Skip to main content
After Admission: Placement & Other Tests

The CSU requires you to take the English Placement Test (EPT) and the Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) exam prior to enrollment in the CSU unless you are exempt by your scores on tests such as the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) in English and Mathematics, the SAT, ACT, or Advanced Placement (AP) tests.


The CSU requires new students to be tested in English and 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; if they are not, students are placed in appropriate courses or activities.

Students may be exempt from the 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 each test.

Prospective CSU freshmen who need to take the EPT and/or ELM are advised to test early and to complete the requirement no later than the annual test date in May. Go to the CSU campus's website(s) and to find additional test dates on each campus.

Learn more about the EPT

Learn more about the ELM


If you’re an undergraduate applicant, no matter what your country of citizenship, and your native language is not English, you must demonstrate English competency. That means you must receive a minimum score on an approved English proficiency exam or present a score of 500 or above on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The same is required of undergraduate applicants who have not attended schools at the secondary level or above for at least three years of full-time study at an institution where English is the principal language of instruction.