Writing & Rhetoric Center

Right here. Write now.

English Placement Test (EPT)

The EPT is used to determine readiness for the General Education Area A1 (written communication) course, English 134: Writing and Rhetoric or English 133: Writing and Rhetoric for English as a Second Language Students.   

Any first-time, first-year student deemed not ready for college-level English coursework based on the score of a pre-college examination must take the EPT before they can enroll in classes.

Students who do not fulfill the EPT requirement before July 1, 2017 will be required to enroll in the CSU Early Start English program and will be required to complete the English Department's first-year composition stretch program, which consists of two quarters of composition coursework.  Students also will find a HOLD (enrollment block) on their registration privileges for all classes until they submit an EPT Contract indicating that they have registered for the test.

Entering first-year students required either to take the EPT or document an exemption from it are notified on the Admission Application Status screen viewable through My Cal Poly Portal.

EPT Exemptions

Students entering Cal Poly from high school earn an EPT exemption based on any of the following pre-college examination scores: 

Test Date Score
CAASPP Early Assessment Program (EAP)   Ready
SAT Evidence Based Reading & Writing October 2016 or later 550 or above
SAT Critical Reading section March 2005 or later 500 or above
ACT English Test   22
AP Language and Composition   3, 4, or 5
AP Composition and Literature   3, 4, or 5

As well, students with an EAP "Conditionally Ready" status may be exempt from the EPT if they clear their status through one of the following:

  • completion of a grade of “C” or better in an approved yearlong 12th grade English course, which will be determined after the final high school transcript has been received and processed  
  • completion of a grade of C or better in a transferable, college-level composition course equivalent to English 134 or 133, which will be determined after the college transcript is received and processed by the Evaluations Office.

Cal Poly does not accept the IB test as a substitute for the EPT, nor does it qualify for English 134 or 133 credit; students may earn credit for elective courses depending on their IB scores.

EPT Dates, Locations, & Registration

The EPT is offered year-round at various CSU campuses and at all CSU campuses in May and June. The specific test dates and registration deadlines for each campus are available online at the CSU Placement Tests EPT webpage, along with the locations of the test centers at all the campuses.

Students may register online to take the EPT at Cal Poly or any other CSU campus, and test scores should be directed to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

EPT Score Interpretations

All students who score 147 or above on the EPT will be placed in English 134: Writing and Rhetoric or English 133: Writing and Rhetoric for English as a Second Language Students. 

An EPT score below 147 indicates that a student may have difficulty in courses which lean heavily on reading and writing skills. These skills are very important in order to successfully complete college coursework. So such students can strengthen their English skills early in their academic careers, Cal Poly requires students to complete the CSU Early Start program in addition to a series of courses in order to satisfy their Remediation Milestone

Related Content

Upcoming Events

Summer Tutoring 

July 10 - August 31
Mon., Wed., and Thurs. 
10 am - 4 pm

WPE Dates 

July 7, 14, 21, and 28
*For summer graduates

August 14
*For incoming transfer students

October 4, 7, and 10
*For all eligible students


Writing Consultations

The University Writing & Rhetoric Center offers free writing consultations to all Cal Poly students.  Students may visit one of four locations and work with a consultant for thirty or sixty minutes.  Plan ahead and visit with a writing consultant before a writing project due date to make the most of your visit!

English Placement Test (EPT)

On the basis of pre-college exam scores, students are deemed ready, conditionally ready, or not ready for college-level coursework.  The CSU requires conditionally ready first-year students to show that they are exempt from English remediation before they can enroll in ENGL 133 or 34. Any student who does not clear a conditional status is placed in writing courses to prepare them for academic success on campus. If developmental coursework is required, students must fulfill the yearlong stretch course by the end of the first year or risk disqualification. 

Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR)

The GWR must be fulfilled by all Cal Poly students who are seeking a degree, including Master's degree and teaching credentials.  Undergraduate students must complete 90 units before they can fulfill the requirement and should fulfill the requirement before the senior year.  Visit the GWR page for more information on how to complete this requirement.