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English Placement for CSU 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:

  • A score of "Exempt" or "Ready for college-level English courses" on the CSU Early Assessment Program (EAP) taken along with the English Language Arts California Standard Test in grade 11
  • A score of "Conditionally ready for college-level English courses" or "Conditional" on the CSU Early Assessment Program (EAP) taken on grade 11, provided successful completion of the Expository Ready and Writing Course (ERWC), AP English, IB English or an English course approved for extra honors weight on the University of California "a-g" Doorways course list.
  • A score of 500 or above on the critical reading section of the College Board SAT Reasoning Test
  • A score of 22 or above on the American College Testing (ACT) English Test
  • A score of 3 or above on either the Language and Composition or Composition and Literature examination of the College Board Scholastic Advanced Placement Program
  • Completion and transfer to CSU of the credits for a college course that satisfies the CSU General Education requirement in English Composition, provided such a course was completed with a grad of C or better


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

On this site you will find:

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