TESTING

EPT and ELM FAQs

Most first-time freshman students must take placement exams in mathematics and English before enrolling in classes. These California State University system-wide tests — the English Placement Test and the Entry Level Mathematics exam — are designed to identify entering students who may need additional support to improve English and math skills for success in college-level courses.

We have provided a list of frequently asked questions below. You should also visit the EPT and ELM page for general information about the particular test.

Who must take these tests?

The California State University requires you to take the EPT and the ELM prior to enrollment in the California State University unless you are exempt by means of scores earned on other appropriate tests such as the California State University's Early Assessment Program tests in English and mathematics, the SAT and ACT. The EPT and the ELM are not admission tests; instead, they determine eligibility to enroll in specific courses. If you are required to take the EPT and the ELM but fail to do so, you will not be allowed to enroll at CSUN. Depending on how you perform on the tests, you may be placed in an appropriate developmental program during your first term of enrollment.

I think I am exempt from taking the tests. How do I know if I am exempt?

To check whether you qualify for an exemption from taking the EPT and/or ELM, visit the EPT and/or ELM page.

If you are unsure if Admissions and Records received your test scores exempting you from the EPT and/or ELM, contact the Office of Admissions and Records in Bayramian Hall 100, or call (818) 677-3700 or email the office at admissions.records@csun.edu.

Who do I contact for duplicate scores of the SAT, ACT or EAP to prove my exemption status?

  • SAT scores – Visit the SAT website for information on duplicate SAT scores and associated fees.
  • ACT scores – Visit the ACT website for information on duplicate ACT scores and associated fees.
  • EAP scores – If you still have your STAR report from last summer, the EAP results are on the back of the report. You can submit the report to the California State University campus that is requesting it. If you no longer have your STAR report, and you released the EAP results to the California State University, you may get the information online. You will need your CSUMentor login information. This report may then be submitted to the California State University requesting the information. 

If you did not release the EAP results to the California State University, you will need to request a duplicate report directly by contacting ETS at eapdups@ets.org. You will need to provide your name, date of birth, high school name and address, and the year you took the test.
  • ELM and/or EPT scores – Test scores are maintained permanently by ETS. Duplicate score reports can be requested for free for one year. After one year, score reports can be ordered by sending a check in the amount of $25 per report, payable to Educational Testing Service, accompanied by a letter indicating your name, social security number, and the date you took the test. Cash will not be accepted. Sign the check and send it with the letter to: 

Educational Testing Service EPT/ELM Program

2731 Systron Drive
Concord, CA 94518

I am still unsure whether I am required to take the EPT and/or ELM. What should I do?

The staff of Admissions and Records at the California State University campus you plan to attend will be able to answer your questions. Contact CSUN's Office of Admissions and Records in Bayramian Hall 100 or call (818) 677-3700 or email .

I received information saying to take one of the tests and not both. Do I need to take both?

Admissions and Records has information on file exempting you from one of the tests. However, the information on record indicates you are still required to take the other test.

When should these tests be taken?

The EPT and ELM tests are offered year-round at various California State University campuses and at all California State University campuses in February, March and May. The specific test dates and registration deadlines for each campus are listed along with the addresses and phone numbers of the individual testing offices. For a complete listing, check the CSU EPT/ELM Information bulletin. Pay close attention to the registration deadline listed by each test date since your registration must reach the testing office by the registration deadline. Pay close attention to the registration deadline listed by each test date since your registration must reach the testing office by the registration deadline.

Although your EPT and ELM test scores are not requested as part of your admissions application to the university, you must satisfy the requirement before enrolling in classes.

Unless exempt, you must take the EPT and ELM tests by May 2, 2015 for fall 2015 enrollment. Because of heavy demand and limited seating, you should sign up for the tests much earlier than the May deadline. Students may take the tests at the most convenient California State University campus. Online registration is available for all campuses. Register online at the ETS website

Take them sooner rather than later to get these special benefits:

  • Schedule your classes early.
  • Better your chances of getting the schedule that you want.
  • Get them out of the way now so that you will have fewer worries as you finish high school.

I am required to take both the ELM and EPT. Is it beneficial to take both on the same day or can I take them on different test dates?

We recommend that you take the tests at the same time to ensure that both scores are reported to the Admissions and Records office in a timely manner. Taking the tests at different times can delay the reporting of your test scores. Remember, the sooner you take the tests, the sooner you can meet with your advisor and begin scheduling your classes for the semester.

How do I register for the tests?

All you have to do is visit the ETS website, to register and pay online. It's that easy!

What are the fees for these tests?

ELM and EPT test fees

ELM and EPT test fees
Test TypeCost
EPT$18
ELM$18
Out of State$75
EPT and ELM combined$36

Duplicate score reports are available for free for one year. After one year, a $25 fee per request will be charged by ETS. 

Test fees must be paid at the time of registration. You will not be registered to take the EPT and/or ELM examinations without appropriate payment of test fees. Students who are unable to pay online via credit card, Paypal or e-check, must contact ETS at (925) 808-2142 for an alternate payment method.

I lost my Admissions Ticket. How do I get a new one?

Log into the ETS website using your username and password to reprint your admission ticket.

How can I cancel my registration?

Log into the ETS website using your username and password to cancel your test registration at least two weeks prior to the test date. If you need to cancel your registration after the registration deadline, call ETS at (925) 808-2142 or via email at .

What if something happens at the last minute and I can't attend the test?

