Frequently Asked Questions on Placement Testing

Welcome to City College of San Francisco!  Now that you have submitted your application, you are ready for the next few steps—placement testing, orientation and counseling.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THESE PLACEMENT TESTS?
These tests are one way of measuring your skills in Math and English (or ESL). You and your counselor will use these results (together with other information about you) to decide on a program of courses that best suits your needs and interests. Your test results are used for placement purposes only and cannot prevent you from attending CCSF.

CAN I BE EXCUSED FROM ANY OR ALL OF THE PLACEMENT TESTS?
You can be excused from taking any or all of the placement tests if:

1.       You are waiving the English and/or Math placement test on the basis of completing specific college courses or standardized tests.  *See Placement Test Waiver Form. 

2.       You are exempting from the assessment component on the basis of an AA degree or higher, or enrolling in no more than 9 units of courses with no prerequisites.  *See the Matriculation Exemption Form.  

Forms are available at the Admission Office in Conlan Hall, Room 107 and online.  For more information, please call 239-3285.

WHICH TESTS DO I TAKE?

All students must take either the ENGLISH or ESL test:

ENGLISH (1-1/2 hours) For native English speakers (or those whose primary language is English) or  

ESL (English as a Second Language)--(1-1/2 hours) For those whose primary language is not English

MATHEMATICS
City College administers three levels of mathematics placement testing.:

ARITHMETIC (45 min) – For students who need to strengthen their basic arithmetic skills or who may be ready to study Elementary Algebra.

ELEMENTARY ALGEBRA (45 min) – For students who have studied beginning algebra and may be ready to study Intermediate or Advanced Algebra.

COLLEGE LEVEL MATH (45 min) – For students who wish to enroll in Trigonometry, Calculus, or higher.

Students may take one or more of the tests;  however, all students must begin with either the Arithmetic Test or Elementary Algebra Test.  To help you decide which test to begin with, please review the sample questions before you arrive at the testing session.  The following questions should also help you to decide which test to begin with:

SHOULD I BEGIN WITH THE ARITHMETIC OR ELEMENTARY ALGEBRA TEST?

1) Do you need a review of basic arithmetic (including operations with fractions and decimals)?
Yes    No

2) Do you need a review of basic algebra?
Yes    No

If you answered YES to Question 1 or 2, begin with the Arithmetic Test.

If you answered NO to both Questions 1 and 2,begin with the Elementary Algebra Test.

SHOULD I TAKE THE ENGLISH OR ESL (ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE) TEST?

1.  Is English the first language you learned as a child?                                     Yes     No

2.  Did you complete most of your education in the English language?              Yes      No

3.  Do you usually speak English with your friends and/or co-workers?
Yes      No

If you answered NO to more than one of these questions, you should take CCSF ESL Placement Test.  Even if you have been in this country for several years, you will benefit from CCSF ESL courses, which are offered at many levels. If your results on the ESL Placement Test indicate that you would benefit from general English courses, you will be advised to enroll directly in general English.

CHEMISTRY PLACEMENT TEST
Students who wish to enroll in CHEM 101A, 103A, 208A, or 212A may need to take the Chemistry placement Test.  See the CCSF Catalog for a description of CHEM course prerequisites.  The Chemistry Placement Test schedule is available  at the Testing Office, Conlan Hall Rm 203, or online.

CAN I TAKE THE PLACEMENT TESTS BY COMPUTER?
You can take the English, ESL and Math Placement Tests in either a computerized or paper-pencil format.

Computerized version: Computerized tests are administered in the CCSF Computerized Assessment Center in the basement of Conlan Hall Rm E5.  Seating is limited.  Reservations can be made in person at the Testing Office in Conlan Hall Rm 203, or by phone (415) 239-3124.

Paper-pencil version: Students may attend the paper-pencil version of the tests on a drop-in basis.  No reservation is required.  For dates and times of both computerized and paper-pencil testing, consult the CCSF Placement Testing Schedule.

HOW MANY TIMES MAY I TAKE THE CCSF PLACEMENT TESTS?

If you have never enrolled in an English or ESL or Math class:
You may retake the placement tests after three months.

If you are currently enrolled in an English or ESL or Math class:
You may NOT retake the placement tests.

If you have completed or withdrawn from an English or ESL class:
You may retake the test(s) six months after completion or withdrawal from the class(es).

The CCSF placement tests are for initial placement only and may not be used to jump to higher courses in the program. If you wish to jump courses in ESL or English, contact the ESL or English coordinator.

DO I NEED TO BRING ANYTHING TO THE TEST?
Yes, you must bring your photo ID (e.g. driver’s license, passport, etc).  All testing materials will be provided.

HOW CAN I GET A COPY OF MY TEST RESULTS?
You can pick up a copy of your test results in person thirty minutes prior to your scheduled orientation at the Testing Office in Conlan Hall Rm 203.

OR

You can print a copy of your test results by accessing them online (only if your admissions Application has been processed) at http:/www.ccsf.edu/w4.

WHAT IS ORIENTATION?
Orientation is a workshop conducted by a CCSF counselor that acquaints you with the registration process, college facilities, academic and vocational programs, student services, and college procedures, as well as academic expectations and opportunities.  See the Placement Testing Schedule for in-person orientation dates or complete orientation online at http://www.ccsf.edu/New_Students/Orientation. 

 

ARE THERE SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DISABLED STUDENTS?
Special testing and orientation for students with disabilities are available. To make arrangements and for further information, contact Disabled Student Programs and Services, Rosenberg Library, Rm 323 or call 452-5481 (Voice/TDD).

WHAT WILL I DISCUSS WITH A COUNSELOR?
After orientation, you and a counselor will discuss your educational goals. The counselor will help you develop a list of appropriate course choices for your semester at City College.

After you have completed placement testing, orientation, and counseling, submit proof of completion to the Admissions and Records Office, Conlan Hall, Room 107 to activate your registration appointment.

If you have additional questions, please call the Office of Matriculation and Assessment, 239-3751, Conlan Hall, Room 204.

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