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, 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:

  • CAASPP Early Assessment Program (EAP) Standard Exceeded: Ready for CSU or participating CCC college-level coursework in English- this is actually how it was done in the Math one. Sorry I didn’t catch this before.
  • CAASPP Early Assessment Program (EAP) Standard Met: Conditionally Ready for CSU or participating CCC college-level coursework. Student must continue their preparation in the 12th grade by taking an approved English course and earn a grade of ‘C’ or better. Students that do not meet the conditional requirement will need to participate in the CSU’s Early Start Program, unless exemption was met through another pathway.
  • National Standardized Tests
    Test EPT Exemption Score *EPT Conditional Exemption Score
    SAT 500 or more on the Critical Reading section 460 - 490 on the Critical Reading section
    ACT 22 or more on the English Test 19 - 21 on the English Test
    AP 3 or more on either the Language & Composition or Literature & Composition exam N/A

    * Student must continue their preparation in the 12th grade by taking an approved English course and earn a grade of ‘C’ or better. Students that do not meet the conditional requirement will need to participate in the CSU’s Early Start Program, unless exemption was met through another pathway.

  • Community College Course – A grade of C or better in a qualifying English transfer course (Area A2) at a community college satisfies the EPT requirement. See your academic advisor or check the ASSIST course transfer website popup window icon for more information.
  • English Placement Test (EPT) – Unless you meet the requirement in one of the ways described above, you 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 when students take the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) in the 11th grade.

7. Why should eleventh-grade students take the CAASPP seriously?

Performing well on the assessments will give students the opportunity to:

  • Earn an exemption for the CSU required mathematics/English placement test.
  • Identify the need for additional preparation for English and/or math coursework.
  • Adjust senior-year coursework to prepare for college-level courses.
  • Avoid having to invest time and money in college remediation courses that do not count toward a baccalaureate degree.

8. How and when do students participate in EAP?

Grade eleven students participating in the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment will receive CAASPP results. CAASPP results will be used as the student’s EAP status. Marking the release button at the end of the test will allow students to send their CAASPP results to the CSU and/or the CCC. The release of the results does not affect the student’s application for admission. Results are only used to determine placement of students after they have been admitted to the university.