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

What is the EPT?

The English Placement Test (EPT) assesses your level of ability in reading and writing. Your score will determine what English course you are prepared for in college. The EPT is not used for admission purposes. The EPT can only be taken one time.

What is the ELM?

The Entry Level Math test (ELM) assesses your level of ability in math through the beginning and intermediate algebra and plane geometry. The test emphasizes the understanding of mathematical concepts and problem-solving skills. You will not be allowed to use a calculator during the test. Your score determines your placement into an appropriate level math course. The ELM is not used for admission purposes. The ELM can be taken more than once.

Why do I have to take placement tests?

The EPT and ELM test(s) are not admission tests; they are placement tests that enable CSU, Chico to determine if you are prepared for college-level English and math. You do not have to be admitted to a CSU prior to signing up or taking either one of the tests. You will not be able to register for any courses until we have your EPT and/or ELM results on file or your proof of exemptions.

Do I need to take the EPT and/or ELM?

Note: If you meet any of the exemptions below, please submit documentation to the Office of Admissions. We will accept faxed copies of SAT, ACT, high school transcripts or other documentation to update your exemption status. Our fax number is 530-898-6456.

Take the EPT/ELM unless you meet one of the exemptions below:

Test TypeEPT ExemptionsELM Exemptions
(prior to 3/2016)
500 or higher Critical Reading score550 or higher Math score
(3/2016 & after)
550 or higher EBRW score570 or higher Math score
ACT22 or higher English score23 or higher Math score
AP3 or higher Language and Composition or Literature and Composition score3 or higher Calculus AB/BC or Statistics score
CAASPP EAPStandard Exceeded: Ready for college-level English statusStandard Exceeded: Ready for college-level math status
IB4 or higher English A1 HL score4 or higher Math HL score
GE College
Completion of English course (Area A2) with a "C" or betterCompletion of math course (Area B4) with a "C" or better

Conditional Exemptions

You will earn a Conditionally Exempt status if you have a test score as described in the chart below. A full exemption requires you to pass an approved year-long English course or an approved year-long math course in your senior year with a C or better and provide the Confirmation of Final Grade Form (PDF) to the Office of Admissions prior to your orientation date.

To view approved courses that will satisfy the conditional exemptions, please visit:

Test TypeEPT Conditional ExemptionsELM Conditional Exemptions
(prior to 3/2016)
460-490 Critical Reading score490-540 Math score
(3/2016 & after)
510-540 EBRW score520-560 Math score
ACT19-21 English score20-22 Math score
CAASPP EAPStandard Met: Conditionally ready for college-level English statusStandard Met: Conditionally ready for college-level math status

Note: If you have a conditional English and/or math exemption and will not be completing an approved English or an approved math course, we encourage you to take the EPT/ELM. You can take the EPT/ELM as late as May in order to be clear to register for fall classes. If you choose not to take the EPT/ELM, you will be required to participate in Early Start the summer before you begin your first semester.

How Do I Register for the EPT and/or ELM?

To register for the EPT and ELM please visit EPT/ELM registration.

To view dates for the EPT and ELM please visit EPT/ELM exam dates.

To prepare for the EPT please visit CSU English Success Exam Prep.

To prepare for the ELM please visit CSU Math Success Exam Prep.

To view results from the EPT and ELM please visit EPT/ELM exam results.

We strongly encourage you to take the EPT and/or ELM by March and no later than the May system-wide test date. Testing any later may delay registration for fall courses.