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ESL Placement

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update:

Appoinments for the English as a Second Language (ESL) placement test have been cancelled due to the ongoing campus closure. To receive a course placement into the credit ESL sequence, please complete the self-placement form. We also accept TOEFL and IELTS scores for placement recommendations. You can submit those scores to the Assessment Center via email at

ESL Placement Options

AB 705 is a new law that uses high school grades in English, not placement tests, to allow students to directly enroll into a transfer-level course (English 100). English as a Second Language (ESL) students who have not completed four years of high school in an English speaking country may still take the ESL Placement Test to see whether English 100 or credit ESL is right for them.

All students, including those who were enrolled or placed into ESL courses are allowed to register in English 100, effective the Fall 2019 semester. However, if English is not your first language, you may need additional training in credit ESL before you can succeed in English 100. 

Orange Coast College offers credit ESL courses to international students and other English as a second language learners. These courses are very helpful for students who have not completed four years of English high school study or for anyone who speaks and reads another language at home or work. These courses are taught by language learning experts who can help you understand and correct your mistakes in English. By taking these courses, you will read better, write more clearly, and develop your vocabulary.

New Students

In order to take credit ESL courses, you must take the ESL Placement Test, which will direct you to the right level in both Reading/Writing/Grammar and Listening/Speaking. You can make an appointment to take the ESL test by calling (714) 432-5789, emailing, or by visiting the Assessment Center (located on the first floor of Watson Hall).

The highest score on the ESL Placement test is English 100. Students who receive this score are encouraged to register for English 100 instead of ESL.

Continuing Students

You may register for the next level after you pass your current level. If you wish to challenge your current level and move to a higher level, you may see the Dean of Literature and Languages for more information on how to meet with an ESL Adviser.

Should you Register for English 100 or ESL Classes?

ESL Faculty have created a survey, which can help you with your selection. Please follow the instructions on the survey to identify which track is best for you.

Access to Non-Credit Courses

Students also have access to free, noncredit courses designed for English language learners (ELL) of all ages who want to improve their English for work, study, or personal reasons. Like credit ESL courses, these allow students to practice and improve listening, speaking, reading, writing, and grammar. They may be repeated any number of times, for free. For more information, please visit the Adult Education webpage.

English Support Courses for English 100

Students will have access to the available English 100 support classes (please see the English Support Options webpage). Please visit the Assessment Center's website for updates and additional support courses as they become available.

If you have any additional questions, you may see the ESL Advisers in Literature and Languages building.  In addition, you may also meet with your counselor about your academic options.