Placement Testing Services
Make a Testing Appointment
The Placement Test measure is available to all students, including concurrent high school students, who want to take a placement test to determine an appropriate placement in English/ESOL or math. Appointments are scheduled for one placement subject per 2-hour testing session. Students can make an appointment online to guarantee a seat, or students can walk-in and take a test on a first-come, first-served basis. Students are to check-in at least 10 minutes early for their appointment with a valid photo identification.
NOTE: All placement tests and make-up exams are held at the Assessment Center in Bldg. 2, 1st floor, Rm. 2116.
NOTE: Please remember to complete your Skyline College Orientation before scheduling an appointment. Please bring a printout or screenshot as proof of your orientation completion.
NOTE: All tests are untimed, but estimations are as follows:
- Math: UNTIMED, approximately one (1) hour
- English: UNTIMED, approximately one hour and thirty minutes (1.5 hours)
- ESOL: UNTIMED, approximately two (2) hours
Students can schedule an appointment online through WebSMART. Simply follow these steps:
- Log in to WebSMART
- Click "Schedule Appointments" under "Student Services."
- Click "Skyline College Placement Appointment"
- Click "Make Appointment"
- Choose your desired test, and click "Continue"
- Select the Day and Time that fits your schedule, and click "Find Appointment"
- Confirm/Input your information, and click "Continue"
- Make sure to note your appointment information
NOTE: A valid photo identification is REQUIRED before any test is administered.
Placement Test Information:
Placement tests are used to help you determine which English class will best prepare you to be successful in your college career.
What will the placement test cover?
The placement test will evaluate your reading comprehension and your understanding of writing at the sentence-level. Your results on these two tests will place you into English 828, 846, 105, 100, Honors 100 or SEE COUNSELOR.
How do you prepare for the English placement test?
Review the Sample Questions under online resources on this site. Make sure you are well-rested and give yourself enough time to arrive at the testing site. Once you start, relax and think carefully about your answers.
After the English placement test, how do you decide which English course to enroll in?
After you take the placement test, you will receive information about your placement through your WebSMART account. You can contact the English department or your counselor for more information about the course option and the Accelerated Path.
If you are placed in…
- ENGL 828: 5-unit course. Check out your options.
- ENGL 846: 5-unit course, Reading and Writing Connections. Check out your options.
- ENGL 105: 5-unit course, Composition. Transfer credit: UC; CSU. Check out your options.
- ENGL 100: 3-unit course, Composition. Transfer credit: UC; CSU. Check out your options.
- ENGL 100 Honors: This course is a 3-unit course that teaches critical thinking, reading and writing and qualifies for honors credit. This course is transferable to University of California (UC) and California State Universities (CSU). Honors students usually have received an A or B in previous English classes. They may have taken AP English in high school or have received good previous instruction. Honors students want classes with high standards which will allow them to realize ambitious goals. Honors classes also may include more self-directed projects, group work, and presentations than other classes. Honors students will work with like-minded peers and staff who will support them in their academic endeavors.
Where and when can you take the placement test?
Placement tests are held at the Assessment Center at Bldg. 2, computer lab room 2116. Please check the posted hours of operation at the Assessment Center, or view session times online.
Can anyone be excused from taking the English Placement tests?
Yes. The following students may be exempt from taking the placement test:
- Those who have completed an English course at another college equivalent to ENGL 828, ENGL 846, and/or ENGL 105 or 100
- Those who have taken the English placement test at another California Community College
To waive the placement test, fill out both the SSSP Exemption Petition and the Prerequisite Equivalency Petition form, attach an unofficial academic transcript, and submit it to the Counseling Counter for a counselor review. The on-duty counselor will evaluate your petition to verify the equivalency to Skyline College’s course sequence.
What can you do if you believe that the placement results do not accurately predict your preparedness for success in a particular English class?
Before taking any Math class at Skyline College you should take the placement test.
