Assessment Center

Back to SBCC

Sample Test Questions


You will need to choose which one of the four math tests is most appropriate for you:

  • Download and work through the sample test questions for Test #1#2#3 or #4.Choose to take the highest numbered test you feel comfortable with based on your math background and current skills.

    • Test #1 Assesses your arithmetic and pre-algebra skills for placement into Math 1 (Basic Math), Math 4 (Pre-Algebra), or Math 100 (Elementary Algebra, first-year high school algebra). Note: If the questions on Test #1 are too difficult, you may elect to begin at the Math 1 level without testing. You must notify Assessment if this is your choice.
    • Test #2 Assesses your elementary algebra skills for placement into Math 107 and/or Math 111 (Intermediate Algebra, second-year high school algebra). You should have completed at least one year of high school algebra to take this test.
    • Test #3 Assesses your intermediate algebra skills for placement into Math 117 (Elementary Statistics), Psych 150 (Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences), Math 120 (College Algebra), Math 130 (Calculus for Life Science, Social Science and Business), or Math 137 (Precalculus I, College Algebra & Functions). You should have completed one or two years of high school algebra plus one year of geometry to take this test. 
    • Test #4 Assesses your precalculus skills for placement into Math 138 (Precalculus II, College Algebra & Trigonometry), or Math 150 (Calculus). You should have completed two years of high school algebra, one year of geometry and trigonometry, or 4 years of high school math including trigonometry, analytical geometry, or advanced topics to take this test. 
  • Each test is designed for placement into different levels of math: please consult the Math Flow Chart for clarification.

  • It is important to make a careful decision about which math test you take. If you choose a test below your skill level you will be placed in a math class that is too easy for you. If you choose a test above your skill level you may be asked to come back to Assessment and take a lower level math test in order to receive a math placement.

  • Since calculators may not be used at assessment it is best to review without the aid of a calculator. Scratch paper will be provided at the test.
  • Note: If the questions on Test #1 are too difficult, you may elect to begin at the Math 1 level without testing. You must notify Assessment if this is your choice.
STUDY PACKETS: Extensive study packets for each of the four tests are available for purchase at the College Bookstore or click on the links below to download the same study packet for the test you plan to take:
Full-length online practice exams for Test #3 and #4 are also available.


  • The English test is divided into three parts: a comprehensive reading exam, where you will answer multiple-choice questions; an objective writing exam, which is a multiple-choice grammar and sentence structure exam; and a written essay. A topic will be provided for the essay at the test. Plan your essay before you begin to write. Your essay should be well-organized, include specific examples, and be readable. Review the English sample test.
  • Students receive two placements from the English Assessment: one for Reading and one for Writing. Please consult the English Flow Chart for clarification. It is important to do your best on the exam so you will be placed into the highest courses possible. 
  • Note: The English test is for native English speakers or very advanced second language students whose English proficiency is at a near-native level. All other students should take the English as a Second Language Test.


  • The ESL Assessment is divided into two parts: a 45-minute multiple choice exam and a 20-minute essay on a topic or subject that will be given to you at the test.
  • For more information about ESL assessment and orientation dates, visit the ESL Assessment page.

Back to top Back to top

721 Cliff Drive Santa Barbara, CA 93109-2394    Main Campus Phone: 805.965.0581    © 2015 Santa Barbara City College