Frequently Asked Questions About the Early Assessment Program
The Early Assessment Program (EAP) is the result of collaboration between the California Department of Education (CDE), State Board of Education (SBE), and California State University (CSU). The EAP, developed to align the competencies required of incoming freshmen with the K-12 standards in English-language arts and mathematics, is voluntary and will be offered at all public California high schools beginning in spring 2004.
The Early Assessment of Readiness for College English portion of the EAP consists of optional multiple-choice questions and an essay that augment the Grade 11 California English-Language Arts Standards Test (ELA CST). The Early Assessment of Readiness for College Mathematics consists of optional multiple-choice questions that augment the Algebra II and Summative High School Mathematics CSTs. These augmented tests are offered only to high school juniors.
Why should eleventh-grade students take the EAP when many of them will be taking SAT I, SAT II, ACT, AP, and STAR tests?
The EAP is voluntary for eleventh-grade students and adds a minimal amount of time to part 2 of the Grade 11 ELA, Algebra II, and Summative High School Mathematics CSTs. The benefits of participating include the opportunity to:
- Earn an exemption from CSU-required English and/or mathematics placement tests.
- Identify the need for additional preparation for college-level courses.
- Adjust senior-year coursework to prepare for college-level courses.
- Avoid having to invest time and money in college remediation courses that do not count toward a baccalaureate degree.
Who should be encouraged to participate in the EAP?
Eleventh-grade students who are considering applying to a CSU campus should be encouraged to participate in the voluntary assessment. Prior to the high school's scheduled CST administration, eleventh-grade students will receive a two-sided page of information about the EAP.
How do students participate?
Students participate by responding to the optional CSU multiple-choice questions offered in the Grade 11 Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) and CST Algebra II and Summative High School Mathematics test booklets. Space for student answers is provided on the grade 11 STAR CST-CAT/6 Survey answer document. Students who respond to the EAP ELA multiple-choice questions also must complete a 45-minute essay, administered at a separate time in a separate test booklet.
Who gives the EAP?
Schools administer the EAP.
When is the EAP given?
The EAP is administered in conjunction with part 2 of the Grade 11 ELA, the Algebra II, and the Summative High School Mathematics CSTs. Most eleventh-grade students are tested between mid-March and the end of May. If the CSTs are administered after the end of May, EAP results may not be available for planning senior-year coursework.
Schools need to schedule a separate session to administer the essay portion of the Early Assessment of Readiness for College English. The essay must be administered within 30 calendar days of the close of each school’s STAR window or by May 28, whichever is earlier. If the tests in the STAR Program will be administered after mid-May, the essay should be administered before the multiple-choice tests are given. All essays must be shipped for scoring by no later than June 4, 2004.
How many questions are on the EAPs?
The EAP for English consists of fifteen multiple-choice questions plus an essay. The EAP for mathematics consists of fifteen multiple-choice questions.
How much additional time is required?
The EAP multiple-choice questions add about 15 minutes to part 2 of the Grade 11 ELA, Algebra II, and Summative High School Mathematics CST testing times. The EAP essay requires 45 minutes and is administered separately from the multiple-choice tests.
How are the EAP tests ordered?
The EAPs are not ordered. The multiple-choice questions are included in the grade eleven, Algebra II, and Summative High School Mathematics CST test booklets. The essay portion of the ELA EAP is in a separate test booklet. All schools with eleventh-grade students will receive an essay test booklet for each student.
How are EAP essays returned?
District STAR and STAR test site coordinators will receive directions for returning the EAP essays with the CST-CAT/6 Survey testing materials. Freight kits, including magenta return address labels for the EAP essay, will be included in each district and school/test site shipment of testing materials.
May the EAP be taken with both the Algebra II and Summative High School Mathematics CSTs?
Yes. The augmentation was developed with both in mind.
What about students taking integrated mathematics 3?
The optional multiple-choice questions are not included in the Integrated Mathematics 3 CST test booklet. Students taking integrated mathematics 3 courses may not participate in the EAP.
What information will schools and students receive from the EAP?
Student results for the EAP in English will be based on the students’ scores on the 15 EAP multiple-choice questions in English, on selected questions from the Grade 11 California English-Language Arts Standards Test, and on the EAP essay. Student scores for the EAP in mathematics will be based on the students’ scores on the 15 EAP multiple-choice mathematics questions plus selected questions from the Algebra II or Summative High School Mathematics CST. Schools will receive individual student reports to give to the students and cumulative record labels. Districts will receive an electronic file with student results.
Students who complete the EAP in English will be identified as exempt or non-exempt from taking CSU’s English Placement Test (EPT). Students who complete the EAP in mathematics will be identified as exempt, conditionally exempt, or non-exempt from taking CSU’s Entry Level Mathematics Exam (ELM). Following are the definitions of these scores:
Exempt: Student demonstrates proficiency, i.e., student knowledge and skills meet CSU standards for placement into baccalaureate-level entry courses. Students who receive this score are exempt from the requirement to take CSU’s placement test(s) if they apply and are admitted to CSU.
