Do I need to take the tests?
Yes. If you have never attended college, or attended while in high school, and plan
to earn an Associate Degree or certificate, transfer to a four-year college, or to
take English, math, or ESL courses, you must be assessed.
Are there exemptions to testing? What if I already tested at another college?
You are not required to take the assessment tests if you have acceptable scores on certain national exams such as AP or SAT, or if you have successfully completed certain math or English courses at another college. Occasionally, students can use test scores from another college for placement into classes at Santa Barbara City College. See 'Alternatives to Testing' for a complete list of specific exemptions. If you have a qualifying exemption for English and/or math, you will need to submit the Alternatives to Testing Verification Form and supporting documentation (test scores, official transcript) before registering for classes.
Can I take English, math or ESL classes without testing?
Enrollment in English 60 through English 110, Math 1 through Math 150, Psychology 150 and all ESL Reading, Writing and Grammar classes requires assessment.
How do I take my Assessment tests if I don’t live in Santa Barbara?
Most students come to the College to test. If you live outside the Santa Barbara area, be sure to consult the Information for Out-Of-Area Students page for additional testing options. If you plan to test on campus during drop-in testing hours, check the check the monthly Drop-In Computer Lab Schedule carefully and plan to test on a scheduled testing day. Allow enough time to complete your tests by closing. Allow 2 hours for English/ESL and 1-2 hours for math. Testing days/hours vary. If you would like to verify your choice of test date/time before making travel arrangements, please contact the Assessment Office directly at (805) 730-4149.
Can I prepare for the tests?
Yes. The best way to prepare for Assessment is to download and complete SBCC's REAP form, which will direct you to information about alternatives to testing, preparing for Assessment, items to bring to testing, etc. Students are encouraged to download sample questions for English and Math (see "Which math test should I take?" below). More extensive math study packets are available for purchase through the Campus Bookstore. The same study packets for each of the four math tests are also available by clicking the links below:
- Online Test #1 Study Packet
- Online Test #2 Study Packet
- Online Test #3 Study Packet
- Online Test #4 Study Packet
How long are the tests?
Allow 2 hours for the English test and 1-2 hours for math, depending on which math test you choose to take. (Math tests #1, 2, & 3 require a one hour block of time. Math test #4 requires a two hour block of time).
Which math test should I take?
You will need to choose which one of the four math tests is most appropriate for you. Download and work through the sample test questions below. Then choose to take the highest numbered test you feel comfortable with based on your math background and current skills. 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 in 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.
When should I test?
Test as soon as possible. However, testing is only allowed once per testing period, so it is important that you are prepared on the day you choose to test. If you live outside the Santa Barbara area, be sure to review the Information for Out-Of-Area Students. Students may complete Assessment at their convenience during any scheduled drop-in testing day. Consult the monthly Drop-In Computer Lab Testing Schedule for more information.
What should I bring to testing?
Bring the following required items to testing: A photo Identification (driver's license, passport), pen or pencil, a completed REAP Form, and your SBCC Student I.D. Number (located on your individual Pipeline account). Note: Calculators and other electronic devices may not be used. Scratch paper will be provided for math assessment.
What form of Photo I.D. should I bring to testing? What if I don't have a Photo I.D.?
A photo I.D. is required for Assessment at SBCC. If possible, please bring a valid government-issued photo I.D. (i.e. Driver's license, State I.D. card, passport) with you to testing. In some instances, students may use alternate forms of identification such as a high school student body card or yearbook. If you have questions/concerns regarding your photo I.D., please call the Assessment Office directly (805) 730-4149 before making plans to test.
Do I need to make an appointment?
The Assessment Center does not make appointments for drop-in computerized testing: consult the list of Spring 2016 drop-in testing hours to make plans for drop-in testing. Be sure to allow enough time (2 hours for English and 1-2 hours for Math) to complete your test(s) before closing. Students who are unable to test on computer must request a special appointment. Please call the Assessment Center (805) 730-4149 at least one week in advance to schedule an appointment for paper/pencil testing.
What is the difference between the computerized test and the paper/pencil test?
The two tests are the same; the difference is the delivery method and availability:
Computerized test: Most students choose to test on computer at their convenience during drop-in lab hours. Tests are completed by clicking on answers to multiple-choice questions. Students testing on computer are given the option to either hand-write or type their essays for the English test and are provided with scratch paper for the math test. Note: Computerized testing is not available for Saturday testing.
Paper/Pencil test: Students who are unable to test on computer need to make an appointment for a paper/pencil test. Students taking paper/pencil tests bubble in answers to multiple-choice questions on a scan form. Paper/Pencil testers hand-write their essays for the English test and are provided with scratch paper for the math test. Note: students choosing the paper/pencil test option are not permitted to write in the test booklets.
What if I need accommodation for disability?
If you need extended time or another accommodation for disability, contact the Disabilities Specialists, Room SS-160 (805) 730-4164 to determine eligibility for alternative testing. Note: You may only take the Assessment test once per testing period, so it is important to make arrangements for an accommodation prior to testing.
How many times can I test?
You may test once during a specific testing period. The testing period for Spring 2016 runs from October 26 - January 22. One retake for math may be allowed with Assessment permission. Math retake permission for the same level math test is dependent on diagnostic data from your original test. Testing is a pre-enrollment activity designed as a beginning point from which you will progress. Course completion is the means by which students move to higher level courses.
How do I get my test results?
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 under the 'Student' tab click on 'Student Records' and then click on 'View Course Placement and Eligibility.' A detailed explanation of your course placements is available at 'Understanding your Reading and Writing Course Placements' and 'Understanding your Mathematics Course Placements'.