Matriculation requires that all NEW students to college be assessed in English (or ESL) and Math. Students are exempt from placement testing and assessment if they have earned an Associate or Bachelor degree from a U.S. College or University or have completed college course work in English and Math at another college (transcript required). TheAssessment test is not a pass-fail test and does not exclude you from admission to San Jose City College. It is a test to determine the appropriate course level for you.
Students must be assessed if they plan to:
TransferEarn a degree or certificateEnroll in any English, ESL, or Math courses Assessment is by appointment only.
Check the calendars under Assessment News for available days and times. You must have a San Jose City College Student ID number to schedule an appointment. Appointments may be scheduled either online or by phone at (408) 288-3170. To schedule an Assessment appointment online, please select the appropriate appointment link. Compass (Reading, Writing, Math), English as a Second Language (ESL).
If you are having problems, or would like to schedule your appointment over the phone, please contact us during our regular business hoursat (408) 288-3170. Please note that during peak times it may take several days to return your call. Please be patient.
If we are unable to take your call, please make sure you clearly state your name, Student ID number, the date and time you would like totake the assessment test and a phone number where you can be reached.
Prepare for the Assessment. Here are some resources to help you study for the COMPASS Reading, COMPASS Writing, COMPASS Math or English as a Second Language (ESL). For additional sources, click here.
Bring your Student ID number and a Photo ID. (Valid photo ID includes California Driver's License or Identification Card, Military ID, Passport, or current Student ID Card).
Cell phones and all electronic devices need to be turned off before entering the Assessment Center.
Check in 15 minutes BEFORE the scheduled test time. To avoid disruptions and distractions for students testing, students who arrive late WILL BE turned away and will be required to reschedule. Children are not allowed in the testing area and may not be left unattended on campus.
Collect your scores upon completion of your COMPASS Reading, Writing and/or Math test. Because the ESL test has a written component that must be evaluated by a faculty member, you will receive a copy of your scores from a Counselor a few days after completing your assessment. We recommend you keep this copy for your files.
We use COMPASS, a computerized assessment to help place you into English courses. It consists of two parts: Reading and Writing. The Reading portion assesses comprehension and reasoning. The Writing portion assesses knowledge of basic grammar and usage, punctuation and sentence structure. Both sections are un-timed and answers are multiple-choice.
We strongly recommend that you prepare for your English assessment to avoid being placed in classes you may not need.
Here are some links to help you prepare for your English Assessment:
Reading (downloadable version): Compass- Reading Writing (downloadable version): Compass - Writing
Reading (downloadable version): Compass- Reading
Writing (downloadable version): Compass - Writing
We use COMPASS, a computerized assessment to help place you into Math courses. There are several areas you will be assessed in:
Numerical SkillsPre-AlgebraAlgebraCollege AlgebraTrigonometry
Where you will begin depends upon your Math background. Please talk with our Assessment Center staff about the last level of Math you completed.
You may bring your own calculator as long as it meets the ACT guidelines. Sample questions are available to download through the links below:
Pre-Algebra & Algebra Sample Questions - AlgebraCollege Algebra & Trigonometry Sample Questions
A twenty minute hand written essay on an assigned topicA listening comprehension A reading portion
The Listening Comprehension and Reading portion are on the computer, un-timed and multiple-choice. Below are links to sample questions. They will help you prepare for your ESL assessment.
COMPASS: ESL LISTENINGCOMPASS: ESL READING
Our ESL Department offers classes in Listening and Speaking, Reading, Writing, Grammar and Pronunciation. Soon after your assessment, you will meet individually with a Counselor to receive your assessment results.
Q I want to attend San Jose City College. What should I do first?
You need to complete an Application for Admission online at CCCApply. After you have received your San Jose City College student ID number, schedule an Assessment appointment.
Q Why should I prepare for the test?
Why waste time taking classes you don’t need? Your Assessment will help determine what level of classes you will place into as a beginning student. If you are planning to transfer to a four-year university, a higher score will mean you can begin taking transferable classes sooner. Here are some resources to help you prepare for COMPASS Reading, COMPASS Writing, COMPASS Math or English as a Second Language (ESL). For additional resources, click here.
Q Will I need to pay for Assessment?
There are no fees for taking your Assessment. A San Jose City College Student ID number and a photo ID are required.
Q What happens if I fail my assessment?
Your assessment is not a Pass or Fail exam. The assessment examines your present competency level in English, Math and/or ESL.
Q I have misplaced my test results and I need another copy. How do I get one?
If you need to print another copy of your scores log into your MyWeb account and look for the section labeled "testing scores".
Q Can I retake the test?
To retake your COMPASS Reading, Writing and/or Math test, you will need to wait 12 months. ESL can be retaken after 6 months. However, you may not retake the test if you start taking classes based on your scores. Assessment may not be used to skip levels. If your intention is to skip levels you need to file a "Prerequisite Challenge Form" with the Counseling Department.
Q How long will the test Take?
The tests are not timed. How much time it will take depends on the student’s experience and skill. The average time is 2.5 hours for both English and Math Placement Tests. The ESL Placement Test takes approximately 1.5 hours. See ESL Placement Test for more details.
Q Does the Assessment Center offer accommodations for students with disabilities?
Yes. To arrange for disability-related accommodation, please contact the DSP/S office at (408) 288-3746.
Q Are High School students required to take the English and Math assessment?
Yes, all high school students interested in attending classes through SJCC are required to take both the English and Math assessment. Whether the class you are interested in is being offered at SJCC or on-site at your high school, you will be required to complete our assessment and meet with a SJCC Counselor for course placement. For more information, review the “PROCEDURES” section of your “R40 form.”
Q Where can I park?
Parking is available in the Parking Structure located at the corner of Moorpark and Leigh Avenue (off HW 280). It will cost $3.00 for a daily parking permit.
Q Who is exempt from taking the placement test?
Non-high school students 18 years of age or over, who enroll only in EMT or open curriculum classes (classes that have no prerequisites) are exempt from assessment and advisement. Anyone who presents a transcript indicating successful completion (C or better) of an equivalent course(s) at another accredited US college or university ifneeded as a prerequisite. Anyone who can present a transcript indicating successful completion of a two year (A.A.), four year (B.A.) or higher degree in the US. Anyone who has assessment scores or placements from another accredited US college or university, which can be determined to be equivalent to those of SJCC. Life experience that requires basic skills. For example, a journalist would not have to take a writing assessment.
Watch the video to learn more about the Assessment process and what to expect.
Student Center, SC-203, 2nd Floor
COMPASS AssessmentOn-line Appointment
ESL Assessment On-line Appointment
We are now testing for the upcoming spring semester!