Testing And Placement

English Placement

To become eligible for enrollment in full-time college classes, current students must do one of the following:

- Complete the College Bridge program

- Submit a test score high enough for direct placement

- Receive an ENGL& 101 or ENGL 099 placement on the COMPASS ESL test


The COMPASS ESL test is administered through the Seattle Central College Testing Office. Students who submit sufficient proof of English Proficiency will take the COMPASS ESL, unless proficiency is high enough to waive testing. Students can take this test only once, and must have a referral from the IEP Office. For more information on the COMPASS ESL Test, including current testing fees, please visit the Testing Office webpage.
The Compass ESL Test consist of a 4 sections: Reading Comprehension, Listening, Grammar and an essay. The first three sections are multiple choice, and the last section is a written essay done on the computer in Microsoft Word. The essay is read by faculty in the Institute of English. Students are placed based on a combination of scores from all four sections of the test. Complete test results are normally available within 3 business days. 

Math Placement

All College Transfer and Professional and Technical students must take the college Math placement test prior to registering for their second quarter of full-time study. We recommend they take the test before their first quarter of full-time college study.

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 http://www.seattlecentral.edu/testing/placement-tests.php.

Exemption From Taking the college Math Test

Students can waive the college Math placement test and meet Math proficiency requirements anytime by submitting one of the following test scores or transcripts, issued within the last three years:

- SAT Math scores of at least 520 (old format) or 550 (new format)
- ACT Math scores of at least 22
- 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 a recognized post-secondary institution

Important note about the Math placement test and Math graduation requirements

All college transfer and professional and technical degrees require completion of college-level Math. Students who completed basic Math classes as part of their high school curriculum are usually able to reach the lowest placement available on the college Math test and complete college-level Math.

Students who believe they may not have the required basic Math skills should contact their advisor during their first quarter of enrollment at Seattle Central, so they can ensure they will complete their program within the time allowed per their immigration status (please see our immigration pages for more details).