Placement tests are designed to assess your current skills in reading, English/ESL, and mathematics. The tests results are used by counselors and by teachers/instructional aides in the Reading & ESL Center to assist you in selecting appropriate courses.
All ESL students should take the placement test to be placed in an appropriate level. Returning students who have not taken an ESL class for two or more years should retake the placement test. For more information about whether you should take the ESL or English Placement test, click here.
- Testing takes approximately 3½ hours
- There is no fee for taking the placement tests
- You must present a photo ID and your College of San Mateo student ID on the test day
- You must complete the Application for Admission before testing
COMPASS ESL Test (ACT) Placement Levels
These scores represent scale scores for the computerized ESL test.
|If you took SMCCCD Assessment:||and scored:||You can take the following ESL course(s):|
|ESL Grammar/Usage||Revised Scores||Courses|
|Pre-Level 1||1-28||READ 807 / ESL 895|
|Level 1||29-41||ESL 825|
|Level 2||42-65||ESL 826|
|Level 3||66-80||ESL 827|
|Level 4||81-94||ESL 828|
|Level 5||95-99||ESL 400|
|ESL Listening||Revised Scores||Courses|
|Pre-Level 1||1-45||READ 807|
|Level 1||46-58||ESL 845|
|Level 2||59-68||ESL 846|
|Level 3||69-76||ESL 847|
|Level 4||77-99||ESL 848 or COMM 855|
|ESL Reading||Revised Scores||Courses|
|Pre-Level 1||1-49||READ 807 / ESL 895|
|Level 1||50-60||ESL 855|
|Level 2||61-72||ESL 856|
|Level 3||73-85||ESL 857|
|Level 4||86-99||*Take Native Speaker Reading Test (paper)|
Please note: These scores are subject to change in the future.