Your success as a college student depends, to a large degree, on enrolling in courses that match your abilities and skills. Assessment includes testing, as well as other measures, and is intended to assist you in determining the best fit between your skills and class requirements. In order to ensure proper course selection, all new students MUST take the English and Math assessment exams, unless you qualify for an exemption (please see below).

To take one or more of these exams please contact the Counseling office at 619.388.3540 or the First Year Services office at 619.388.3998 to schedule an appointment.

EXEMPTIONS:  Past Educational Achievements in Mathematics or English

Students are exempt from the English and math placement tests if they have earned an Associate degree or higher, have completed English and math courses at another accredited college or university, or have received a qualifying score on an SAT or EAP test taken within the past two years. Students should send official copies of their SAT or EAP test scores directly to the District Student Services office to determine readiness for English 101 or 105 and for courses with a Math 096 prerequisite. All tests must have been completed with the past 2 years.

TestMinimum Score Required
EAPReady for CSU College-level English/Math Course
EAP ConditionalConditional status does NOT meet the criteria

An official AP score report with a qualifying score from the College Board Advanced Placement English or Math Exam may be sent or taken directly to the City College Records office (A-109) or the Counseling office (A-110) for consideration. Please refer to the College Catalog for AP exam score requirements.

Assessment Tests
There are three types of Assessment Tests offered at City College.
  • English:
    This test is designed for native speakers of English. If English isn't your primary language, but if you are very comfortable using English and use it most of the time, then the English Placement Test is the right one for you to take.  ENGLISH ASSESSMENT TESTS MAY BE RETAKEN AFTER 1 YEAR.
  • English for Non-Native English Speakers (English for Speakers of Other Languages - ESOL):
    The ESOL Program is designed to prepare students to read, write, speak and listen at a level that enables them to succeed in college courses. This test is appropriate if English is not your primary language, you are not very comfortable with English, or if you speak, read, and write your native language most of the time. The program consists of four levels and the student is assigned a level based on the results of his or her placement test.
  • Mathematics:
    There are two mathematics tests available – Arithmetic and Elementary Algebra. The Arithmetic test will help you determine if you have the necessary skills to be successful in the algebra courses. The Elementary Algebra test will help you determine if you are ready for transfer level mathematics courses. Choose the test that most closely matches the last mathematics course you took.  MATH ASSESSMENT TESTS MAY BE RETAKEN AFTER 1 YEAR.  STUDENTS WHO WANT TO RETEST IN MATH EARLIER THAN 1 YEAR MUST TAKE A REFRESHER SESSION/WORKSHOP/COURSE OR ADVANCEMENT EXAM.
We use an online assessment test known as Accuplacer. 

Download the Testing Tips for Taking ACCUPLACER Math and English Placement Tests to find out what you need to know before taking the tests.  You will also sample questions for you to practice before taking the exams.

Understanding the Results of the Placement Tests
Depending on the tests you take, you will receive a skill level from 10 to 50 in one or more of the following:
  • Reading (R)
  • Writing (W)
  • ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) (L)
  • Math (M)

Your test results will look something like this: R50, W30 (or L20 - ESOL) & M40. Use the following tables to determine what classes you are eligible to take based on your skill level:

Reading (R)
Reading Skill LevelEligible Courses
R30English 042 or 47a
R40English 048
R50English 101 (Reading)
Writing (W)
Writing Skill LevelEligible Courses
W30English 043 or 47a
W40English 049
W50English 101 (Writing)
ESOL Skill LevelEligible Courses
L19ESOL 019
L20ESOL 020, 021, 022
L30ESOL 030, 031, 032
L40ESOL 40 *
* At L40 skill level, you have the option to take the English test for native English speakers.
Math (M)
MathSkill LevelEligible Courses
M10Math 034a
M20Math 038
M30Math 046 or 047a
M40Math 096
M50**Math 104, 107, 116, 118, 119 or 210A
** M50 is the minimum level of proficiency in math for baccalaureate transfer level courses.

Course Sequence Charts

Review the Course Sequence Charts to determine the proper sequence of courses to take based on your assessment skill levels.

Please visit the San Diego Community College District Student Web Services website for more information.