Don't worry! There are other test dates. Contact ETS at (925) 808-2142, email EPT-ELMrequest@ets.org, or visit the ETS website to re-register for another test date.

What if I don't live close to the CSUN campus?

No problem. You may register to take the tests at whichever California State University campus you choose. You need not take the tests at the campus you plan to attend.

  • Go to the ETS website and register for the site of your choice.
  • Keep in mind that it is to your advantage to take the test as soon as possible.

What if I live outside of California or the USA?

If you live outside of the state of California, have been admitted to a California State University campus and need to take the EPT and/or the ELM before arriving in California, please register for the EPT and ELM online

Out-of-state testing is arranged for the second week of the month, except in May, when the test is the first week. Arrangements must be made by the 15th of the month before testing will take place. There is an additional, non-refundable fee of $75 for testing outside of the state of California. If you have a question regarding out-of-state testing, please call 1-925-808-2142 or email csuoutofstate@ets.org.

Can I take these tests at a community college?

No, the EPT and ELM tests are given at all 23 California State University campuses on specific test dates. You may register to take the tests at whichever California State University campus you choose. You need not take the tests at the campus you plan to attend.

Due to religious convictions, I am unable to take Saturday tests, what can I do?

If your religious convictions prevent you from taking these tests on the scheduled test dates, you must request special arrangements by contacting the Testing Center.

What if I have a disability and require special arrangements for taking the tests?

In order to receive testing accommodations for the EPT and/or ELM exams, you will need to contact Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) to provide proof of a disability and to schedule the exams. After review of your documentation, DRES will contact you to make an intake appointment with a disability counselor. This appointment should be scheduled at least fourteen days prior to the EPT and/or ELM exams. To ensure all accommodations are in place for your exams, it is imperative that you contact the DRES office as soon as possible. Please understand that without the disability documentation and intake appointment we are unable to provide the requested accommodation.

  1. You can visit the DRES website.
  2. Contact the DRES office at (818) 677-2684
  3. You may also fax your Disability Documentation and Complete Contact Information to: DRES; Attn: Christy Shanee, FAX: (818) 677-4932
  4. Visit the DRES Office located in Bayramian Hall 110

Where should I report on test day?

You are to report to the location listed on your admission ticket. Visit our Test Reporting Locations Map for driving directions to all on-campus testing locations.

What should I bring on test day?

On the day of the test you must bring:

  • Social Security number (Do not bring your card)
  • Photo ID (Driver's license, high school ID, passport, etc.)
  • Several #2 Pencils
  • Your printed admission ticket
  • A calculator is not allowed

No electronic devices of any kind are allowed inside the testing room.

How much time do I have to complete the EPT and/or ELM test?

You have 45 minutes to complete the essay portion and 60 minutes to complete the combined multiple-choice portion (30 minutes for each of the two sections). If you are taking the ELM test at the same sitting, be prepared to test an additional 90 minutes for the ELM. Overall, plan for about four hours if taking both tests.

Suppose I don't do well on the tests?

California State University requires that all students who don't score high enough on the ELM and/or EPT enroll in the California State University Early Start Program. This program is designed for students who need remedial English and/or math. Visit CSU Early Start for more information.

How long does it take to get the results of these tests?

An official score report will be mailed approximately four to six weeks after the day of the test to the address you provide on the test answer sheet.

I do not know or forgot my username and password?

If you have forgotten your username or password, visit the ETS website and click on "Forgot username?" or "Forgot Password?". You will be prompted to answer your security question. If you need additional assistance, call ETS at (925) 808-2142 or email EPT-ELMrequest@ets.org

What if I am not sure I am going to CSUN or a California State University?

  • You need to take the tests to enroll at any California State University campus. So we recommend taking the tests early.
  • The worst-case scenario is you took the test and didn't need to.
  • The best-case scenario is you take the test early and take advantage of special benefits of testing early.

I am accepted to more than one California State University. If I took the EPT and/or ELM at one test center, would I be required to take the exams again at another California State University?

No. You have the opportunity to have your scores sent to up to four different California State University campuses. Be sure you select to have your scores sent to the campuses that have admitted you.

I have not yet been admitted. Can I still take the test?

You should take the first scheduled test administration after you have applied to any California State University campus. You must take the test before you can enroll in California State University General Education courses. Unless exempt, you must take the EPT and ELM tests by May 2, 2015 for fall 2015 enrollment at CSUN. Because of heavy demand and limited seating, you should sign up for the tests much earlier than the May deadline. Online registration is available for all campuses. Register online at the ETS website now.

Am I obligated to attend CSUN if I take the EPT and/or ELM?

No. Taking the EPT and the ELM tests are not an obligation to attend CSUN. The tests determine your eligibility to enroll in specific courses if you do decide to attend CSUN. If you decide later to attend CSUN and have not tested or qualify for an exemption, you will not be allowed to begin classes and will have to re-apply for admission for a future term.

Do I have to participate in the Early Start program?

The California State University system recently enacted a policy known as Early Start, requiring incoming first-time freshmen who do not demonstrate readiness for college-level math and/or English to begin remediation during the summer before enrolling in the California State University. The goal of Early Start is to better prepare students in math and English before their first semester, thereby improving their chances of completing a college degree. Visit California State University Early Start for more information.


Visit the ETS website for additional questions for the EPT and ELM tests. If you still have questions, call the Testing Center at (818) 677-2369 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, or email us at testing.center@csun.edu. We look forward to seeing you on campus.