Program Description

The "Early Start" program in the CSU requires incoming first year students who do not demonstrate readiness for college-level math and/or English to begin remediation during the summer before coming to the CSU. The goals of Early Start are to better prepare students in math and English before their first semester, thereby improving their chances of completing a college degree.

First year students who are required to take the English Placement Test (EPT) and/or Entry-Level Mathematics (ELM) exam are strongly encouraged to prepare and study in order to do well on the tests. Test results will determine whether enrollment in Early Start is required.

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First Year Students Exempt from Early Start

  • First year students who are not California residents
  • First year students who are international students
  • First year students who clear both English and mathematics remediation requirements by their high school graduation date
  • First year students participating in Summer Institute
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Clearing the Requirement

To clear remediation requirements, first year students must present proof of one of the following:

Proof Type English Math
New SAT* Evidenced Based Reading and Writing
Section: 510 - 540
Mathematics: 520 - 550
Old SAT Reasoning Critical Reading: 460 - 490 Mathematics: 490 - 540
ACT English: 19 - 21 Mathematics: 23 or higher
EPT and ELM EPT: 147 or higher ELM: 50 or higher
EAP (Early Assessment Program) "Conditionally Ready " OR "Ready for college-level English coursework" May be met by completing an approved English course in the 12 grade and earning a grade of "C" or better. "Exempt" OR "Ready for college-level Mathematics coursework"
EAP Mathematics Conditional Status Conditional and a C or higher grade in an approved year-long, senior-year mathematics experience, Intermediate Algebra, or higher-level mathematics
Advanced Placement (AP) Exam English: 3, 4 or 5 score Calculus (AB or BC): 3, 4, or 5 score
Statistics: 3, 4, or 5 score
College Board SAT Subject Test Language and Composition or
Composition and Literature : 3 or above
Mathematics (Level 1 or 2): 550 or higher
College Course C or higher grade in Written Communication C or higher grade in a course above Intermediate Algebra level

* In March 2016, the College Board began administering a new SAT. The new SAT scores are different than the old SAT scores. The CSU will accept both old and new SAT scores for students graduating in 2020 and prior. Students graduating after 2020 will be required to take the new SAT.

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