A Campus of the California State University


Web Content Display Web Content Display

CSU College Readiness and the Early Assessment Program

What does it mean to be "college-ready"?

Many students think that being admitted to a college means that they will automatically be able to participate in college-level coursework on their campus.  However, the California State University, like all major college systems in the United States, requires incoming freshmen to show that they are ready for college-level coursework in math and English through qualifying standardized test scores on the SAT, ACT, AP, IB, or the CSU ELM and EPT exams.  Students who do not show college readiness prior to admission are required to complete remedial classes in math and English before they can enroll in freshman-level math and English.  These classes take additional time and money to complete, and can extend the time to graduation for students.  Across the CSU system, nearly half of first-time freshmen currently require remediation in math and/ or English.

To Students, From Students: Watch a CSUM student video on the high school to college transition.

What is EAP, and how does it work?

The ultimate goal of the Early Assessment Program is to fully prepare California high school graduates to enter the rigorous academic setting of the California State University system.  There are two parts to the Early Assessment Program:

Part 1: Early Assessment (11th grade)

The Early Assessment Program focuses on determining the CSU-level English and math readiness of public high school students. Starting in 2015, juniors will automatically participate in the EAP assessment as part of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). The tests are scored and, based upon the scores, each student receives a status.

Exempt: Student demonstrates proficiency. Student's knowledge and skills meet CSU standards for placement into baccalaureate-level entry courses. Student is exempt from the required CSU placement exam(s) (ELM and/or EPT).

Conditionally Exempt: Student demonstrates basic proficiency but must participate in a Senior Experience activity to increase and/or maintain skills. Student is exempt from placement exam(s) under the condition that he/she participates in a qualifying Senior Experience.

Non-Exempt: At the time the student took that EAP assessment in English and/or Math, the student's responses did not demonstrate proficiency. This student will be encouraged to focus on improving English and/or math skills during his or her senior year through Senior Experiences, but must take the CSU placement tests.

During the transition to CAASPP over the next two to three years, the CSU has also elected to allow students to utilize their ACT and SAT scores, in addition to CAASPP results, to obtain an EAP "Conditionally Ready" status.  The cut-off scores are as follows:


CSU Readiness Cut Score

CSU Conditionally Ready Cut Score

SAT Math



SAT Reading



ACT Math



ACT English



Accordingly, the CSU will encourage juniors to participate in SAT or ACT before the end of their junior year.  This will allow schools a second measure, in addition to CAASPP results, to determine senior year math and English course placement.

Part 2: Academic Preparation (12th grade)

The academic preparation component of the EAP considers the exam results and focuses on what the student must do to prepare for the academic rigor of the CSU. Academic preparation includes Senior Experiences for conditionally exempt students and other academic CSU preparation during the 12th grade year. 


Each region of California hosts an EAP office at its local CSU campus; the CSUM office services Solano and Napa counties.  Prospective and newly admitted Cal Maritime students are also welcome to contact the CSUM College Readiness & EAP Office for assistance.

To learn more about CSU college readiness, please e-mail eap@csum.edu.