Placement Tests

Placement tests are designed to determine your eligibility to enroll in specific courses. They must be taken prior to registration to determine your proficiency in order for you to be able to adequately receive instruction, and to process the specific information you will be learning.

English Placement Test (EPT) and Entry Level Math (ELM) Test

The California State University requires new students to take the English Placement Test (EPT) and Entry Level Math (ELM) test after admission and prior to enrollment. The EPT and ELM are not admission tests; instead, they determine course level placement and Early Start Program participation. If you are required to take the EPT and/or the ELM but fail to do so, you will not be allowed to register.

Most freshmen are required to take the EPT and ELM. Transfer students who have not completed the General Education (GE) requirements for math and English are required to take the EPT and/or ELM. Graduate students are not required to take these tests.

Some students may receive an exemption from these tests based on scores from the SAT, ACT, or Early Assessment Program (EAP).  For more information on exemptions, visit the Testing Office.

The EPT and ELM tests may be taken at any California State University. Test registration is required and several dates are available. For more information on registering to take the EPT and ELM, visit the Testing Office.

Out-of-State Testing

If you live outside California and have been admitted to a CSU campus, and need to take the EPT or ELM before arriving in California, please call (925) 808-2142 or e-mail Out-of-state testing can be arranged for the second week of each month, except in May when the test is given during the first week. There is an additional fee of $50 for testing outside the state of California.

Writing Skills Test (WST)

The California State University requires all students to demonstrate writing competency at an advanced level in order to receive a baccalaureate or master’s degree. Students must satisfy the University Writing Skills Requirement (UWSR) unless the graduation writing proficiency assessment was satisfied for a previous California State University degree. 

Students can complete the UWSR by taking the required English courses or passing the Writing Skills Test (WST). Undergraduates must have completed at least 90 quarter units of baccalaureate level work (junior standing) before attempting to satisfy the UWSR. Graduate students who did not satisfy the requirement as undergraduates must take the WST no later than their first quarter of attendance.

Registration to take the WST is required. For more information on registering to take the WST, visit the Testing Office.

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