Conditionally Exempt (math only): If the student were to enroll at a CSU campus immediately after completing the EAP in mathematics, the student would be prepared for a basic, freshman-level mathematics course. However, proficiency in mathematics decreases quickly when those skills and knowledge are not used. As a result, these students will be encouraged to keep their proficiency in mathematics at the college level by participating in an approved senior-year experience (e.g., enrolling in and passing a mathematics class with an Algebra II prerequisite during the senior year, completing on-line math tutorials, or participating in a targeted CSU campus program in the summer prior to matriculation at a CSU campus). Students who successfully participate in an approved senior-year experience are exempt from the requirement to take CSU’s mathematics placement test if they apply and are admitted to CSU and will be eligible to enroll in basic, non-remedial freshman-level mathematics courses.
Non-Exempt: At the time the student took the EAP in English or mathematics, the student’s responses did not demonstrate that the student had yet acquired the level of knowledge and skills required to enroll in a college-level course. As a result, these students will be encouraged to focus on improving their English or mathematics skills during their senior year of
high school by participation in approved senior-year experiences or courses designed to strengthen English and mathematics skills. These students will be required to take CSU’s placement tests upon admission to CSU.
What approved senior-year experiences may students complete?
The following are approved senior-year experiences for students who receive conditionally exempt status in mathematics:
- Taking and successfully completing with a grade of C or better Algebra II for a second time with the approval of the high school
- Successfully completing with a grade of C or better a math course that requires Algebra II as a prerequisite
- Successfully completing with a grade of C or better a statistics course that has Algebra II as a prerequisite and is on the A-G list of approved courses
- Successfully completing with a grade of C or better a physics or chemistry course that has Algebra II as a prerequisite and is on the A-G list of approved courses
- Successfully completing with a grade or C or better a math course developed by the high school with the approval of the CSU Mathematics Faculty Validation Committee (e.g., courses such as modeling or finite mathematics)
- Successfully completing a monitored, interactive, or multimedia individualized program (e.g., ALEKS, PLATO, Academic Systems) with approval of the CSU Mathematics Faculty Validation Committee
- Successfully completing with a grade of C or better a community college mathematics course that satisfies the requirement in Quantitative Reasoning
What if a student receives conditionally exempt status but does not do any additional coursework?
If the student is not exempt on the basis of SAT, ACT or AP scores, the student will have to take and pass the ELM. If the student does not pass the ELM, he/she will be required to take remedial courses at the CSU or a community college.
When will results be received?
If the tests are administered prior to June, districts are expected to receive results by August 17.
How will CSU get the information about EAP results?
Students who complete the EAP in English and/or mathematics and apply to CSU will be responsible for having their EAP results included on transcripts sent to CSU.
What senior-year intervention services will be available?
For eleventh-grade students who do not receive a result of exempt on the EAP, the senior year may be used to develop the knowledge and skills required for college-level courses. CSU faculty are working with K-12 to develop focused academic work to assist students in preparing for college and improving their
skills and knowledge to levels that will enable them to pass the EPT and ELM and enter CSU prepared for college-level courses.
Who will work with high school seniors to help them prepare to pass the ELM and EPT?
Typically, the students’ high schools will do this. However, some schools may collaborate with community colleges in this effort.
How would teachers have time to provide interventions for non-exempt students before the November 30 CSU application deadline?
Exempt or non-exempt status does not affect the students’ applications to CSU. Documentation of intervention activities the students complete during their senior year may be provided to CSU after the students are admitted.
Are there special factors and activities that high school counselors should consider?
Counselors should encourage students who take the EAP in English and/or mathematics to keep their proficiency in English and mathematics at the college level during their senior year of high school by enrolling in and passing English and mathematics courses, by using approved on-line tutorials in English and mathematics, and by using tutors as appropriate.
What are the timelines for the release of supplemental curricular resources to schools?
CSU is working with public school leaders to identify approaches for helping high school seniors who need additional preparation to meet CSU placement standards. A set of senior-year programs is being developed for California public high schools that will address directly the college preparation needs of those seniors assessed as eligible for admission to CSU but not ready for college-level study.
A task force under the aegis of the CSU English Council is developing a curriculum and teacher-training materials for a reading and expository writing course to be offered to high school students during their senior year. This course will address reading and writing problems identified by the English Placement Test Development Committee. The task force includes high school English teachers, CSU English faculty, an ESL specialist, a reading expert, a high school principal, and CDE representatives. It is anticipated that this 12th grade course will be piloted in fall 2004 with statewide release in spring 2005.
Do schools need approval for senior classes that address needs identified by the EAP? If so, what is the process for approval?
High schools do not need to seek approval for senior classes that are approved A-G English and mathematics courses. However, other math courses (e.g., modeling or finite mathematics) and monitored, interactive, or multimedia-individualized programs (e.g., ALEKS, PLATO, Academic Systems) require the approval of the CSU Mathematics Faculty Validation Committee. Requests for approval of courses and other activities that require approval of the CSU Mathematics Faculty Validation Committee may be submitted to Mr. Allison G. Jones, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Office of the Chancellor, The California State University, 401 Golden Shore, Long Beach, CA 90802.
