ESL Guided Self-Placement

young women talking in classThe Guided Self-Placement for English as a Second Language (ESL) will help you find which ESL class you should take first. It is designed for students who 

  • Did not attend at least 3 years of high school in the United States, or
  • Attended a U.S. high school and earned a GPA below 2.4

Please follow the steps below, and continue reading to learn more about this process.

Did You Attend a U.S. High School?

If you attended a U.S. high school for at least 3 years and earned a GPA of 2.4 or higher, we may be able to use your high school transcript for assessment.

Steps for Taking the Guided Self-Placement

You should follow these steps in order:

Read This First

The ESL Guided Self-Placement is an online tool that will help you find the right class to take first, based on your current ability to speak, write, read and understand English.

  • You can take the Guided Self-Placement anywhere. 
      • You should find a quiet place to work.
      • You will need a computer, tablet or smart phone and access to the internet.
      • If you don't have a computer or internet, you can borrow one or connect to the internet in an on campus Zoom Room.
  • There is no time limit. It usually takes about 30 minutes to complete the Guided Self-Placement, but you can take as long as you need.
  • While you are working on the Guided Self-Placement, you should not use a dictionary or any translation service.
  • You should not ask anyone to help you translate the reading and writing samples.
  • If you answer honestly and do your best, the results will show the right class for you.

Request Access

Use the Assessment Request Form to request access to the ESL Guided Self-Placement assessment, which you can complete online.

Assessment Request Form

Check Your Email

After you submit the request form, the Assessment Center will send you an email with more instructions.

  • Read the email carefully. 
  • When you are ready to begin the Guided Self-Placement, send a reply that confirms you are ready to begin.
  • You will then receive a second email with a link that you can click to begin the assessment.

Complete the Guided Self-Placement

You have two business days to finish the Guided Self-Placement.

  • The two days begin when you reply to the first email by saying you are ready to begin. 

Check Your Results

Your assessment results will be processed within two to three business days after you complete the Guided Self-Placement.

Register for Classes

You can begin your studies by taking the first ESL course indicated in your placement.

To register for classes:

  • Look in the class schedule for the class you need to take first, and then follow the steps to register
  • You will need your CWID and MyPortal password.

Plan Your Next Steps

After your first class, you can advance to other courses in the ESL course sequence.

View the ESL course sequence

You can learn more about the sequence by reviewing the list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

See FAQs and More Information

Your academic counselor can help you choose classes and plan your studies at De Anza. 

More About Guided Self-Placement

The guided self-placement was created by ESL instructors to help you find which ESL course you should take first.  

  • It is meant for students who do not speak English as their primary language or did not attend schools where all classes were taught in English.
  • If you are a native English speaker or if you completed at least six years of education, including high school, in schools where all your subjects were taught in English, you should take the English guided self-placement instead.

How Does the Self-Placement Work?

The self-assessment is an online survey that will guide you through a series of questions. The questions will help you find out if you are comfortable and familiar with 

  • Reading course descriptions
  • Reviewing sample assignments
  • Understanding important course concepts

There is no “pass” or “fail” on this self-assessment. It is designed to measure your knowledge and understanding of English.

The results will help you find the right class to take first, so you can succeed in the classes you need for your major and academic goals. 

After you take the first class, you can see which classes to take next by checking the English as a Second Language course sequence.

What If I Have Questions About the Results? 

If you have questions about your assessment results, you can visit the Assessment Center in person or submit your question online by using the Assessment Contact Form.

Assessment COntact Form

If you need more help choosing classes or planning your studies at De Anza, your academic counselor can help you.

What If I Disagree With the Results?

  • If you disagree with an assessment that was based on your high school transcript, you can take the Guided Self-Placement.
  • If you disagree with an assessment that is based on your Guided Self-Placement results, you can take the Guided Self-Placement again.
  • If you are still not satisfied with your result, you may participate in the ESL Placement Challenge Process.
Back to Top