Placement Tests

Some of our Noncredit programs use placement tests to determine which class level you should begin in. Placement tests are assessments used to check your academic skill level in a variety of subjects. The results of the tests are used to place you in the appropriate class level.

Placement tests are required in order to enroll in the following noncredit programs:

  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Adult Basic Education
  • Adult High School Diploma
  • General Education Development (GED)

Schedule Your Placement Test

ESL & Vocational ESL Courses

Go to the Admission & Records Office in Room 100 of the Foothill Campus to schedule your placement test.

Adult High School and GED Prep

Schedule your placement test through the counseling office in Room 105 of the Foothill Campus.

The following types of placement tests are used for Noncredit Programs:


ACCUPLACER tests are one of several measures to determine English and mathematics placement for the Adult High School Diploma (AHSD). Online or hard copy practice tests are available for those preparing for testing.


The Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) is the most widely used system in the U.S. for assessing adult basic reading, mathematics, listening, writing, and speaking skills. It is used to rate skill levels needed for success in the workplace, community, and family. In addition, CASAS establishes measurable goals and learning outcomes to determine which of your skills need strengthening.


If you take classes in Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language, Vocational English as a Second Language, Adult High School Diploma, and General Education Development (GED), you will take the Combined English Language Skills Assessment (CELSA). This test consists of two different forms, each with reading and writing passages. The difficulty of these forms vary from beginning, intermediate, and all the way to advanced levels.

Proficiency Tests

Proficiency tests are used at the end of the Adult High School Diploma program. After completing the program's courses, you will take all three proficiency tests to show you have mastered the skills required to earn a high school diploma.

In order to receive a high school diploma, you must pass proficiency tests in the following three subjects:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Language (Sentence Skills)
  • Math

Anyone who wishes to earn a  high school diploma in California must meet the proficiency requirement. You can do so by taking the proficiency tests. Or, you can receive credit for the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) from your respective high school(s) to meet the requirement.

Proficiency tests are administered each term in a classroom setting. To take the test, you need to schedule an appointment beforehand. Appointments can be made in the Foothill campus office that services your specific courses.

Not meeting state-required test scores on the proficiency tests will keep you from receiving your diploma. If your test scores do not match or exceed state-mandated passing levels, you can receive instruction and tutoring in subjects that may need improvement. When you master the objectives of areas where your scores were below state requirements, you can resume progress toward your diploma.