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Sample Test Questions

By reviewing the types of questions that will be on the test, you can prepare to do your best during testing. 


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

  • Choose to take the highest numbered test you feel comfortable with based on your math background and current skills. Click on the links below for a short quiz on each test level. 

    • Test #1 For students who have not yet completed high school algebra or need review. 
    • Test #2 For students who have completed one year of high school algebra or higher. 
    • Test #3 For students who have completed intermediate algebra. 
    • Test #4 For students who have completed one year of high school precalculus and trigonometry or higher. 
  • 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 may 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 during the test 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 staff in person or by calling (805) 730-4149 if this is your choice.

FULL-LENGTH ONLINE PRACTICE EXAMS: Click on the links below to access practice math tests and receive diagnostic feedback:

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:

STUDY FOR MATH WITH KHAN ACADEMY: Click on the links below to access a Khan Academy "playlist" of topics on Test #1, 2 & 3:


  • The English test is divided into three objective sections and a written essay. A topic will be provided for the essay at the test. 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.
  • Note: The English test is for native English speakers or advanced second language students. 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.
  • Students receive three placements from the ESL Assessment: Grammar, Reading, and Writing. Please consult the ESL Flow Chart for clarification. 
  • For more information about ESL assessment and orientation dates, visit the ESL Assessment page.

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