Assessment Center

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Assessment Center

If you are a first-time-in-any-college student, you are required to be assessed in both math and English or English as a Second Language before registering for classes. English or math testing may also be required for students seeking to meet a specific course prerequisite.


Submit your application to Santa Barbara City College and then complete the following:

  1. Prepare for a successful testing experience: download and complete the steps on the REAP TEST PREPARATION & CHECK-IN SHEET, which includes information about alternatives/exemptions to testing, choosing an appropriate math test, and sample test questions. Note: International Students should download the REAP form for International Students.

  2. If you do not qualify for an Alternative to Testing for both math and English, plan a day and time to come to SBCC and test. Testing hours vary. Before making travel arrangements, check the Drop-In Computer Lab Testing Schedule carefully. All tests must be completed by closing: allow 2 hours for English and 1-2 hours for math.

  3. Important: Review the sample test questions. If you are taking the math assessment you need to choose which one of the four math tests you plan to take prior to testing.

  4. If you need extended time or another accommodation for disability, contact the Disability Specialists, Room SS-160 (805) 730-4164 prior to testing. You may only test once per testing period. The testing period for Summer and Fall 2015 runs from February through August.

  5. Bring the following required items to testing: a Photo Identification (driver's license, passport, etc.), a pen or pencil, a completed REAP Test Preparation form, and your SBCC Student I.D. number (your "K" number, which is accessible on your Pipeline account). Note: Calculators and other electronic devices may not be used during testing. Scratch paper will be provided for the math assessment.


Many courses at Santa Barbara City College have enforced prerequisites, which are noted in the Schedule of Classes. Students are required to meet prerequisite standards prior to registering for class. Proof of prerequisite satisfaction for English 60-110, Math 1-150, Psych. 150, and English as a Second Language Reading Writing and Grammar courses may include assessment by testing, as well as options other than testing.

Out of Area Students should consult the list of testing options for Out of Area Students. Students seeking to refuse assessment should contact the Counseling Office, SS-120, (805) 730-4085. Note: Assessment is required for all math and English courses that have prerequisites.

In addition to enforced prerequisites, many courses at Santa Barbara City College have recommended minimum math and/or English advisories, which are noted in the Schedule of Classes. Advisories have been established as a means of alerting students to the minimum standards necessary for class success. Enrollment in such courses is recommended only for students who have met the eligibility level prescribed. 

If you have one or more of
the alternatives to testing listed below you will need to submit a completed Prerequisite Clearance FORM A and supporting documentation (test scores, official transcript, etc.) for clearance. Visit the Prerequisite page for more information. (Note: AP, SAT, ACT, UC and CSU (with the exception of EAP) exam results require an official high school transcript and a counselor conference. Please take your score report and transcript to Counseling for review).

  • English Test Alternatives
    (1) Advanced Placement English exam score of 3, 4, 5  (2) International Baccalaureate English Exam score of 5 or higher  (3) SAT Critical Reading score of 500 or above (4) ACT English test score of 22 or above  (5) Proof of AWPE exam passage at UC, or EPT exam passage at CSU  (6) EAP exam passage at CSU, pilot for 2010-2015 only - Note: 'conditional' status not acceptable.   (7) Equivalent English 110 (Freshman Composition) course, completed with a grade of "C" or better at another college  (8) B.A. or B.S. degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States.
  • Math Test Alternatives
    (1) Advanced Placement Calculus AB or BC exam score of 3, 4, 5.  (2) Advanced Placement Statistics exam score of 3, 4, 5  (3) Equivalent prerequisite math course from another college, completed with a grade of "C" or better  (4) Qualifying raw score report from an MDTP math test taken at another California Community College. Provide score to the Assessment Office.  (5) EAP exam passage at CSU, pilot for 2010-2015 only - Note: 'conditional' status not acceptable.   (6) Student elects to begin at the Math 1, Basic Math level (Student must notify Assessment staff for option number 6).

