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Entry Level Math (ELM) Exam

The CSU requires new students to be tested in mathematics as soon as possible after they are admitted and before enrolling at CSU. The test is used to determine whether students are prepared for college work; and if they are not, to place the students in appropriate remediation courses or activities. Students may be exempt from this test if they have scored well on other specified tests or have completed appropriate courses. (This test is not part of CSU admission requirements, but is a condition of enrollment if the student is not exempt.) There is an $18 charge to take the test.

The Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) Examination is designed to assess and measure the level of mathematics skills acquired through three years of rigorous college preparatory mathematics coursework (Algebra I and II, and Geometry) of students entering the California State University (CSU). The CSU ELM must be completed by all non-exempt entering undergraduates prior to enrollment in any course, including remedial courses. Students who score 50 or above on the ELM will be placed in college-level mathematics classes.

Exemptions from the ELM are granted only to those who present proof of one of the following:

  • A score of "Exempt" or "Ready for college-level Mathematics courses" on the CSU Early Assessment Program (EAP), taken in grade 11 in conjunction with the CST in Summative High School Mathematics or Algebra II.
  • A score of "Conditionally ready for college-level Mathematics courses" or "Conditional" on the CSU Early Assessment Program (EAP) taken in grade 11 along with the California Standards Test in Summative High School Mathematics or Algebra II, provided successful completion of a CSU-approved 12th grade math course that require Algebra II as a prerequisite.
  • A score of 550 or above on the mathematics section of the College Board SAT Reasoning Test
  • A score of 550 or above on a College Board SAT Subject Test in Mathematics (level 1 or level 2)
  • A score of 23 or above on the American College Testing (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

To support you in preparing to meet the ELM Requirement, the California State University has developed the Math Success Website.

On this site you will find:

  • Information about the CSU Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) Requirement
  • A personalized roadmap with an interactive checklist to track your progress
  • Information about the ELM test including practice problems and assessments
  • Video testimonials of students
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