Frequently Asked Questions
Select a topic below to see frequently asked questions about them.
Why do I need an assessment?
The purpose of placement is to ensure that you begin your college experience at the appropriate course level and to help facilitate future success in your college career. Your placement results will assist you and your counselor to select appropriate classes.
Who needs placement?
- New and returning students having a goal of transferring to a four-year college or university.
- Students earning a vocational certificate
- Students earning an Associate degree
- Students who would like to take a course with an English or Math prerequisite
What do I need to do prior to scheduling an assessment appointment?
You must file an online application for admission, complete the new student orientation,and complete an online English/Math Assessment Request for a preliminary course recommendation, prior to placement testing.
How long do I need to wait to schedule an assessment appointment after submitting
Please allow 24-48 hours processing time for the online application to obtain a student ID number (G-Number), then to gain access to your Websmart to complete the online orientation and to schedule your assessment appointment.
What do I need to have available for the assessment appointment?
Your valid photo identification (ie: state-issued photo ID card, passport, school issued photo ID card, employee ID card, military ID, etc.) AND your Orientation Certificate of Achievement (or a demonstration that you are exempt from orientation).
Do I need to pay for the test(s) or are there any fees associated with the assessment
No. All assessments are free of charge to students with the intention of attending Skyline College.
If I were to take the placement test, how can I review sample questions prior to testing?
Please review preparation and tutorials from the Practice Questions link.
How early should I check-in to my assessment appointment?
The administrator will be available between 5-10 minutes prior/after the scheduled appointment time. Please be patient in allowing ample time for check-in, set-up, and to complete the appropriate tests.
- English assessment: approximately 1.5 hour
- Math placement test: approximately 2 hours
- ESOL assessment: approximatly 2 hours
I do not know how to use a computer. Can I still take the placement tests?
No. Please schedule a counseling appointment by calling (650) 738-4318 to assist you with your class selection and educational planning.
I took an placement test at another California community college. Can I use the test
results and be exempt from assessment at Skyline College?
Depends on when and where you completed the placement tests. Please complete the English/Math Assessment Request form and attach any supporting documents including placement results, score reports, and/or transcripts.
I'm currently taking classes at a different college, but I want to take the placement
tests and possibly take a higher level of English, Math, or ESOL course at Skyline
College. Can I do that?
Yes. You may first want to submit a Prerequisite Equivalency Petition and attach your unofficial transcript to check on its present equivalency. If further assistance is required, you may schedule a counseling appointment by calling (650 ) 738-4318. You may not need to take the placement test at Skyline College.
What are acceptable forms of photo identifications?
Acceptable forms must have a recent photo and your printed full name on an original state issued Identification card / driver’s license, current passport, school ID, ATM card, employee badge, a recent DMV receipt, or a recent high school yearbook, etc. Online profiles are not accepted as a form of verification.
I forgot my photo ID, can I still take the assessment?
No. You MUST present a valid photo identification with your full name printed in order for proctors to verify your identity at check-in.
I do not have a photo ID. What should I do?
You may bring other official documentation with a recent photo, such as a passport, a recent DMV receipt, or a recent high school yearbook.
Can I use a calculator or dictionary when taking the assessments?
No dictionary. No personal calculators. A built-in calculator on the computerized test is available for use. All electronic devices are not allowed including cell phones and smart watches.
What should I expect at the online assessment/placement appointment (if applicable)?
- Sit in a quiet place where there will be no distractions during your appointment session.
- Check-in with the zoom weblink provided. You may be on hold in a virtual waiting room. Please be patient with the host.
- Each student will be checked in individually and assigned to an online breakout room for your individual assessment.
- You will need to show your photo ID to the host (proctor).
- You will be asked to show your surroundings. Be sure to clear your workspace should only consist of your monitor and desktop, mouse, keyboard or laptop, blank scratch paper, and pencil. All other items must be removed from your table/desk.
How to install ZOOM?
- Go to the Zoom Download Center, download and install Zoom
- To check that Zoom was set up correctly, use test Zoom. Please use the option to join with video.
How do I pre-install Respondus Lockdown Browser (RLB) for my online math placement
test (if applicable)?
On the computer/ laptop you will be using to connect to the proctor at your online assessment appointment, download LOCKDOWN BROWSER(for Windows, for Macintosh)
How many questions are there in the placement tests?
Computerized English Placement Test (No Time Limit)
Part I: Reading Comprehension - 23+ questions
Part II: Sentence/ Writing Skills - 23+ questions
Computerized ESOL Placement Test (No Time Limit)
Part I: Reading Skills - 20 questions
Part II: Listening Skills- 20 questions
Part III: Sentence Meaning - 20 questions
Part IV: Language Use - 20 questions
Computerized Mathematics Placement Test (No Time Limit)
adaptive to student skill levels (starting at Algebra)- 30 math problems
Are there special accommodations for students with disabilities?
Yes, students who have a physical, visual, communication or learning disability may be able to obtain services with our Educational Access Center (EAC) services by calling (650) 738-4280.
When will I get my assessment results?
Your placement results will be available on MySMCCD WebSMART by the next calendar day after completing the placement.
Where can I view my assessment results?
Log into your student MySMCCD WebSMART account, click on Student Services, click on Student Records, click on Student Course Recommendation Information and List Placement Results.
Can you tell me my test results over the phone or via e-mail?
No. Placement results are individualized and confidential. The information is disclosed in WebSMART or in a meeting with a counselor to discuss your placement results and course options.
Who can I talk to about my placement results and what classes I should take?
A counselor can discuss your preliminary course recommendation and assist you with your class selection and educational planning.
What should I do after I finish my placement test?
After the completion of both your English/ESOL and Math placements, please proceed with scheduling an appointment with Counseling Department. If you are exempt from orientation, placements and/or counseling, please check your WebSMART account to view your registration appointment.
I took an English, Math, or ESOL class/ placement test, but I dropped or withdrew
from it, can I retake the placement test?
Yes, if you did NOT receive a final grade for the class, you are not currently enrolled in the subject you are retesting for, you may be eligible to retake the placement test(s). The student must not have completed a course in the sequence.
What happens if I fail my assessment?
The assessment are NOT assessed as Pass or Fail. The assessments are NOT admission tests. The assessments are used as a tool to help evaluate your present competency level in English/ ESOL or Math.
Can I retake the placement test? If so, when?
If a student does not accept the recommended placement, he/she may retake the same placement test. Please follow the retesting opportunities information.
Do my assessment results expire?
Math placement test results do not expire.
English/ESOL placement test results do not expire.
Placements through other measures do not expire. Placements prior to 2015 were valid for two (2) years.