Assessments and Tests Available



In order to be eligible to receive student aid on or after July 1, 2012, students must have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent, such as a GED or CHSPE.  An exception is made for students who have completed a secondary school education in a home school setting that is treated as a home school or private school under State Law.

If students were enrolled into an eligible program prior to July 1, 2012, they can qualify for student aid by passing an Ability-To-Benefit Test or by completing at least six units of post-secondsary education.  If the Financial Aid Office determines that a student is eligible to take an ATB Test, he/she will be given a yellow referral form.  This form must be presented in person to the Assessment/Testing Center in order to make an appointment to take the ATB Test.  All ATB Tests are administered by appointment only.


The Chemistry Placement Test may be taken only once and is required of any student who wishes to enroll into Chemistry 1A.  However, the test is not necessary if the student has completed Chemistry 4 at El Camino College with a C or better.  As well, it should be noted that previous chemistry work, whether taken in high school or at another college, does not in itself qualify a student for Chemistry 1A. As well, students who have never taken a chemistry course or who want a beginning level course may enroll into Chemistry 4, 20, or 21A, depending upon their majors and completion of math prerequisites.

The test covers compounds and elements, states of matter, reactions of matter, structure of matter, periodic properties, solutions, dynamics, laboratory skills, and mathematics.

The 45-minute test is given on an appointment-basis only.  Students may obtain a reservation ticket from the Assessment/Testing Center.

After completing the test, a student may seek review of a placement recommendation.  Appropriate petition forms are available from the Assessment/Testing Center.

Chemistry Test Topics & Sample Questions (PDF)


The Contemporary Health Waiver Exam is offered as an option to students who wish to satisfy their El Camino Contemporary Health graduation requirement by passing a non-credit examination. The exam is administered year-round by the Assessment/Testing Center on an appointment-basis. The exam is a one-hour multiple-choice test of 105 items. Topics include emotional health, aging, substance use and abuse, sexuality/childbirth, infectious disease, non-infectious disease, heart disease, fitness/nutrition, and health services. Although unit credit is not granted, students who pass the exam will be able to have a wider selection of courses to choose from in completing their academic program at El Camino College. The exam may be attempted only once. Exam results may not be transferable to another college.


Please note:  On 06/05/13, the Associate Degree Nursing Faculty made the decision that
                       the DRP Test would NO LONGER BE REQUIRED for admission for either
                       generic or LVN-to-RN students.  Thusly, the DRP Test is no longer available.


Students must take the English Placement Test as part of the assessment of appropriate skill levels before enrolling into English 1A,English 35, 36, 40A, 40B, 50RWA, English 82 (formerly English R), English 84 (formerly English 2R), English A, English C (offered at the Compton Center only); Business 27, Business 28; Journalism 1; Law 11; and Sociology 101. The exception is the student who has a satisfactory grade in English composition documented by a grade slip or transcript from an accredited college.

The English Placement Test is taken on a computer and is untimed. Most students take approximately one hour to complete it. The test is in two parts--Reading Comprehension and Sentence Skills. A student may repeat the English Placement Test--see Assessment/Testing Center staff for further details. However, the test may not be repeated once students enroll into the Reading and Writing course sequences. Prior to enrolling into their first English course, students may also seek review of their placement recommendation with a counselor. Testing for all English classes must be completed by the day before a student's registration date.


The ESL (English As a Second Language) Placement Test is designed for students for whom English is their second language.

If you have a question about whether you should take the ESL Placement Test or the regular English Placement Test, the following questions may help you decide:

  1.  Is English the first language you learned as a child?  YES NO
  2.  Did you complete most of your education in the
     English language?
  3.  Do you usually speak English with your family
     friends and/or co-workers?

If you answered NO to more than one of these questions, it is recommended that you take the ESL Placement Test. Even if you have been in this country for several years, you will benefit from ESL classes which are offered at many levels. Credit from the highest ESL class, English 1A (For ESL Students), is transferable to four–year colleges and universities.

About the ESL Placement Test

The ESL Placement Test is given in two parts on two separate visits to the Campus. First session: Students may drop-in during regular testing hours to complete the computerized Reading Skills portion of the ESL Placement Test. (No special knowledge of computers is necessary.) During this first visit, students also complete a brief ESL Skills Assessment Questionnaire. The first session lasts approximately one hour.  Second Session: The second session is scheduled by appointment only.  Students have an oral test interview, participate in an information workshop about El Camino College, and receive their placement results. This second session usually lasts 1-1/2 to 3 hours, depending upon the number of students present. Both sessions must attended and completed before the student's registration date.

Please note: ESL courses taken at another institution cannot be used to determine placement into El Camino's ESL Program.

Preparing for the ESL Placement Test

In order to do your best on the ESL Placement Test, students should practice with sample questions.  For the ESL Reading Skills Test, please go to .  Click on Free Sample Questions at the right.  Go to pages 14 through 17 for the ACCUPLACER ESL Reading Skills Test.  There are 17 questions.  Answers to the questions are on page 23.

