Placement Tests

Students admitted to Seattle Central will receive detailed testing information in their acceptance materials.

Please note that, if a student submits a sufficient English proficiency score for direct college placement, he/she will not be required to take an on-campus English placement test upon arrival.

The following tabs provide general guidelines about our three different placement tests:

SCIE ESL Placement Test

Students who did not submit a sufficient English proficiency score or have no proof of English proficiency will take the Seattle Central Institute of English (SCIE) ESL Placement Test during SCIE orientation. Students can take this test only once.

Students unable to take the SCIE ESL Placement Test at orientation must contact the International Education Programs Office, as they may need to defer admission to a later quarter.

College ESL Placement Test

Students who submit an English proficiency score sufficient for College Bridge or Advanced English will be required to take the college ESL placement test. Students must have a referral from the International Education Programs (IEP) office to take this test, which is administered by the Seattle Central College Testing Office.

Please note that students scoring above their initial placement will be moved to higher levels, including full-time college. Students scoring two or more levels below their initial placement will enroll in classes according to their test results.

Students are allowed only one re-test of the college ESL placement test. Students must speak with a staff member at the IEP office and complete a Re-Test Waiver to gain permission for a re-test. For more information on the college ESL placement test, including current testing fees, please visit the Testing Office webpage.

The college ESL placement test consists of four sections: Reading Comprehension, Listening, Grammar, and a written essay. The first three sections are multiple choice, and the written essay is done in Microsoft Word. Test results are normally available within three business days.

Students who have already taken the College ESL placement test twice, but have not received a placement in ENGL& 101 may opt for the ENGL& 101 Challenge Essay. Under this option, students write an essay to be read by English faculty, who then determine whether or not a student is ready for ENGL& 101. Students interested in this option should speak with the IEP Office front desk staff.

To be assured of a spot in classes, students must test no later than five business days before school starts. Students unable to meet this deadline may not be able to enroll in classes.

College Math Placement Test

Applicants to Seattle Central are not required to demonstrate Math proficiency at the time of admission. However:

- College Transfer and High School Completion Plus students must take the college Math placement test prior to registering for their second quarter of full-time college study
- Students enrolled in Career Training must take the college Math placement test before admission to their specific program can be confirmed
- IEP Short-Term Certificate students might need to take the college Math placement test, depending on the specialization and classes they select

Students who are required to take the college Math placement test must have basic arithmetic skills to reach the lowest placement available.

Seattle Central uses the ALEKS PPL Test to evaluate Math proficiency. Students are able to take the test up to 5 times. The first two times can be done online, at home, instead of in Seattle Central’s testing office. For more information on the ALEKS PPL, including current testing fees, please visit our website.

Exemption From Taking the College Math Placement Test

Students can waive the College Math Placement Test and meet Math proficiency requirements any time by submitting one of the following test scores or transcripts, issued within the last three years:

- SAT Math scores of 520 or higher (old format) or 550 (new format)
- ACT Math scores of 22 or higher
- AP score of 3 or higher in Calculus BC, or of 2 or higher in Calculus AB
- proof they completed a college-level Math course at another recognized post-secondary institution