Assessment and Placement

Students attending Mt. San Antonio College are required to participate in assessment. The assessment and placement process has been established to enable all students an opportunity to achieve probable success in their course work. In addition, the process allows the faculty to instruct their courses at an appropriate level with the knowledge that students will be reasonably prepared. For more information, visit Assessment

Assessment Process at Mt. San Antonio College


All students at Mt. San Antonio College will be placed in courses based on assessment utilizing multiple measures.  For most students, placement will be based on U.S. high school performance (High School GPA, High School Courses taken, etc.).  Other students will be directed to take placement tests to assist the college in giving students the most appropriate placement advice. Course placement has been determined based on criteria established by faculty.

Assessment Questionnaire


To determine your course placement in writing (English or AmLa) and math courses, go to www.mtsac.edu/aq and complete the Assessment Questionnaire (AQ).  It is recommended that you have a copy of your high school transcripts with you when you are completing the Assessment Questionnaire (AQ).  Follow the questionnaire directions carefully as it can be completed only once.  After completing the questionnaire, you will be given your course placement recommendations.

  • If you feel that the course placements you receive do not reflect your current abilities in the subject matter, you may make an appointment with a counselor.  You can also make an appointment to take a placement test.
  • If you have questions about your placement results, you may talk to a counselor or the Director of Assessment and Matriculation.
  • You can always take a course at a lower level than the course you are placed in.  
  • You can only complete the questionnaire once.  If there was an error in the questionnaire you submitted, please see a counselor or the Director of Assessment and Matriculation.

Placement Tests


Students who do not have the appropriate assessment information available (i.e., high school GPA) will be directed to take a placement test to determine course placement.  Also, students who are eligible to be placed based on the Assessment Questionnaire (AQ) but are not satisfied with the placement advice given may choose to take a placement test.

For English and American Language (AmLa) Placement based on a placement test, the College utilizes the English Writing Placement Test to evaluate students’ writing skills. Students will be given a writing prompt and the writing sample will be evaluated by at least two faculty members. Based on the faculty evaluation of the student’s writing skills, along with additional measures, students are placed in the appropriate level of English writing.

For Math Placement based on a placement test, the College utilizes a selection of assessment instruments to place students into math courses. Students take one of the math placement exams commensurate with their most recent, successful completion of Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Intermediate Algebra or Pre-Calculus.

The following placement tests are also available:

Reading Placement


The College utilizes the Degrees of Reading Power (DRP) reading test to assess reading skills for students whose primary language in English. Based on the results of the reading test, the student will be placed in an appropriate reading course. Please be advised that the reading competency requirement for graduation can be met by attaining eligibility for READ 100.  (For more information regarding the reading competency requirement, please see page ###.)  Please note that there is no reading test for students who are non-native speakers of English.  Reading course advice will be based on writing course placement.

Chemistry Placement


The College utilizes the California Chemistry Diagnostic Test to determine student readiness for CHEM 50. Students who pass the chemistry placement test will not be required to take a chemistry course prior to enrolling in CHEM 50.

Retest Policy


Students may repeat a test once every three months. Under certain extenuating circumstances and with approval of the Director of Assessment and Matriculation, a student may retest prior to the three-month limit.

Placement Test and Eligibility Time Limits


Placement test scores are valid for two years from the date the test was taken. Eligibility based on test placement is not valid after the two-year period. Eligibility based on previous coursework does not expire.

Test Scores and Placement from Other Colleges


Math and reading test scores will be accepted from other colleges if that college uses the same test as Mt. SAC. English test scores from other colleges are not accepted. Mt. SAC does not accept placement granted at other colleges.

Test Information Sessions


The sessions will prepare students to take the English and Math placement test and provide an opportunity for students to ask questions. The information sessions will also provide strategies and resources. For further information, contact the Assessment Center at (909) 274-4265 or visit the Assessment Center webpage.  (http://www.mtsac.edu/assessment).

Appeal Process


Students may appeal their English and/or Math placement if they can demonstrate alternate proof of course equivalency or competency. If extenuating circumstances exist that may affect course placement, students may seek consultation in the appropriate division office. Students should be prepared to present documentation such as high school or college transcripts, additional test results, or work experience.

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