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Early Assessment Program

A program that assesses students for college-readiness in grade 11 of high school.


The California Department of Education (CDE) collaborates with the California State University (CSU), California Community Colleges (CCC) and the State Board of Education (SBE), to address the increasing number of incoming college students who require remediation in English and/or mathematics. The Early Assessment Program (EAP) is a voluntary program designed to provide students, their families, and high schools with early signals about students’ readiness for college-level English and mathematics. When students take the grade eleven California Standards Tests (CSTs) in English and in either Algebra II or Summative High School Mathematics, the students may also complete a brief set of optional multiple-choice questions and a writing exercise that are part of the EAP.


The EAP is designed to bridge the gap between high school standards and college expectations by substantially increasing the college readiness, and eventual college success, of California’s high school students. In addition, the EAP not only strengthens comprehensive, high-school-based, college preparation programs, but it also allows each public high school, CCC and CSU to determine the college preparation status of individual students. The CDE has collaborated with the CSU to develop resources and information to assist schools with effective implementation of the EAP. Every high school junior is encouraged to participate in the EAP. The EAP has three components: early testing, the opportunity for additional preparation in grade 12, and professional development activities for high school English and mathematics teachers.


The EAP has three components: grade 11 testing, grade 12 intervention, and professional development activities for high school teachers.

Grade 11 Testing

Students participate by responding to voluntary items that appear in their grade 11 CST English-language arts and Mathematics test booklets. There are 15 additional questions for the mathematics test and 15 additional questions along with an analytical essay for the English test.

Grade 12 Intervention

After grade 11 students take the test, they will be notified whether they are college-ready or need additional preparation for college-level work. Students who are not yet demonstrating college-readiness will be encouraged to prepare further for college in grade 12 through the Expository Reading and Writing Course and interactive math and English success Web sites.

Professional Development

Further development is available to teachers through the EAP Teacher Workshop- Expository Reading and Writing Course and the Math Professional Development Program. High school teachers can improve their skills to help students read and write effectively as well as develop creative approaches to problem solving. For additional information on how educators can help students improve college-readiness, please visit the Early Assessment Program Web site External link opens in new window or tab. .


All students in California should have the opportunity to successfully articulate to a college of their choice; however, many high school students are graduating under-prepared for college-level work. The EAP provides an excellent opportunity to begin remedying this situation by raising expectations for all students and providing support for students to reach those expectations. Early Assessment addresses remediation and, at the same time, cultivates understanding of the study/learning skills necessary for college success. The EAP fosters a more challenging high school senior year, while establishing a much-needed articulation mechanism between education systems.

In spring 2011, 382,917 students completed the 2011 EAP test in English, with 23 percent of these students being deemed "ready for college,” compared to 21 percent in 2010.

In mathematics, 58 percent of the 190,917 students who took the 2011 EAP test demonstrated full or conditional college-readiness, compared to 57 percent in 2010.


There is no CDE funding for this program. The CSU provides supplemental funding to augment the CSTs and professional development activities.


Additional Information

2011 Early Assessment Program (PDF) | 2011 Early Assessment Program Student Letter (PDF)
February 2011: Joint letters with the California Department of Education, California State University, and California Community Colleges to County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, High School Principals, College and High School Counselors and Career Center Directors, Grade Eleven English and Mathematics Teachers, and Grade Eleven Students regarding the 2011 Early Assessment Program (EAP).

Frequently Asked Questions External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
Frequently asked questions regarding the EAP on the CSU Web site.

The California State University (CSU) External link opens in new window or tab.
Information about the EAP in the CSU system and links to all of the CSU campuses.

The California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office (CCCCO) External link opens in new window or tab.
Information about the EAP and the CCC Chancellor’s Office.

Questions: Carolyn Hamilton | | 916-323-5765 
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