Placement Testing

What you need to know and do before you test:

The Tests

The Mathematics Competency Exam (MCE) is a computerized, timed 75-minute test. You may choose one of four multiple choice tests to demonstrate your skills in pre-algebra, elementary algebra, intermediate algebra or pre-calculus. You may take just one test per session, but after you receive your test score, which includes a diagnostic report, you may take another test on another day if you choose. Guidelines to help you decide which test to take are available in Testing Services in the Student Services Building 3300, Room 3334, on the Oceanside Campus or at the Testing Office, Building 100, Room 101, at the San Elijo Campus in Cardiff.

Adaptive / ESL testing for the MCE is available for students with a disability needing an accommodation. Students should obtain a referral from the Disabled Student Program and Services Office at 760.795.6658. Non-Native English speakers (ESL) should contact the Testing Office at 760.795.6685 for a referral which allows extended time to complete the test.

The English Assessment (EA) is administered by computer in the Testing Computer Lab in Building 3300, Room 3334, on the Oceanside Campus and in the Testing Office, Building 100, Room 101, at the San Elijo Campus.  The EA measures reading comprehension and knowledge of correct sentence structure and should take about 60-90 minutes to complete.  If you are a non-native English speaker or have a disability needing an accommodation, please plan to test in the morning to maximize the time available to you.  A referral is not required as there is no time limit for the test.

Review before you test (optional).  There is no review available for the English test; math review packets are available for sale in the college bookstore. The Algebra Readiness, Elementary Algebra, Intermediate Algebra and Pre-Calculus brush-up tests are also available on the Testing Department website.

Retesting. If you feel you didn't do your best on the exams due to illness, lack of sleep or a disturbance during the test, you may take the test a second time at no charge. Continued retesting is not recommended and is not likely to change your score.

Release of scores. Pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, test scores will be released to the examinee only. Approved photo identification will be required.