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If you are a student reading this you are probably thinking, ‘I haven’t even stepped foot on my college campus and they already want me to take a test!? As if the SAT and ACT were not enough!’ However, if you took one of those tests or an AP test and passed, you may be in luck!

Contrary to what you may think, colleges are not purposefully trying to torment you. Instead, the reason for the placement tests is to find out where you are at academically in order to place you in the appropriate course.

In talking with David Navarro, College Relations Specialist at the Clovis Community College Center, he reiterated that their hope is that students will not be placed in classes which are too easy and cause boredom or classes which are too difficult and could possibly lead to failure. Students who are attending an SCCCD campus are only required to take the English placement test. Students will be placed in the appropriate math class based on the highest level of math they have completed.

We just want to know where the student is within their academics. From there we can formulate a “training plan” tailored to meet the needs of the students.–David Navarro, College Relations Specialist

Many students worry about how they will do on the placement test and ask how they can prepare for it.

“I never recommend a student to “prepare” for this test,” Navarro said. “I use the analogy of energy drinks and running a race. Though consuming an energy drink before a race may give the student an immediate, but short-lived boost to increase performance, the student will not have the stamina needed for the long duration of the race because the basic fundamentals of strength training and cardiovascular conditioning are missing.

“We just want to know where the student is within their academics. From there we can formulate a “training plan” tailored to meet the needs of the students.”

The CSU system has a similar placement testing arrangement. However, both math (ELM) and English (EPT) tests are required, unless students meet the exemption requirements.

Those students who take the ELM/EPT and do not meet the proficiency requirements will be required to attend the Early Start Program before the start of their freshman year at the CSU.

When asking Donna Bollinger, Administrative Assistant in the Testing Office at Fresno State her advice in regards to taking the test(s) she said to sign up early because the spots fill up very quickly.

“If you don’t take the test in March or April, you will not receive your results in time to register for your classes during Dog Days (specific to Fresno State),” Bollinger said. “This could potentially cause a delay in getting the classes students need.”

Bollinger also suggests that students may want to brush up on their math and English skills before taking the test. A good way to do this is by visiting the ETS website where students can view practice questions and learn about the test format.

But just like the other placement test, the information presented on the test is material that you have learned in your high school classes.

For more information on the SCCCD placement test, visit the website.

*The SCCCD placement test will be offered to Fresno Christian seniors who have applied on Feb 24 from 10:20 a.m.-12:20 p.m in the computer lab..

*Fresno Christian students who need to take the EPT/ELM for the CSU system must sign up for the test and choose their desired location by visiting the site.

Happy testing!

For the most recent post by Michelle Warkentin, please check out College Corner: Managing the FAFSA. For another opinion, read Chris Grossman’s COLUMN: Why every student should go to NOTS.