CSU: Early Start & ELM/EPT

For most updated information, please go here: http://earlystart.csusuccess.org/

SF State and the Early Start Program (ESP)

New Enrollment Requirement — First-time Freshmen

The CSU wants to help first-time freshmen applicants get an “Early Start” in their preparation for college level work.  Starting fall 2012, new freshmen who are deemed not ready for college-level English and/or math (see below) will need to start the remediation process no later than the summer before their first term.

If students need remediation in either English or math or both, they must take extra steps to address this requirement.  Students will be notified throughout the process of application, admission, and registration about this requirement.


What Can Students Do to Prepare for ESP?

1)     Take the EPT if:

·         Early Assessment Program (EAP): test scores (from STAR results) indicate “not yet demonstrating readiness for CSU or participating CCC college-level English”

·         SAT Critical Reading score is less than 500

·         ACT English score is less than 22

·         AP Language and Composition or AP Literature and Composition score is less than 3

·         *If students earn a qualifying score on the EAP, SAT, ACT or AP exams, they will be exempt from Early Start in English.

2)     Take the ELM if:

·         Early Assessment Program (EAP): test scores (from STAR results) indicate “not yet demonstrating readiness for CSU or participating CCC college-level mathematics”

·         Early Assessment Program (EAP): test scores (from STAR results) indicate “ready for CSU or participating CCC college-level mathematics-conditional” and did not complete an approved year-long math course in your senior year with a C or better or did not enroll in a supervised e-Learning course

·         SAT Math score is less than 550

·         SAT Subject Math (level 1 or 2) is less than 550

·         ACT Math score is less than 23

·         AP Calculus or AP Statistics score is less than 3

·         *If students earned a qualifying score on the EAP, SAT, SAT Subject, ACT or AP exams, they will be exempt from Early Start in math.

3)     Register for the  ELM/EPT — http://www.sfsu.edu/future/dates/dates.html#tests

Exemptions:  The following students will not be required to participate in Early Start for fall 2012:

·         International students and residents of states other than California (non-residents).

·         Students participating in the SF State Summer Bridge Program.

4)     If a student takes the EPT/ELM and their scores are in the following ranges, the student will need to participate in the Early Start Program:

·         Your score on the English Placement Test (EPT) was less than 138.

·         Your score on the Entry Level Math Test (ELM) was less than 50.

5)     Encourage Remedial Students to Participate in the Early Start Program:

·         Summer session courses will be offered at all CSU campuses.

·         ESP can be completed at any CSU that is convenient for the student.  However, we strongly encourage students to take the ESP at their destination campus.   SF State will offer an on-line option in math and English.

·         Course registration links and information will be available in spring.

·         If students do not sign up for Early Start, they will not be able enroll in classes at the CSU.

·         Students can also enroll in an approved Community College course.

6)     Advice for Students:

·         Ensure that students take the Early Assessment test in their junior year and release their scores. http://www.calstate.edu/eap/

·         Ensure that students takes the EPT/ELM their senior year, if they have not received an exemption on the EAP.

·         Encourage students to take the EPT/ELM early (March 2012, preferred)!

·         Study test prep materials and questions are available to help students maximize their scores.  (Note: students can only take the EPT once and the ELM twice.)

·         Encourage students to take the ACT or SAT if possible.  ACT and SAT tests must be taken no later than December for admission purposes, but can be re-taken for Early Start and exemption purposes.

·         Access EAP scores online at EAP Test Results Online .

7)     Resources:

1.      Printable Early Start Program Guidelines (pdf)

2.      EPT/ELM Information

3.      CSU English Success

4.      EPT Exam Prep

5.      Focus on English (pdf)

6.      CSU Math Success

7.      ELM Exam Prep

8.      ELM sample problem booklet (pdf)

9.      Focus on Math (pdf)


What can high school juniors do to prepare?

Math and English skills are critical to success in college regardless of the intended major. Through the Early Assessment Program (EAP), California juniors have the opportunity to measure their English and math skills towards the end of the 11th grade. As a result, juniors are strongly encouraged to take the EAP test. Results are available at the beginning of the senior year and can be used to ensure students are using their senior year to become “college-ready” if they are not already. As students are planning their senior class schedules, it is important to know that a math course in the senior year is good for all students in preparing them for college success! And it is really essential for those interested in science based and technical majors (science, engineering, nursing, etc).

The best way to ensure success in college and to avoid spending the summer after high school graduation at a CSU is to be prepared in English and math!

For more information on the CSU EAP program, see the CSU English and Math Success web sites.


If you are interested in receiving more information and training on ESP and EAP, please feel free to contact me.

Christa Amouroux, Ph.D.

Early Assessment Program Manager

Early Start Program

Reading Institute for Academic Preparation

Lecturer, Department of Anthropology

San Francisco State University

Division of Undergraduate Studies

1600 Holloway Ave

Administration Building, 4th Floor Room 447G

San Francisco, CA


Phone: 415.637.2792