You cannot pass or fail a placement test, it simply provides information to you and
your counselor about your current skills. If you have materials or notes from your
last math class available, it would be helpful to review them before you take your
After taking a placement test, make an appointment with a counselor to discuss the results of your placement test and your prior experience in Mathematics. Be sure to bring a copy of your transcripts (if they are available) to the meeting with the counselor. The counselor will help you decide which Math course is most appropriate for you. Be sure to take into consideration all of the prerequisites for any course.
If you feel that the placement test did not adequately reflect your skills, it is possible to retake the test, but this is done an a limited basis. You may wish to talk to one of the Mathematics instructors and your counselor before determining an appropriate class.
Another important consideration in taking a Math class is your proficiency in English. All mathematics classes are taught in English and the instructors will expect that you have a reasonable command of English.
Guidelines to help you prepare for the Math Placement Test:
Please note that before you take your Placement Test, you may wish to review Sample Questions to get a sense of what you can expect.
Students who intend to measure proficiency in Basic Arithmetic and pre-algebra computations. Students may register in Math 811, Fundamentals of Mathematics without taking the math placement test. If you have never had an Algebra class or if you have had one year of high school algebra, but it has been more than two years since your last Math class.
Students who expect to enroll in Elementary Algebra (Math 110 or Math 111) or if you have one year of high school Algebra or if you have had two years of Algebra but it has been more than two years since your last Math class.
Students who expect to enroll in Geometry (Math 115) or Intermediate Algebra (Math 120 or Math 122), or if you have two years of high school Algebra but it has been more than two years since your last Math class.
Students who intend to enroll in Trigonometry (Math 130), Statistics (Math 200), Quantitative Reasoning (Math 201), Precalculus (Math 222), or Applied Calculus (Math 241) to measure the proficiency.
This test is designed for students who intend to enroll in Calculus with Analytic Geometry (Math 251) or if you have had four or more years of high school Math.
Placement tests help Skyline College know which ESOL class you need to prepare yourself for your college career.
Which test should I take – ESOL, or English?
You should take the ESOL Placement Test if you answer "No" to ANY of the below questions:
- Have you lived in the US for six years of more?
- Do you speak mostly English with family and friends?
- Are you comfortable writing in English?
- Can you understand basic instructions in English?
What is on the ESOL placement test?
The ESOL placement test will evaluate your reading comprehension, language use, and listening skills. Your results on these three tests will place you into the ESOL classes.
How can I prepare for the ESOL placement test?
- For a few days before the test, make sure you do some reading, writing, speaking, and listening all in English.
- Schedule two (2) separate testing appointments to take all of your ESOL and Math placement tests (~2 1/2 to 3 hours). Give yourself enough time to arrive at the testing site so that you will not feel rushed.
- Review Sample Questions before your test.
- Get plenty of rest before the test.
What do my placement results mean?
If you are placed in…
Pre-Level 2: Skyline College does not offer a full series of classes at this level. Students who place into this level should attend one or more semesters of adult school. Please contact Jefferson Adult School or South San Francisco Adult School to enroll in classes. Visit the English Language Institute in room 1218 for help.
Level 2 (ESOL 852, ESOL 820): Students should take classes at this level. Visit the English Language Institute in room 1218 for help.
Level 3 (ESOL 853, ESOL 830): Students should take classes at this level. Visit the English Language Institute in room 1218 for help.
Level 4 (ESOL 854, ESOL 840): Students should take classes at this level. Visit the English Language Institute in room 1218 for help.
Level 5 (ESOL 400, ESOL 875): ESOL 400 is a 5-unit, very academically rigorous course that prepares students to take college English (ENGL 100). ESOL 875 is strongly recommended for success in ESOL 400. Visit the English Language Institute in room 1218 for help.
Where and when can I take the placement test?
Placement tests are held at the Assessment Center at Bldg. 2, computer lab 2116. Please check the posted hours of operation at the Testing Center or by visiting the website at www.skylinecollege.edu/placement.
What if I don't believe my placement results are accurate?
Visit the English Language Institute in room 1218 to talk with an ESOL faculty or counselor about your placement test results. There is a Prerequisite Challenge Petition process for ESOL 400.