About the ESL Courses

Students must complete the ESL Placement Test before enrolling into a ESL courses. Speaking courses are ESL 51A, ESL 51B, and ESL 51C.  Reading courses are ESL 52A, ESL 52B, and ESL 52C. Writing courses are ESL 53A, ESL 53B, ESL 53C, and English 1A. (Note:  Certain English 1A courses are noted as recommended for ESL students in the Schedule of Classes.  Other English 1A courses are designed for native-speaking students.)   

Repeating the ESL Placement Test

Once students have enrolled into ESL classes, they may not repeat the ESL Placement Test. However, prior to enrolling into ESL classes, students may repeat the test with the permission of the ESL Coordinator in the Assessment/Testing Center.

El Camino ESL courses versus Adult School courses

Students who have no knowledge of English may still participate in the assessment process at El Camino College and may enroll into recommended courses. However, if students have difficulty comprehending the ESL Placement Test, they should be made aware of their options. It is important to know that beginning ESL courses at El Camino College are not truly "beginning" courses and, therefore, are not designed for students who speak, read, or write no English. A student who has no knowledge of English may wish to first attend a local Adult School for the basics, and then return to El Camino College for advanced study.

(See Math Competency Test below under OTHER TESTS AVAILABLE)

The Mathematics Placement Test is required of any student who wishes to enroll into any El Camino College Math course. High school Math courses may not be used, per se, for placement into Math classes at ECC. However, they may be considered in combination with testing scores for placement during assessment with a counselor.  Math test results are valid for two years.  (Placement results stay in the system forever; but, if no math courses have been taken within the past two years, retention of material may becomes an issue.  Students should seek advisement from a counselor in regard to re-testing.)

For those students transferring in from another accredited college or university, a transcript (or grade slip) indicating Math course grades will be accepted in lieu of a placement test if the course(s) used for credit were passed with a grade of C or better. Transcripts/grade slips must be presented to a counselor. All testing and assessment must be completed before the student's registration date.

About the Mathematics Placement Test

The Mathematics Placement Test is taken on a computer and is untimed. It takes approximately one hour to complete. Math testing may include up to three separate tests: Arithmetic, Elementary Algebra, and College-Level Math.  Calculators are NOT allowed.

Repeating the Math Placement Test

Students may repeat the Mathematics Placement Test if they have not yet registered into a math course at El Camino College. However, once the math sequence has begun through placement testing, all courses must be taken in sequence.  Skipping a course by re-taking the Mathematics Placement Test is not permitted.  If a student does not take the placement test, but self-places into Math 12, he/she may take the placement test after enrolling into or completing that particular course only

Students may seek review of a placement recommendation from the Math Division. Students may obtain appropriate forms to do so from the Assessment/Testing Center. 


Purpose of test:

To satisfy ECC graduation requirements (Section A, Item 6) for the A.A./A.S. Degree.  ECC Catalog statement:

"Pass the Mathematics Competency Test (a process separate from mathematics placement), which covers intermediate algebra, or satisfactorily complete one of the approved courses for this category".  (Please see Catalog for listing of approved courses.)

What test satisfies this requirement?

1)  ACCUPLACER College-Level Math (CLM) Exam                  

For students who have enrolled Fall 2009 or later and for students who have NOT maintained CONTINUOUS ENROLLMENT, the ACCUPLACER College-Level Math (CLM) Exam, covering Intermediate Algebra, satisfies this requirement.  The minimum passing score on the CLM Exam is 63.

                                                                                                - OR -

2)  ACCUPLACER Elementary Algebra (EA) Exam                   

For students entering prior to Summer 2009 with CONTINUOUS ENROLLMENT, the ACCUPLACER Elementary Algebra (EA) Exam, covering Basic Algebra, satisfies this requirement.  The minimum passing score on the EA Test is 70.

How do I know which test to take?

A counselor will evaluate your academic record and determine which test is the appropriate one for you to take.

What process should students follow?

Students must obtain a blue Math Competency Referral Form from the Assessment/Testing Center and then arrange a meeting with an ECC counselor.  The counselor will decide which of the two Math Competency Tests is appropriate and sign off on it.  This form should then be returned to the Assessment/Testing Center.  Upon receipt of the signed form, Testing Staff will verify whether a student has already completed the required ACCUPLACER Test.  If so, that will be the end of the process.  If not, student will complete the required test whenever he/she is ready to do so.

Important notes:

Review!  Students are encouraged to review subject material before taking the exam.  You might find the following website useful for your review:

Retakes:  The exam may be attempted a second time without written permission, and a third and final time with written permission from the Dean of Mathematical Sciences.

Use of Calculators:  On selected math questions, a calculator icon will appear at the top right of the screen.  If it is there, you may click on it and use it to solve the problem.  If no calculator appears on the screen, no other calculator, hand-held or otherwise, may be used.






Please contact the Assessment/Testing Center regarding any testing questions not answered on this page.  You may call (310) 660-3405 or use the following e-mail address: