Half of California 11th graders cannot participate in the Early Assessment Program (EAP) in mathematics
About half of California 11th graders were not far enough along in their study of college prep mathematics in 2010 to be eligible for the state's Early Assessment Program () in the subject.
Participation is open only to 11th graders who take either the Algebra II or the Summative High School Mathematics California Standards Tests (), indicating they have reached at least Algebra II. Through augmented versions of these two CSTs, eligible students who opt to take the EAP and do well enough are exempted from placement testing in math at California State University and a growing number of California Community Colleges. Participants may also receive an exemption that is "conditional" on taking another year of rigorous math in 12th grade. Other participants get an early signal they should spend their senior year improving their readiness.
The figure below shows:
- Only 49% of California 11th graders had reached at least Algebra II and thus were eligible for the EAP Math in 2010. This percentage has increased slowly over time.
- Of 11th graders who were eligible for the EAP Math, greater proportions opted to participate in 2009 and 2010 than in the three prior years.
- Of 11th graders who participated in the EAP Math, the proportion that was "ready for college" (without conditions) was slightly higher in 2010 than in prior years.
- The overall result: only 6% of all 11th graders demonstrated college readiness via the EAP Math in 2010, and another 16% demonstrated conditional readiness.
Data: California State University, Early Assessment Program
Note: EAP participants shown above exclude a small number for whom EAP results were not reported.
About the EAP Math
High school juniors in California take different math tests depending on the courses in which they enroll, such as the Algebra I, Geometry, or Algebra II CSTs. Another possibility is the Summative High School Mathematics CST, which students take only if they have completed Algebra II in a prior year and/or are enrolled in a course beyond Algebra II.
The EAP Math involves augmented versions of only the Algebra II and the Summative High School Mathematics CSTs. Thus, only 11th graders who take one of these two tests are eligible to participate. This is because CSU requires students to have successfully completed at least Algebra II (or equivalent) to be eligible for admission. Students enrolled in courses below Algebra II are not math-ready for CSU by definition.
The Algebra II and Summative High School Mathematics CSTs are each augmented with 15 additional items covering topics in algebra and geometry. For the purpose of assessing students' readiness for college, CSU considers students' success on these additional items and selected items from the original tests.
The EAP Math includes an intermediate performance level not used in the EAP English: "Ready For College, Conditional." CSU grants students assessed at this level an exemption from placement testing in mathematics upon enrollment only if they take an additional year of rigorous mathematics during their senior year to ensure continued readiness.