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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 a CSU campus. 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.

PURPOSE OF THE ELM

The 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 CSU. All non-exempt entering undergraduates must complete the CSU ELM 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. 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.

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

  • An Early Assessment Program (EAP) Status of Standard Exceeded: Ready for college level math courses. Students receive an EAP status when they participate in the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) exam, in the 11th grade.
  • An Early Assessment Program (EAP) status of Standard Met: Conditionally Ready for college level math courses. Students receive an EAP status when they participate in the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress CAASPP exam, in the 11th grade.
  • Completion of a qualifying math community college course that satisfies the CSU General Education requirement (Area B-4), provided such a course was completed with a grade of C or better.
  • The exemption score using the new SAT scoring will be available in August 2016.
  • A qualifying score on the National Standardized Tests:
    Test ELM Exemption Score *ELM Conditional Exemption Score
    SAT 550 or more on the mathematics portion of the SAT Reasoning Test

    550 or more on a mathematics subject test (level 1 or level 2)
    490 - 540 on the mathematics portion of the SAT Reasoning Test
    ACT 23 or more on the mathematics test 20 - 22 on the mathematics test
    College Board AP 3 or more on Advanced Placement Calculus or Statistics N/A

    * Studenst must continue their preparation in the 12th grade by completing an approved senior year-long math course with 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 they meet other Early Start Program exemptions.

    Note: CSU campuses will accept current and redesigned SAT scores for admission eligibility and exemption from the Entry Level Mathematics and English Placement Test. Applicants may submit scores from either test.

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