Skip to Main Content

Center for College & Career Readiness Office of Undergraduate Studies

Support Page Content

What is the Early Assessment Program?

High school students in classroom

The Importance of Assessment

The Early Assessment Program (EAP) is a collaborative effort among the State Board of Education (SBE), the California Department of Education (CDE), and California State University (CSU). It was established to provide opportunities for high school students to measure their readiness for college-level English and mathematics.

Like all colleges and universities, the CSU wants to ensure incoming first-year students are prepared to succeed. Students who complete general education math and written communication courses during their first year save time and money and are twice as likely to graduate as those who don't. Giving students an indicator of their preparation level during their junior year of high school allows them to focus on critical skills before they arrive on the CSU campus for their first semester.

Are You Ready for College?

Spoiler Alert: One of the best things you can do to get prepared for college is to take a senior year math class. Watch to find out why!

Junior Year - CAASPP Results

The Early Assessment Program starts in students' junior year of high school when they take the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) exam at school. Embedded within this test are components of the Early Assessment Program that help determine a student's college readiness for CSU-level coursework. These assessments help seniors prioritize and use their senior year proactively, taking the appropriate math and English courses in preparation for college. The goal is for California high school graduates to enter the CSU fully prepared to begin college-level study.

Students' CAASPP scores indicate their current level of academic preparation in mathematics and writing, which is why we advise students to take this assessment seriously.

Students' CAASPP scores are the first opportunity to learn whether they are working above (Level 4), at (Level 3), or below grade level (Level 1 or 2). The CSU system automatically assigns each student one of the following academic preparation statuses in mathematics and written communication:

Level Assessment Status
4 Standard Exceeded: Ready for college-level work without support
3 Standard Met: Ready for college-level work without support upon completion of a senior-year math or English course
2 Standard Nearly Met: Must demonstrate academic preparation in another way, through ACT, SAT, AP/IB exams, or enroll in supported coursework while attending a CSU
1 Standard Not Met
decorative image

Understanding Your CAASSP Scores

This video will help you learn more about your CAASPP score report. These tests help teachers across the state see how well students can write clearly, think critically, and solve problems, which are some of the skills that are needed to succeed in college and a 21st-century career.

Students’ CAASPP results direct them toward rigorous senior-year coursework to help them maintain a high level of academic preparation for college.

We recommend that you work with your high school counselor to identify approved courses for college preparation.

Throughout their senior year of high school, students also have the opportunity to demonstrate academic preparation by receiving a qualifying score on the SAT, ACT, or certain AP exams. Furthermore, students who earned Level 3 on the CAASPP exam (were assessed at grade level) can demonstrate academic preparation for general education math and writing courses without support by completing qualifying courses during their senior year. See the chart below for more information.

Preparation in Math

  • Math Courses Qualifying senior math course options must have Algebra II or Integrated Math III as a prerequisite.

Preparation in English

Standardized Test Math English/
Written Communication
SAT Reasoning 570 550
SAT Subject 550 No subject test available
ACT  23 22
CAASSP/EAP Level 3 or above Level 3 or above
AP 3 or above 3 or above
Community College Pre-Calculus or higher English 1A or equivalent

EAP Service Areas

decorative image