The Early Assessment Program (EAP) is a joint effort of the CSU, the California Department of Education, and the State Board of Education to smooth the transition from K-12 to higher education and to prepare students early to succeed in college. EAP provides an early signal to high school officials, students, and families as to whether the 11th grader will be exempt from taking the English and mathematics placement tests upon admission to a CSU campus. Those who are not exempt will need to strengthen their skills during the senior year of high school and then take and pass the CSU placement test to avoid taking remedial education classes at the CSU or a community college. It is the goal of the Early Assessment Program to reduce the need for remediation of incoming CSU freshmen to 10 percent. Currently more than half of the first-time freshmen need remediation.
The Early Assessment Program begins with a voluntary exam taken by 11th grade students as an augmentation to the California Standards Test. It contains 15 additional multiple-choice items in English and in mathematics, and an essay. The test results are sent to school districts, which in turn distribute them to high schools and students.
The English test has two results:
- Exempt from taking the CSU's English Placement Test (EPT). This means that the student meets the standards for placement into college-level classes at the CSU.
- Non Exempt from taking the CSU's English Placement Test. This means that the student needs more preparation in English in the 12th grade to meet the standards for college-level work at the CSU.
The mathematics test has three results:
- Exempt from taking the CSU's Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) placement test. This means that the student meets the standards for placement into college-level classes at the CSU at an advanced level.
- Conditionally Exempt from taking the CSU's Entry Level Mathematics (ELM). These students were ready to take college-level mathematics at the time they took the test. However, math knowledge and skills decline quickly when not used. Therefore, those who receive conditional exemptions need to successfully complete some mathematics-based coursework during their senior year to gain an exemption from the CSU's mathematics placement test.
- Non Exempt from taking the CSU's Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) placement test. This means that the student needs more preparation in mathematics in the 12th grade to meet the standards for college-level work at the CSU.
CSU faculty and K-12 schools are developing courses and activities to help students improve their English and mathematics knowledge and skills in the 12th grade. This includes the development of a curriculum and teacher-training materials for reading and expository writing and diagnostic tests in mathematics.
There are three valuable resources online for high school students, parents, and teachers:
- The Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Project, which helps students and teachers by providing tutorials and progress assessments online.
Information about the MDTP test is available here
- The Math Success Website, which includes diagnostic tests, a computer-based review course, and an individualized roadmap for students.
- The CSU's Diagnostic Writing Service, which provides students with a diagnostic of their writing skills, reading and composing tutorials, and information on their progress in learning to read and write at the level required in college classes.
The DWS is online here.