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Santa Monica College|Enrollment Development|Assessment|First-Time College Students

First-Time College Students

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All first-time college students attending Santa Monica College who meet the criteria below are required to complete both an English/ESL and a Mathematics assessment test prior to enrolling in a fall or spring semester. Specifically, you are required to complete these tests if you are:

  • Enrolling in more than six (6) units during your first semester (fall or spring, regardless of your academic goals with the exception of activity courses such as PE); or
  • Enrolling in your second semester at SMC and have not completed the placement tests.

Exceptions to mandatory assessment:

You may be temporarily waived from assessment if you:
  • Are enrolling in only up to six (6) units during your first semester (fall or spring) AND are not enrolling in English/ESL, math, or chemistry classes. You will be required to complete both tests if you opt to enroll in more than six units or in the above courses; and before enrolling in the next regular semester.
  • Are enrolling in only winter or summer classes (not in English/ESL, math, or chemistry classes).

Can SMC accept assessment results from other institutions?

Test results may be accepted under very limited circumstances, on a case-by-case basis only:
  • Out-of-State/Out-of-Area Students Applying to SMC: If you are eligible to enroll at SMC and planning to move to the Los Angeles area (or elsewhere in California) to attend SMC, you may be permitted to complete the appropriate tests at another institution, but ONLY if the tests are the same as the ones in use at SMC (see below for test names). Moreover, raw scores for these tests must be provided. SMC will apply its own “cut” scores and other measures to determine your placement eligibility. PLEASE NOTE: You must have completed the tests within the past calendar year.
  • Los Angeles-Area & Ventura-Area Students: If you live in the greater Los Angeles/Ventura area, you must come to Santa Monica College to undergo the assessment process.  We will not accept assessment results from other schools, even if you took the same tests as those offered at SMC.

Placement Tests You Must Complete

 English: You must take both of the following tests: 
  • ACCUPLACER Reading Comprehension
  • ACCUPLACER Sentence Skills
ESL: You must take the three following tests:
  •  ACCUPLACER LOEP Language Use
  • ACCUPLACER LOEP Reading Skills
  • ACCUPLACER LOEP Sentence Meaning  
Math: You must take: 
  • COMPASS Math

What will happen if I do not complete the tests but am required to do so?

You will not be able to enroll in your fall or spring classes until you complete the assessment process. Please note we are not responsible for any delay incurred in your enrollment as a result of not completing your placement exams in a timely fashion. A minimum of 24 hours is needed to update our test records and your eligibility into the college’s student information system.