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Understanding Your Assessment Scores

Assessment testing is a valuable tool that will help you to identify your skill level in the subjects of English and Math. It is important to understand your assessment results so that you can enroll into English and Math courses that best match your skill level. The results are also useful for selecting other college courses, in which certain levels of English and Math are advised in order for you to be academically prepared for the course.

New- to-college students are required to take the English and Math assessment tests. Exception to this rule, are students transferring from another U.S. college who have completed college level English or taken any Math courses. We only accept English college level courses in order to be placed into a Santa Barbara City College English course. However, if you have completed any Math course, you can submit a prerequisite challenge form to Admissions and Records to request clearance to the next level of Math. Here is the link to the prerequisite challenge form:

International students studying with the F-1 Visa must obtain authorization from the international Office to waive the Math and English assessments. 

Students’ who are pursuing vocational certificates or enrolling in personal enrichment courses that do not require an English or Math skill level, are not required to take the English and Math assessment tests. However, if your educational goals change from an vocational certificate to an Associate degree and/or transfer, then you will be required to take these assessments.

Students may retake their English and Math assessment tests once a semester to possibly increase their placement levels. The English as a Second Language Department, ESL, requires students who have placed into ESL level courses to receive recommendation from an ESL instructor prior to retaking the English assessment.  The English assessment takes approximately two hours to complete and one to two hours for the Math assessment depending on which test was selected. Sample test questions for the English and Math assessment exams are available at the assessment office and on the website. Assessment testing is on a walk-in basis, no appointment is necessary. Dates and times for assessment testing for the current semester will be listed under the assessment section of the Santa Barbara City College website at:

Your Math assessment results are given the same day you take them. Your English exam includes an essay which needs to be reviewed by an English faculty member. English results are emailed to your pipeline account within 48 hours.

Please watch the following important video in understanding your assessment results. It is strongly recommended that you print a copy of the Math and English flow charts along with your assessment results while viewing this video. Click on the following links to print a copy of the Math and English flow charts:

For a transcript of this video, please click here.

Important tip: If you have assessed into Math 107 (Intermediate Algebra) or Math 111 (Intermediate Algebra for Math, Science, and Business) please consider the following before making your selection: Math 111 is a 5 unit intensive course that covers both intermediate and college algebra content. Students who enroll into this course will then be eligible to continue to calculus Math 130 or Math 137. This course is recommended for students who have strong Math skills and would like to advance at a faster pace. Math 107 is a 4 unit standard Intermediate Algebra course. If you believe that Math 111 is not the best option for you, then we recommend you enroll into Math 107 Intermediate Algebra.

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