Tips before you retest…

The assessment process at Sacramento City College helps to identify your current skills in the areas of Math, English, and/or English as a Second Language.

So, even though you may have taken Calculus in high school and passed with an “A+++++” grade, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you qualify for Calculus in college today…especially if you had taken that Calculus course 7 years ago. (Well, unless Calculus is part of your everyday life or you solve derivatives and hyperbolic functions for fun, then there is a chance that you could qualify for Math 400!)

Here are some tips to remember when taking the assessments:

Review the study guides available online. It would be helpful to know ahead of time the type of questions or problems you will be asked to solve. While the study guides may not be the exact replica of the assessments, it will give you pretty good idea of what to expect. Also, don’t review the study guide 10 minutes before you take the assessments. Give yourself some time to actually answer the questions and to solve the math problems.

The assessments will place you into the level of Math, English, and/or ESL that you are ready for. For this reason, take the assessments seriously! You do not want to be placed into classes are way too easy or way too hard.  Once you complete all of the assessments, it will be helpful to meet with a counselor so that you know what the results actually mean.  Your assessments will also help counselors to recommend other general education courses that pertain to your goal.

Placing into a transferable level class, such as ENGWR 300, does NOT mean that you have completed your writing requirement or that you are exempt from taking a writing course! In order to meet graduation and/or transfer requirements, you still have to successfully complete the required Math, English, and/or ESL courses.

Do your best on the assessments…the first time! Although you can retake the assessments one more time, you should be prepared and ready to do your BEST the first time!  Also, there should be a valid reason why you want to retest. Don’t just retest to place into a higher level if you are not prepared.

NOTE:  You are not able to retest if you have started the course sequence for math, English, and/or English as a Second Language.  If you would like to determine placement into a different level, you must go to the Math Department  (South Gym 220) and Language and Literature Department (Rodda South 226) to request the “course challenge” process.

Once you take the assessments, plan to actually take a math, English, and/or ESL class immediately. Even though the assessments are valid for two years, don’t wait until the expiration date comes up to enroll into these classes. Some GE courses, such as History and Anthropology, require the completion of English Writing courses to meet the prerequisites. Also, you don’t want too much time to pass since taking your last math class.

Plan about 1.5 to 2 hours to complete the math and English assessments. This way, you are not feeling pressured or rushed to finish. The assessments are given on a “first come, first served” basis, so if the testing center is full, you may have to wait until a computer is available.  Also, be aware that there is a different process for ESL assessments.

Arrive to the Assessment Office prepared. This means that you have already reviewed the study guides, checked the correct date and time for testing, have a Student ID number, and have brought the appropriate photo identification. (No, your mom cannot verify who you are…we still need proof!)

Don’t be alarmed if you have to take an English essay. The English essay is one part of the English assessment that some students may have to take. Your score on the English assessment will determine whether or not you will need to return for the essay component.

Remember this: you will not FAIL! You will not fail because the assessments are not based on “pass” or “fail” scoring. Your score will simply determine the appropriate level that you are ready for. (NOTE: There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with placement into the first level. SCC has many resources – such as the Math Lab and Writing Center – to support your success in these subjects.)

The English assessment will place you into two different courses: Writing and Reading. These are separate courses so be aware that you may be taking two English classes (one in writing and one in reading) during a semester.

And, one last thing to remember before you head to the Assessment Office:

Your assessment results do NOT determine your success at SCC.  Your motivation, hard work, and focus will be important to your success.  Just because you do not place at the level that you wanted to be or thought that you should be at, this doesn’t mean that you will not achieve your goals.  Be patient with your learning process, plan ahead, and ask for help!