All new students are required to take the English and mathematics placement tests prior to enrollment unless they are exempted, or have satisfied this requirement another way, at the time of application.
The only students who are exempted completely from placement testing are those with an AA/AS degree or higher. BUT, if these students do not complete all SSSP services (including orientation, placement testing, and meeting with a counselor to create an education plan) they will lose their priority registration status.
Other Ways to Satisfy Placement Test Requirement
Other than taking the tests, students may satisfy the "placement test" requirement by doing any one of the following. This means that students who have one of the four items below do NOT have to take the placement test, and will NOT lose priority registration for failing to take the tests.
- Other CA Community College Placement Test Results. Students who have taken a placement test at a California Community College (including OCC) within the last two years and have submitted test scores to the Assessment Center for placement in math and/or English (excludes ESL).
- AP Scores. Students who have received a score of "3" or above on an AP math exam and have submitted their test score to the Assessment Center will not need to take a math placement test. Likewise, students who have received a score of "3" or above on an AP English exam, and have submitted test scores to the Assessment Center, will not need to take an English placement test.
- Successful Completion of Prerequisite at Another College. Students who have successfully completed the prerequisite for a course at another college, and have submitted (official or unofficial) transcripts to the Assessment Center, will not need to take a placement test in the same subject.
- CSU Early Assessment Program (EAP) Results. High School students who have taken an Early Assessment Program (EAP) from a CSU and received a "Ready" status for CSU English and/or CSU Math should submit these results to the Assessment Center so that they do not have to take the placement test for those subjects in which they received a "Ready" status.
Placement Test Information
The English, ESL and math tests are not "pass or fail" tests. They simply measure your proficiency in English and math to help you pick the right courses for enrollment. The test sessions are 2 1/2 to 3 hours in length. You will be taking the English and math tests in the same session. Test results are typically available to you in your MyOCC account on the same day you complete your test.
The Assessment Center offers placement testing Monday through Friday by appointment. Please contact the Assessment Center to schedule a placement test appointment. All students must apply to Orange Coast College before taking the placement test.
Please bring the following items to your test session:
- Photo identification such as a driver's license or high school ID
- Your Orange Coast College student ID number
- A #2 pencil
English Placement Tests
There are two tests to choose from:
- for native English speakers - English (DTLS or CPT)
- for non-native English speakers - English as a Second Language (COMPASS)
To determine which English test to take ask yourself the following questions. If you answer "no" to one or more of the following, you should take the ESL placement test.
- Is English the first language you learned as a child?
- Did you complete most of your education in the English language?
- Do you usually speak English with your friends and/or coworkers?
Mathematics Placement Tests
There are four math levels to choose from:
- Algebra Readiness Test: For students who have not taken high school algebra.
- Elementary Algebra Test: For students who have taken one year of high school algebra, with a grade of "C" or better.
- Intermediate Algebra Test: For students who have taken at least two years of high school algebra and one year of geometry with a grade of "C" or better in all courses.
- Precalculus Test: For students who have taken at least 2 years of high school algebra, a semester of geometry and trigonometry with a "C" grade or better in all courses.
Your Test Results
- All test results are valid for two (2) years from the original test date.
- Students must wait one year before retaking the same placement test and are permitted to retake the math portion only if they are taking a different math level.
- A challenge process is available for both English and mathematics should you want to challenge your placement.