Success

CSU English Success
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1. What is the English Placement Test (EPT) requirement?

The EPT requirement is designed to assess the skill levels of entering CSU students in the areas of English reading, writing, and critical thinking. Those undergraduate students who do not demonstrate college-level skills will be directed to remedial English courses designed to help them attain these skills.

2. What is the EPT and who needs to take it?

The CSU has developed the EPT, a reading, writing, and critical thinking placement exam, in order to determine which students are ready to enroll in college-level English courses. Students must take the EPT unless they can present proof of one of the following:

  • Early Assessment Program (EAP) – A status of "Ready for CSU or participating CCC college-level English courses" indicates that students have met the EPT requirement.
  • National Standardized Tests – A qualifying score on one of the following college placement tests fulfills the EPT requirement:

    Test Required score for EPT requirement
    SAT 500 or more on the Critical Reading section
    ACT 22 or more on the English Test
    AP 3 or more on either the Language & Composition or Literature & Composition exam

  • Community College Course – A grade of C or better in a qualifying English transfer course at a community college meets the EPT requirement.
  • English Placement Test (EPT) – Unless students meet the requirement in one of the ways described above, they must take the EPT before enrolling at the CSU.

3. What's on the EPT?

  • Essay - 45 minutes
  • Reading Skills multiple-choice questions - 30 minutes
  • Composing Skills multiple-choice questions - 30 minutes

4. When should students take the EPT?

Students should wait for the first scheduled test administration after they have been admitted unless instructed differently by the campus that admits them. Students must satisfy the EPT Requirement before they can enroll in college-level English courses.

5. How do students register for the EPT?

The EPT is administered at the CSU campuses. Students should reference the EPT Testing Booklet popup window icon for more information about how to register.

6. What is the Early Assessment Program (EAP)?

The EAP is the result of collaboration among the California Department of Education (CDE), State Board of Education (SBE), and California State University (CSU). The EAP has been developed to align the competencies required of incoming freshmen with the K-12 standards in English-language arts and mathematics. It is offered at all public California high schools on a voluntary basis.

The program consists of three critical components: 11th grade assessment, senior year academic preparation activities, and professional development for English-language arts and mathematics teachers.

7. Why should eleventh-grade students take the EAP when many of them will be taking SAT I, SAT II, ACT, AP, and STAR tests?

The EAP is voluntary for eleventh-grade students and adds a minimal amount of time to the 11 ELA CST. The benefits of participating include the opportunity:

  • to earn an exemption from the CSU-required English placement test.
  • to identify the need for additional preparation for college-level courses.
  • to adjust senior-year coursework to prepare for college-level courses.
  • to avoid having to invest time and money in college remediation courses that do not count toward a baccalaureate degree.


8. How do students participate in the EAP?

Students participate by responding to the optional CSU multiple-choice questions offered in the Grade 11 Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) test booklets. Students who respond to the EAP ELA multiple-choice questions also must complete a 45-minute essay, administered at a separate time in a separate test booklet.

9. When is the EAP given?

Most eleventh grade students are tested between mid-March and the end of May. If the CSTs are administered after the end of May, EAP results may not be available for planning senior-year coursework.

10. Where can I find more detailed information about the EAP?

A more thorough description of the EAP is located online at popup window icon.