ESL (English as a Second Language) students receive their placement results based on assessment tests completed at the college. Placement results are used by academic counselors to determine readiness for specific courses and programs.
Effective February 1, 2019, standardized assessment tests will no longer be administered for placement into English and math classes. ESL tests will still be offered.
With the newly enacted Assembly Bill 705*, there are two pathways for course placement:
1. Students who graduated from a United States high school in the last 10 years will receive English and math placements using high school records instead of standardized assessment tests. For more information, go to Placement for Recent HS Graduates to the left.
2. Students who graduated more than 10 years ago, students who have foreign transcripts, and students who left high school without graduating will use a Guided Self-Placement tool to choose the course(s) most suitable for them. For more information, please go to Non-GPA Guided Self-Placement to the left.
*More than a year ago, California law (Assembly Bill 705) essentially eliminated the use of assessment tests for purposes of determining placement of students into transfer-level math and English courses in community colleges. Research shows that California students are far more prepared than assessment tests have acknowledged. A student's high school performance is a much stronger predictor of success in transfer-level courses than standardized placement tests. AB 705 requires colleges to take into account high school coursework, high school grades, and high school grade point average when determining math and English placement upon enrollment. For more information please watch this video: Know Your Rights: The AB 705 Initiative and What it Means for Students .
English as a Second Language The ESL test is for students whose native language is not English and who wish to enroll in ESL classes. It is composed of four sections. Listening, reading, and grammar are administered on the computer and are not timed. Writing (essay) is timed for 30 minutes. Students should allow approximately 3 hours. A student may retest one time, District-wide, after a 30-calendar-day waiting period. Assessment is for initial course placement only. Any student who has started the course sequence will be referred to the Humanities Department to pursue a Prerequisite Challenge.
ESL Reading and Grammar test information and sample questions. (Scroll down to see all 5 pages of this document.)
ESL Sample Items (All 4 tests.)
Check the ACCUPLACER Web-Based Study App to get prepared for the ESL test.
The Official Web-Based Study App
This Web-based study app features practice tests in ESL Language Use (Grammar), ESL Listening, or ESL Reading Skills. It’s accessible from any Internet-capable computer, and it will help you become familiar with the content and format of the ACCUPLACER test questions.
To get the free Web-based app, visit accuplacer.collegeboard.org/student/practice (Read the information under "Practice and Get Prepared for Test Day" and click on the link. Create an account. Once logged in, select the ESL Practice Tests option.)
The app is also available on your mobile device on IOS version 5.0 or later OR Android version 2.3 or later.
Learning and Study Strategies Inventory The Learning and Study Strategies Inventory, LASSI, is used to assess students' awareness of their use of learning and study strategies. It is administered on the computer and is not timed. Allow 30 minutes.