What are the specific CSU exemption alternatives for proficiency in addition to the EAP tests?
Students are exempted from taking CSU’s English and mathematics placement exams if they present proof of one of the following:
- A score of 500 or above on the verbal section of the SAT I
- A score of 680 or above on the SAT II: Writing Test
- A score of 22 or above on the ACT English Test
- A score of 3, 4, or 5 on either the Language and Composition or Literature and Composition examination of the Advanced Placement Program
- Completion and transfer to the CSU of a college course that satisfies the requirement in English Composition, with a grade of C or better Mathematics Proficiency
- A score of 550 or above on the mathematics section of the SAT I
- A score of 550 or above on Level IC or IIC of the SAT II: Mathematics Test
- A score of 23 or above on the ACT Mathematics Test
- A score of 3, 4, or 5 on the Advanced Placement Calculus AB or Calculus BC examination
- A score of 3, 4, or 5 on the Advanced Placement Statistics examination
- Completion and transfer to the CSU of a college course that satisfies the requirement in Quantitative Reasoning, with a grade of C or better
Since the EAPs in English and mathematics are not diagnostic and will not provide information about students’ strengths and weaknesses, are there additional tools available for teachers and students that might identify areas requiring additional preparation?
There are two diagnostic assessments available:
The Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Project (MDTP) is a statewide program that develops, distributes, scores, and reports the results of tests that measure student readiness for mathematics courses in algebra, geometry, second-year algebra, math analysis, and calculus in grades 9 through 12. These diagnostic assessments are classroom tools utilized by teachers to assess student learning and then to adjust curriculum and teaching to address the diagnosed deficiencies. The project enhances opportunities for California students to learn mathematics by providing them and their teachers with indications of how well students have mastered the material and what they need to know in order to
continue their study of mathematics. Information about the MDTP is available at http://mdtp.ucsd.edu.
CSU's Diagnostic Writing Service (DWS) provides high school students with information on their progress in learning to read and write at the level required in college classes. The DWS provides high school students with diagnostic information about their writing skills, allowing them to obtain assistance from their teachers to improve those skills while still in high school. The information provided by the DWS allows teachers to examine the strengths and weaknesses of their strategies for developing the writing skills of their students as compared to the standards expected of college freshmen.
The DWS allows students to provide a writing sample. EPT-trained faculty readers respond to each writing sample with diagnostic feedback about the strengths and weaknesses of the student's writing within 10 business days after the student submits the sample. The evaluation is intended only for the student’s personal use to help identify the student’s strengths and weaknesses as a writer. Students are encouraged to share the results with their teachers so that their teachers may be able to develop a program to help strengthen their writing skills.
In addition to essay evaluations, the DWS offers practice in the skills measured by the two multiple-choice portions of the EPT, "Reading Skills" and "Composing Skills." The CSU has developed a full-scale on-line practice multiple-choice test containing 90 questions from prior EPTs. For each question on the practice test, the DWS provides feedback showing, at a glance, the particular skill tested by the question, the correct answer, and a rationale explaining why the right answer is right and the wrong choices are wrong.
The DWS is available on line at http://web1.essayeval.org:84/welcome.shtml.
In spring 2003, the CSU partnered with 76 schools to administer the pilot of the EAP, which gave juniors in these schools the opportunity to earn exemption from the CSU placement tests. May juniors who took spring 2003 exams but were not pilot participants earn an exemption?
The spring 2003 Golden State Examination (GSE) in Reading and GSE in Writing augmented the 2003 grade 11 English-language arts CST. The GSE in High School Mathematics augmented the 2003 Algebra II and High School Summative Mathematics CSTs. Selected items from these exams were used to produce a GSE scaled score and determine exemption status.
The CDE and the CSU have developed a one-time exemption provision for current seniors who were not pilot participants but who scored well on the spring 2003 GSE in High School Mathematics and/or on the GSE in Reading and the GSE in Writing.
When a CSU campus admits a current high school senior as a fall 2004 first-time freshman, the campus will provide this student with and exemption from the ELM if:
• The student took the 2003 Algebra II CST and the spring 2003 GSE in High School Mathematics and received a GSE scaled score of 334 or above; OR
• The student took the 2003 Summative High School Mathematics CST and the spring 2003 GSE in High School Mathematics and received a GSE scaled score of 328 or above.
When a CSU campus admits a current high school senior as a fall 2004 first-time freshman, the campus will provide this student with an exemption from the EPT if:
• The student’s scaled score on the spring 2003 GSE in Reading was 329 or above AND
• The student’s scaled score on the spring 2003 GSE in Writing was 326 or above.
High schools should notify seniors applying to CSU campuses about this pilot provision. Seniors who have been admitted to a CSU campus or campuses and who wish to take advantage of this pilot provision should be given a notice on high school letterhead stating that the student achieved spring 2003 GSE scaled scores that meet the provisions above. This notice should be submitted to the CSU campus or campuses immediately. The spring 2003 GSE scaled scores are only reported on the GSE District CD-ROM.