Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Step 3--Assessment

​​​The Assessment Center provides placement testing services for prospective and current students at Orange Coast College. All new students planning to enroll in 6 or more units are required to complete a math and English/ESL placement test at OCC.*

Preparing for Assessment

Placement tests are not "pass" or "fail" tests, rather, they are designed to assign you to the appropriate course based on your skill level. That said, doing well on the placement test will allow you to place closer to or into college-level courses, which means you will be able to complete your coursework in less time and meet your education goals sooner.

For that reason, we encourage you to study for the placement test using the sample questions on our Placement Test Information page.

When To Test

Students should plan to take their placement test after completing the online orientation, however, you will still be permitted to test even if your online orientation is incomplete, provided that you have applied to OCC and have a valid student ID number. Also, keep in mind that you cannot receive priority registration status until all steps have been completed.


​​Walk-In Testing--No Appointment Necessary!​ 
Students can walk into the Assessment Center, located on the first floor of Watson Hall, to test Monday - Friday during our walk-in hours. Saturday testing dates may be offered seasonally. The monthly walk-in schedule can be found on the Assessment Center website.​​


Which Tests To Take

All students should take either the English or ESL assessment AND a math assessment.


There are two tests to choose from: native English or non-native English (English as a Second Language or "ESL"). To determine which English test to take ask yourself the following questions:

  • 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?

If you answered "no" to one or more of the questions, you should take the ESL placement test.


There are four math levels that students can take:

  • Level I: Algebra Readiness
  • Level II: Elementary Algebra
  • Level III: Intermediate Algebra
  • Level IV: Pre-Calculus

The Math Advisement Chart​ can help you determine which test to take. If you are unsure which level you should take, we recommend that you try the sample questions on page 2 of the chart. Then, select the highest level for which you can get 2 out of the 3 sample questions correct.

Accessing Results


  • Native English and math results: Log into your MyOCC account, click the STUDENT tab, and then click UNOFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT.
  • ESL results: Your results will be printed by Assessment Center staff after your test, as they do not post correctly to your MyOCC account.
  • International Students: The International Center will email you your placement scores. Contact the International Center at (714) 432-5940 or if you have any questions. 

Retesting Policies

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. For Math, students are permitted to retest in a different math level within a year, but may not test in the same level. A challenge process is available for both English and math should you want to challenge your placement. However, this is done through the Literature and Languages Department and the Mathematics and Sciences department and NOT through the Assessment Center.

*Placement Test Exceptions

Clearance Instructions

Students who have completed any of the following below may not be required to take the placement test. To qualify for an exception, please fill out the Clearance form, attach the proper proof (i.e. test scores or unofficial transcripts), and then submit it through one of the following means:       

  • In-Person: Submit hard copies to the Clearance window located in the Enrollment Center (1st floor Watson Hall)

  • Email: Scan and email the form and your attachments to  

  • Fax: Fax your form and attachments to (714) 432-5008.            


Processing of clearance forms may take up 10 days; as such, we encourage students to submit clearance forms well in advance of their registration date.



Students who have one of the four items below DO NOT have to take the placement test, so long as they submit their test scores or transcripts according to the Clearance Instructions to the left.

1. CSU Early Assessment Program (EAP) Results. High School students who have taken an Early Assessment Program (EAP) test and received a "Ready" status for CSU English and/or CSU Math and have submitted these results to the Assessment Center. Please be aware that Orange Coast College does not accept the "conditional" status or completion of the ERWC course.


2. AP Scores. Students who have received a score of "3" or above on an AP Calculus AB or BC exam and have submitted their test score to the Assessment Center. Likewise, students who have received a score of "3" or above on an AP English Literature or English Language and Composition exam, and have submitted their test score to the Assessment Center.

3. Other Community College Placement Test Results. Students who have taken a placement test at an accredited Community College (including OCC) within the last two years and have submitted placement results to the Assessment Center (excludes ESL).

4. Successful Completion of Courses. Students who have successfully completed an English or math course from an accredited college or university that is considered equivalent at Orange Coast College, and have submitted (official or unofficial) transcripts to the Assessment Center.