All new students are required to take the English and mathematics placement tests prior to enrollment unless they are exempted at the time of application.
Eligible exemptions from the placement test may include one of the following:
- Students who have taken a placement test at a California Community College (including OCC) within the last two years and submit test scores to the Matriculation Office for placement in math and/or English (excludes ESL).
- Students who have received a score of "3" or above on an AP math and/or AP English exam and submit test scores to the Matriculation Office for placement in math and/or English.
- Students who have successfully completed the prerequisite at another college and submit official or unofficial transcripts to the Matriculation Office to prove successful completion (grade of C or better) of the prerequisite course(s).
- High school students who have taken an Early Assessment Program (EAP) from CSU within the last year and have received a "ready" status for CSU English and/or CSU math and have submitted the results to the Matriculation Office for appropriate placement.
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 will be sent to your MyOCC account a few hours after 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?
- Sample Questions: English ESL
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.
All test results are valid for two (2) years from the original test date. Students must wait one year before retaking a 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.