English as a Second Language (ESL) Placement Testing

ESL testing is for students wishing to take credit ESL classes at SMC. 

Is the ESL Placement Test Required?

The English as a Second Language assessment is required of all new first-time college students wishing to enroll in an ESL course for the first time, or whose English Guided Self-Placement results show the ESL test is required.

Should I Take the English or the ESL Assessment?

If you are a native English speaker or attended junior and senior high school in the United States, we strongly recommend that you take the English Guided Self-Placement on Corsair Connect.

The ESL test has been designed for English learner students coming from other countries who did not complete high school in the U.S.

What's the Difference Between Credit and Noncredit ESL?

Information on credit and noncredit ESL programs are available for you.

What is the name of the ESL placement test?

  • SMC uses the College Board "Accuplacer " program to assess students' skills in reading, sentence structure, grammar, writing, etc.

  • All students will start with the Reading Skills test, then complete the Sentence Meaning test, and finally, the Language Usage test.

  • Given the adaptive nature of the tests, you will initially get an item of intermediate difficulty. From there, if you answer correctly you will be given an item of greater difficulty which is valued with more points. If you get it wrong, you will get an item of lesser difficulty, which is valued with fewer points.

  • If you want to maximize your chances of placing into a college-level English class or a high-level ESL course it is crucial you perform well in the first few questions.

What ESL computerized placement testing?

The English as a Second Language (ESL) test is computerized and adaptive.

  • Adaptive testing is a test administration process in which test items are selected dynamically from a collection of test items.

  • The items are selected based on the examinee's ability to correctly answer items during the exam. For example, an examinee who succeeds with a given item will be presented next with an item of greater difficulty.

  • An examinee who does not do well with the given item would next receive an item of lower difficulty.

  • After each response (correct or incorrect), the computer program will automatically select the next item in such a way as to provide you with a reliable estimate of your performance on the entire test.