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Santa Monica College|Enrollment Development|Assessment|About Prep2Test

About Prep2Test

What is it

Prep2Test is an award-winning program designed to raise student awareness of the importance of preparation for placement exams (math, English/ESL). Its purpose is to improve the percentage of students placing into college-level math and English, while simultaneously decreasing remedial-level placement. Prep2Test is anchored by an online 6.5 minute video and an extended 45-minute assessment video/PowerPoint Show serving as an “orientation” for the placement process at SMC. Other resources include our Prep2Test Challenge Quiz, and sample tests.


Since its launch in April 2011, the effects of Prep2Test on college-level placement have been remarkable and sustainable. According to our research:

  • Students viewing the 6-minute Prep2Test video prior to assessing, are 36% and 18% more likely to place into college-level math and English, respectively, than students not watching the video.

  • Students viewing the 45-minute Prep2Test extended video orientation prior to assessing, are 49% and 41% more likely to place into college-level math and English, respectively, than students not watching the video (32% and 30%, respectively).

  • Since its launching in 2011, placement into college-level math has increased from 25% to 33% in 2013, and fewer students have placed into remedial math, decreasing from 66% in 2011 to 56% in 2013.

  • Our PDF FilePrep2Test Program Evaluation 2011-14 report describes in full the programs' underpinnings and outcomes.

Prep2Test Wins Award

Given the outcomes above, our Prep2Test program has been awarded the prestigious:

  • 2014 Exemplary Program Award by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors and Academic Senate for California Community Colleges in January 2014. The award recognizes and showcases exceptional community college programs that (1) show evidence of the overall success of the program; (2) contribute to faculty engagement; (3) demonstrate a response to the needs of students, faculty, and the college; (4) provide evidence that demonstrates how the program supports the community college mission; and (5) can be used as models for other community colleges. The award's theme for 2013 – 2014 was “Assessment for Placement: Effective Practices, Alternatives, and Improving Outcomes.” Award received for the SMC Prep2Test Program.

  • 2013 Promising Outcomes Work and Exemplary Research (POWER) Award for Excellence in Assessment: Leading Change. The award is presented each year at the Strengthening Student Success Conference by the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges and the RP Group to showcase practices in learning assessment that are effective in improving student success and creating institutional change.

Prep2Test Website


For further information concerning Prep2Test please contact:

Esau Tovar, Ph.D.
Dean, Enrollment Services
1900 Pico Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90405