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Entry Level Math Test FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who must take the ELM?

All entering undergraduates admitted to a CSU campus are required, unless exempt, to take the Entry Level Math Test (ELM). You must take the ELM and receive a score prior to enrollment in any coursework. Students are exempt if they meet one of the following:

  • Placement in the "Ready for College " category on the Early Assessment Program (EAP) mathematics taken in conjunction with the 11th grade California Standards Test in High School Mathematics or Algebra II.
  • Placement in the "Ready for College-Conditional" category on the Early Assessment Program (EAP) mathematics taken in conjunction with the 11th grade California Standards Test in High School Mathematics or Algebra II PLUS successful completion of a CSU-approved math or math-related course or activity taken before you enroll at a CSU campus.
  • A score of 550 or above on the mathematics portion of the College Board SAT Reasoning Test.*
  • A score of 550 or above on a College Board SAT Subject Test in Mathematics (level I or 2).*
  • A score of 23 or above on the ACT Mathematics Test taken October 1989 or later.
  • A score of 3 or above on the College Board Advanced Placement Calculus AB or BC exam.
  • A score of 3 or above on the College Board Advanced Placement Statistics exam.
  • Completion and transfer to the CSU of a college course that satisfies the requirement in Quantitative Reasoning provided such a course was completed with a grade of C or better.

NOTE:  The College Board SAT I and SAT II were renamed SAT Reasoning and SAT Subject Tests, beginning March 2005.

What does the ELM consist of?

ELM consists of multiple-choice questions. You should plan a minimum of 2 hours for the ELM. For sample questions and information, click Focus on Mathematics, the ELM Problem Book , and the CSU's Math Success website

How will my performance on the ELM affect me?

ELM scores will be used to place you in college-level mathematics or a developmental course. If you do not qualify for college-level mathematics, you will be required to enroll in the appropriate developmental course during your first quarter of enrollment. Click For course-placement information.

If I do poorly on the ELM, may I take it again?

You may repeat the ELM but NOT during the same testing periods. Specific testing periods can be found in the CSU EPT/ELM Information Bulletin at

Scores from the ELM must be received before students begin classes at the University and the ELM may not be taken again after that date.

When is the ELM offered, and what is the cost?

ELM test dates and registration deadlines are posted in the Cal Poly Pomona Test Center and in the Schedule of Classes. If you would like to see the dates on which the ELM will be administered at Cal Poly Pomona, please click here. You may take the ELM at any CSU campus. The fee is $18, to be paid through the ETS Website. ELM fees are nonrefundable and subject to change.  If taking BOTH exams (EPT/ELM), the fee is $36.

How do I sign up for the ELM?

ELM registration packets are available in the Cal Poly Pomona Test Center. You may mail or hand carry the registration form to any CSU campus where you wish to take the test. Click here if you wish to register online for Cal Poly Pomona only.

What should I bring on the day of the test?

  • A photo bearing ID (Driver's License, California State ID, Student ID, or Passport).  If you arrive without photo ID or late, you will not be admitted to the test.
  • Several #2 pencils and pens.
  • You need to know your social security number, but please do not bring your card.
  • No dictionary, thesaurus, or other materials.
  • You may not bring a personal digital assistant (PDA), cellular telephone, or pager.

Check-in is 30 minutes prior to time of exam.  Please report to the exterior patio section of building 5, which faces out onto the main quad.  Print campus map from Cal Poly Pomona website


May I come to the test as a walk-in?

No.  Walk-in test takers are no longer admitted into the exam.

When will I receive my score?

Your score will be mailed to you and to the CSU campuses you designate approximately four weeks after the test date. Please be sure to retain your score report and present it to college officials if necessary. Click here for additional test information.

Accommodations needed?

To receive accommodations, you must notify the Disability Resource Center at (909) 869-3333 no later than the registration deadline.  Please note that accommodations are not provided on Saturday.

If your religious convictions prevent you from taking the ELM on the scheduled test dates, you must request special arrangements by providing a letter on official letterhead from an appropriate religious authority to the Test Officer.