Office of Advising and Evaluations

Step 2: Test Requirements

Before you can register for classes, you must know your scores on several exams. The following exams determine the courses you'll be required to take, and in what order:

See a summary of test requirements below, or get further details from the Test Office.

English Placement Test and Entry Level Mathematics Exam

The California State University system requires that you take the EPT/ELM exams if you have not satisfied these requirements by another method, such as SAT, ACT or Advanced Placement test scores (find out if you're exempt). The results determine which math and English courses you must take to begin your college career.

You will not be permitted to register for fall 2017 classes if you do not fulfill this requirement. California residents must take the EPT/ELM no later than the May 6 test date. For nonresidents, August 24 is your final chance to take the EPT/ELM without compromising your admission.

If you are a nonresident and you can't come to San Diego before the deadline, you have several options:

  • Have the test proctored at a local testing office or high school.
  • Take the test at a nearby California State University campus.
  • Register for classes on your registration date, and then take the test at SDSU on August 24, 2017. This is the least desirable option because your scores may affect which classes you take. You may have to revise your registration.

Get more information about ELM/EPT proctoring options.

Chemistry Department Placement Exam

Use your MAP to determine whether your major requires you to take Chemistry 200 or 202. If it does, you must first take the SDSU Chemistry Department Placement Exam. The exam determines whether you place directly into these courses, or whether you must take Chemistry 100 as a prerequisite.

If you won't be in San Diego before your registration date, you can take the Chemistry Placement Exam at a university or college near you. You are responsible for making all arrangements with the proctoring institution, including paying them any administrative fees. Please coordinate exam shipment with Assistant Testing Coordinator Peter Strachwitz at staar@mail.sdsu.edu or (619) 594-5216. Be sure to allow sufficient time for exam materials to be shipped, returned, and scored prior to your registration date.

Precalculus Proficiency Assessment

Use your MAP to determine whether your major requires you to take Mathematics 124 (Calculus for Life Sciences) or Mathematics 150 (Calculus I). If it does, you must first take the SDSU Precalculus Proficiency Assessment. The assessment determines whether you place directly into Mathematics 124 or Mathematics 150, or whether you must take Mathematics 141 as a prerequisite.

If you won't be in San Diego before your registration date, you can take the Precalculus Proficiency Assessment at a university or college near you. You are responsible for making all arrangements with the proctoring institution, including paying them any administrative fees. Please coordinate exam shipment with Assistant Testing Coordinator Peter Strachwitz at staar@mail.sdsu.edu or (619) 594-5216. Be sure to allow sufficient time for exam materials to be shipped, returned, and scored prior to your registration date.

Summary of Test Requirements

TEST TYPE WHO NEEDS TO TAKE IT? IF YOU PASS IF YOU DON'T PASS
ELM

Incoming freshmen who have not met the mathematics requirement (find out if you're exempt)

You are ready to take a GE math course

You must take a remedial math course

EPT

Incoming freshmen who have not met the English requirement (find out if you're exempt)

You are ready to take a GE composition course

You must take a developmental writing course

Chemistry Placement Exam

Students whose major requires Chemistry 200 or 202 must take the exam, unless you:

  • received a score of 3 or above on the AP Chemistry test within the last two years
  • took an equivalent to Chemistry 100 at another college (see which courses count)

As long as you have satisfied the ELM requirement, you are ready to take Chemistry 200 or 202

You must take Chemistry 100 and achieve a grade of C or better

Precalculus Proficiency Assessment

Students whose major requires Mathematics 124 or 150 must take the exam, unless you:

  • received a score of 4 or above on the AP Calculus AB exam or 3 or higher on the AP Calculus BC exam
    AL 344
  • took an equivalent to Mathematics 150 at another college (see which courses count)

As long as you have satisfied the ELM requirement, you are ready to take Mathematics 124 or 150

You must take Mathematics 141 (or equivalent) and achieve a grade of C or better

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