EPT, ELM, and Early Start Program (ESP)

Enrollment Requirement for First-time Freshmen

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

If it is determined that you need remediation in either English or math or both, you must take steps to address this requirement. You will be notified throughout the process of application, admission, and registration about this requirement. Once you have applied, you can find your most current exemption status via your Student Center within your Portal Account. Review already applied? for how to activate.

1.  Do you need to take the English Placement Test (EPT) and/or Entry Level Math (ELM) test?

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

Test Type EPT Exemptions ELM Exemptions


(prior to 3/2016)

500 or higher Critical Reading score

550 or higher Math score


(3/2016 & after)

550 or higher EBRW score 570 or higher Math score
ACT 22 or higher English score 23 or higher Math score
AP 3 or higher Language and Composition or
Literature and Composition score
3 or higher Calculus AB/BC or
Statistics score
CAASPP EAP Standard Exceeded: Ready for college-level
English status
Standard Exceeded: Ready for college-level
math status
IB 4 or higher English A1 HL score 4 or higher Math HL score
GE College
Completion of English course (Area A2)
with a "C" or better

Completion of math course (Area B4)
with a "C" or better

CAASPP EAP 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 to the Office of Admissions prior to your orientation date.

Test Type    
EPT Conditional Exemptions
ELM Conditional Exemptions


(prior to 3/2016)

460-490 Critical Reading score 490-540 Math score


(3/2016 & after)

510-540 EBRW score 520-560 Math score
ACT 19-21 English score 20-22 Math score
CAASPP EAP Standard Met: Conditionally ready for college-level English status Standard 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.

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

  • International students and residents of states other than California (non-residents).
  • Students participating in the CSU, Chico Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Summer Bridge Program.

2.  Register for the EPT and/or ELM.

  • We strongly encourage you to take the EPT and/or ELM by March and no later than the May 2016 system-wide test date. Testing any later may delay registration for fall courses.

3.  Do you need to enroll in the Early Start Program based on your EPT and/or ELM scores?

  • Your score on the English Placement Test (EPT) is less than 147.
  • Your score on the Entry Level Math Test (ELM) is less than 50*.
  • *If you are attending CSU, Chico this fall with a score of 42-48 on the ELM, you will be invited to participate in an ELM workshop put on through the Math Department. Participation in this workshop will satisfy the ESP Math requirement. Upon completion of the workshop, you are encouraged to re-take the ELM. If you earn a passing score of a 50 or higher, you will be eligible to enroll in a general education math course this fall. Questions about registration for this workshop should be directed to the Center for Regional and Continuing Education at 530-898-6105.

4.  How to Enroll in the Early Start Program:

Please visit the Chico State Early Start Website for details on Early Start courses, fees, registration information, and more.

5.  Resources: