Registration & Student Services Building

Assessment Center

Should I take the English placement test or the ESL placement test?

  1. Did you complete at least six years of education, including high school, in schools where all your subjects were taught in English?

  2. Do you usually speak English with your friends and/or co-workers?

    If you answered “no” to either of the questions above, you should take  the ESL Placement Test.
  • WARNING!  If you take the wrong test, you may not be able to take the classes you need next quarter.  This is because it may take up to six weeks to get your test results if you need to return to take the ESL placement test.  Therefore, you should take the ESL Placement Test.
  • You might think you will learn English faster if you take English classes instead of ESL classes, but this is not true.  ESL classes give you the skills you need as a second language learner, and the instructors have special training to better help you be successful.
  • Also, you might think you will get through school faster if you take English classes instead of ESL classes, but this is not true.  Look at the following chart.

If you place…

ESL classes

English and Reading Classes

Two levels below College Writing



ESL 261 (3 units)

ESL 262 (3 units)

ESL 263 (4 units)

EWRT 200 (5 units)

READ 200 (5 units)

One level below College Writing

ESL 272 (5 units)

ESL 273 (5 units)

EWRT 211 (5 units)

READ 211 (5 units)

College Writing Level

ESL 5 (5 units)

EWRT 1A (5 units)

  • If you want to improve your Engish skills and prepare for your college courses, take ESL Placement Test.

Assessment Department Building: Registration & Student Services
Room: RSS 144
Phone: 408.864.8717

Last Updated: 12/20/11