A student may also submit a Prerequisite Challenge FORM B to challenge a prerequisite based upon (1) knowledge or ability to succeed, (2) the prerequisite course has not been made reasonably available, (3) the prerequisite is not valid, (4) the prerequisite is discriminatory, or (5) the prerequisite was not established in accordance with the District's process for establishing prerequisites. For more information and specific deadlines, visit the Prerequisite page. Supporting documentation is required.

If you need extended time or another accommodation for disability, you must make arrangements prior to testing. Contact the Disability Specialists, Room SS-160, or call (805) 730-4164 as soon as possible for more information. Important: you may only take the assessment test once per testing period.

The English test is divided into three parts: a comprehensive reading exam, where you will answer multiple-choice questions; an objective writing exam, which is a multiple-choice grammar and sentence structure exam; and a 20-minute written essay. A topic will be provided for the essay at the test. Plan your essay before you begin to write. Your essay should be well-organized, include specific examples, and be readable.
Students receive two course placements from the English Assessment: one for Reading and one for Writing. Consult the English Flow Chart for clarification. It is important to do your best on the exam so you will be placed into the highest courses possible for you. Review the English sample test.

Note: The English test is for native English speakers or very advanced second language students whose English proficiency is at a near-native level. All other students should take the English as a Second Language Test.

You will need to choose which one of the four math tests you plan to take. Each test is designed for placement into different levels of math. Work the problems on the math sample tests by clicking on Test #1, #2, #3 or #4 below. These practice questions, your math background and the math course you wish to enroll in all help in determining which one of the four tests you will take.

It is important to make a careful decision about which math test you take. If you choose a test below your skill level you will be placed into a math class that is too easy for you. If you choose a test above your skill level you may be asked to come back to Assessment and take a lower level math test in order to receive a math placement.

  • Test #1 Assesses your arithmetic and pre-algebra skills for placement into Math 1 (Basic Math), Math 4 (Pre-Algebra), or Math 100 (Elementary Algebra, first-year high school algebra). Note: If the questions on Test #1 are too difficult you may choose to begin at the Math 1 level without testing. You must notify Assessment staff if this is your choice.
  • Test #2 Assesses your elementary algebra skills for placement into Math 107 and/or Math 111 (Intermediate Algebra, second-year high school algebra). You should have completed at least one year of high school algebra to take this test.
  • Test #3 Assesses your intermediate algebra skills for placement into Math 117 (Elementary Statistics), Psych 150 (Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences), Math 120 (College Algebra), Math 130 (Calculus for Life Science, Social Science and Business), or Math 137 (Precalculus I, College Algebra & Functions). You should have completed one or two years of high school algebra plus one year of geometry to take this test.
  • Test #4 Assesses your precalculus skills for placement into Math 138 (Precalculus II, College Algebra & Trigonometry), or Math 150 (Calculus). You should have completed two years of high school algebra, one year of geometry and trigonometry, or 4 years of high school math including trigonometry, analytical geometry, or advanced topics to take this test.

It is important to review before you take your math test so that you will place in the highest course possible. Online math study packets are available for each of the tests by clicking on the links below:

Extensive study packets for each of the four tests are also available for purchase at the College Bookstore (805) 730-4047. Practice exams for Test #3 and #4 are also available online.

Note: Since calculators may not be used at assessment it is best to study without the aid of a calculator. Scratch paper will be provided at the test.

The Santa Barbara City College Mathematics Department also offers online refresher courses in Pre-algebra, Elementary Algebra, and Intermediate Algebra.  These 6-week courses are offered for 1.0 unit and are numbered 74, 80 and 87, respectively. For more information refer to the Schedule of Classes.

You will be able to look up your placement results on your Pipeline account 1-2 days following your exam. To access your results, log on to Pipeline and go to the 'Registration' area at the far right of the page.  Click on 'Student Records' to 'View Course Placement and Eligibility'. A detailed explanation of your course placements is available by downloading 'Understanding your Reading and Writing Course Placements' and 'Understanding your Mathematics Course Placements'.

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