Assessment Basics

What is assessment?

Before the implementation of AB 705, assessment testing was one of the “Steps to Success” – the process for getting into Sacramento City College. Assessment tests were used to recommend English, English as a Second Language (ESL) and Math course placements which are prerequisites to many classes you will take as part of your certificate, AA/AS Degree or transfer program.

Currently, assessment tests are no longer required to receive a placement for English and Math. You will be automatically placed into English and math classes using the HS GPA you reported on your CCCApply application.

For students that graduated high school in the United States more than 10 years ago or graduated high school outside the United States, you will be placed using a Guided Self-Placement tool. Please check your E-Services account to access the link.

English as a Second Language (ESL) assessments are still being offered. Please see our testing schedule for dates and times.

Do I need to receive placements for English and Math?

You will need placements for Math, English or ESL if you:

  • Are a new student and have never attended college
  • Are planning to earn a degree and/or certificate, and/or transfer to a university;
  • Are taking a course that requires a prerequisite in English, English as a Second Language (ESL), and/or Math;
  • Are applying for the Vocational Nursing Program (LVN), Register Nurse (RN) and Dental Hygiene.

What if I completed coursework at another college or university?

If you have a college degree, you are exempt from placement testing. However, if you have transcripts from outside of Los Rios District and require a prerequisite for English or math to be verified for enrollment, please do the following:

What are the fees for placements?

There are no fees to receive placements

Which Tests Should I Take?

I’m a new student. What tests should I take? How many tests do I need to take?

Assessments tests for English and Math are no longer required. Students who would like to take ESL classes are required to take English as a Second Language (ESL) tests.

  • The ESL assessment is a two-part test. The first part is the ESL Essay, and the second part is the computerized reading, grammar, and listening tests.

Should I take the English or English as a Second Language (ESL) test?

If you are a bilingual English speaker who needs help with grammar, take the ESL assessment. This assessment will provide recommended course placements in ESL classes. If you are a native speaker of English, or a bilingual English speaker who has a strong command of English grammar, follow the instructions for receiving an English placement.

May I take only the math test?

Math assessments are no longer offered at SCC.

What is the Reading Competency for Graduation test?

Reading competency is no longer being offered. Please see your counselor to receive more information about Reading Competency requirements.

What is Math Competency for Graduation?

Students may take a Math Competency for Graduation to satisfy the Los Rios AA/AS math graduation requirement. You must bring a Math Competency Information Form from a counselor on the day of the test.

Do I need to take the Chemistry Diagnostic Test?

All students intending to enroll in CHEM 400 and who have not completed CHEM 300 with a grade of “C” or better (within the last year), have to take the chemistry test in order to satisfy the course prerequisite. You may use any type of calculator on the chemistry test. The time limit for the chemistry test is 45 minutes and it consists of 44 questions. Topics included in the test can be found at SCC Assessment.

Before the Assessment

Do I need to register or make an appointment to take a test?

You must complete an application at http://www.losrios.edu/lrc/lrc_app.php and have a Los Rios Student ID number in order to take an assessment test. No appointment or registration is required. English as a Second Language (ESL), English Essay, Ability to Benefit (ATB) and Chemistry are offered at specified times. For more information about testing schedule please click on the “Testing Calendar” or call the Assessment Center at 916-558-2541.

What do I need to bring for the test?

You need to know your Los Rios student ID number and must bring any type of photo identification. Acceptable forms of photo identification include: driver license, high school ID, college ID, current state or federal ID card, current passport, a naturalization card or certificate of citizenship. The ATB test requires a government-issued ID card. Pencils and scratch paper will be provided.

Are there sample questions that I can preview before the test?

Yes, you may review the study guides available online

May I use a dictionary, calculators or any other resources?

You may not use dictionaries, calculators or other resources during the assessment tests. You may use a calculator only on the Chemistry test.

How long does the test take?

The time limit for the ESL Essay is 35 minutes. The average time of completion the for ESL assessment is about 2.5 hours. The computerized tests are not timed.

What do I do if I have a disability that would affect my testing?

If you need assistance, other than extra time or zoom text, while taking your computerized or essay assessments, and you have a verifiable disability that requires these accommodations, contact the Disability Resource Center – Student Services Building, STS 104, (916) 558-2087phone icon.

After the Assessment

How soon can I get my results?

The results of the computerized assessment tests are available to students immediately after completion of the tests. The ESL testing results will be available four (4) working days after taking your test.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Retest Policy – The ESL assessment testing process determines placement of an entering student and remains valid for a period of two years. It may not be retaken within two years unless there is a valid reason for the exception. A challenge process exists for students already enrolled in courses who provide evidence that they meet the prerequisites of a course higher than their current placement/enrollment level. Please contact the ESL Chair in RHS 226 with any questions.

When do my assessment results expire?

Effective February 16, 2013 – To calculate your assessment expiration date for tests taken after February 16, 2013, use the table below.  Go to either the September 15 or February 15 date that follows your test date (whichever comes first) and add two calendar years. Your assessment results will be valid proof of prerequisites for classes beginning before that expiration date. If the class you want begins after the expiration date of your assessment results, then you must retake the assessment test.

For Example:

Calculate your assessment expiration date
If you took the assessment between:Your assessment expires:
February 16, 2015 and September 15, 2015September 15, 2017
September 16, 2015 and February 15, 2016February 15, 2018
February 16, 2016 and September 15, 2016September 15, 2018
September 16, 2016 and February 15, 2017February 15, 2019

If you assessed prior to February 16, 2013, your assessment results will be valid for 3 calendar years (36 months) from the date of the test.

What if I fail the placement test? Can I retake it?

The placement test is not a “pass” or “fail” test and does not affect your admission to Sacramento City College. The purpose of assessment testing is to place you in the appropriate ESL courses to help you succeed in college. Students may retest one time after a 30 day waiting period if they have not started the course sequence. Students who have begun the course sequence may contact the instructional department for the course challenge process.