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Reports from Policy Analysts

Cal State System Proposes to End Placement Exams

Submitted On: Saturday, June 24, 2017

Analyst: Melzer, Dan

The California State University system is considering implementing a policy that would discontinue the use of the English Placement Test (EPT) as soon as 2018 and instead rely on high school grades and course work, SAT, or ACT scores as measures to determine college readiness. The proposed policy is part of the Graduation Initiative 2025, an initiative to increase the four-year graduation rate. Many CSU WPAs are in favor of retiring the EPT, but the executive order that includes the elimination of placement tests was created with little consultation with faculty, and faculty are concerned about lack of local autonomy regarding assessment and placement. The chancellor’s office is also directing more CSUs to create stretch composition courses as alternatives to remediation, and CSU WPAs would like to see the resources saved by eliminating the EPT be redirected to support local campus writing assessment, placement, and support efforts. Many CSUs already have stretch courses in place, and they are often combined with directed self-placement instruments to more accurately place students into the appropriate composition course than a one-shot timed writing exam.

Academic Level

Higher Education



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