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English Placement for First-Time Freshmen

The CSU requires new students to be tested in English 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 the test if they have scored well on other specified tests or have completed appropriate courses.


The English Placement Test (EPT) is designed to assess the level of reading and writing skills of entering undergraduate students so that they can be placed in appropriate baccalaureate courses. Those undergraduate students who do not demonstrate college-level skills will be enrolled in courses or programs designed to help them gain these skills. (The test is not part of the admission requirements to the CSU, but it is a condition of enrollment if the student is not exempt.) Students may take the EPT only once. It may not be repeated. There is an $18 charge to take the test.


The CSU EPT must be completed by all non-exempt entering undergraduates prior to enrollment in any course, including remedial courses. Students who score 147 or above on the EPT will be placed in college-level composition classes.

Exemptions from the EPT 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 English 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 English 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 English community college course that satisfies the CSU General Education requirement (Area A2), provided such a course was completed with a grade of C or better
  • A qualifying score on the 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 CSUs Early Start Program, unless the student meets 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 the English Placement Test (EPT) Requirement, the CSU has developed the English Success Website.

On this site you will find:

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