Frequently asked questions



Q. Why do I need to take an assessment test?

A. If you want to take advantage of the earliest possible enrollment priority date and take the most appropriate English, ESL and/or math courses you will need to take both the English and math assessment tests.


Q. I'm only planning on taking a photography class or a cooking class while at DVC.  Do I still need to take an assessment test?

A. Yes! Every student enrolling at DVC will need to take both the English and the math assessment tests (unless certain criteria are met, see testing exemptions below) as well as complete orientation ( and educational planning (more details at to receive their priority registration date. If you do not complete all three steps of the enrollment process you will not receive your priority registration date.


Q. Are there any exemptions to testing?

A. Yes, if you meet any of the qualifications listed on our exemptions page then you wouldn't need to take the test.


Q. What happens if I fail the test?

A. The Assessment test is not a pass/fail test, it is a placement test. This means that the test will place you into the correct level for your skills. The only test that you could "fail" would be the College Level Math test, where if you don't answer at least the minimum number of questions correctly then you will receive no placement at all. All students are strongly encouraged to take the ISSA test before taking the College Level Math test to ensure that they are ready for that level of testing, and to ensure that some placement is received.


Q. How often can I take the assessment test?

A. This depends on which test you are looking to re-take as each test has a different re-test policy. The English test can only be taken twice ever district wide with at least 7 days in between testing days. The College Level Math test may be taken twice during the student's first semester of testing and then only once for all following semesters, but students must wait seven days from the initial test date for a re-test. The Chemistry and ESL tests can be taken only once per semester. Assessment scores are only valid for two years from the date of testing.


Q. Should I take the English test or the ESL test?

A. If English is not your first language then it is advisable to take the ESL test first to determine your level. If after taking the ESL test you feel like you might want to take the English test then you should meet with your counselor to discuss this option.


Q. Which level math test should I take?

A. If you have taken Algebra II or higher within the last two years AND you are able to successfully answer the questions on the College Level Math sample test AND you have taken the ISSA Math 120 test and scored at least 80% then you should make an appointment to take the College Level Math test. If you haven't taken Algebra II or higher or it has been more than two years AND you have looked at the College Level Math sample test and you don't feel comfortable with this level math then you should take the ISSA.


Q. How do I prepare to take the assessment test?

A. There are sample test questions for the College Level math, ESL and English tests available on this site to help you become familiar with the testing layout. These sample questions should also be used to determine which math test is most appropriate for you to take. All students are also strongly encouraged to take the ISSA test before taking the College Level Math test to ensure that they are ready. We do not have a sample test for the Chemistry test.


Q. Is there a fee to take the assessment test?

A. There is no fee to take the assessment test. Testing is provided as a service to current DVC students.


Q. Can I just drop-in to take a test?

A. At this time we are only accepting students with an appointment. We do accept drop-ins during our busier times of year. We will post when drop-ins are being accepted.


Q. What happens if I am late for my appointment?

A. You should arrive ten minutes before for your appointment to be able to test. A late arrival will automatically cancel your appointment, requiring you to schedule another appointment, possibly on another day. Please see our campus map for directions. We are located in the Student Services Center Room 140.


Q. What happens if I miss my appointment?

A. If you are unable to attend your appointment please be sure to cancel prior to your scheduled time, preferably 24 hours in advance, to allow other students access to the testing facility.  If a student fails to attend a scheduled test without cancelling ("no-show") for three appointments in any given semester they will be blocked from making any further appointments until the following semester. Properly cancelling an appointment does not count as a "no-show".

If you need to change or cancel your appointment please be sure to do so before the start time of your appointment. To do this, sign in as you did to make your appointment, but instead of clicking on Make Appointment click on View or Cancel Appointments. 


Q. Can I use assessment scores acquired at another college?

A. We accept assessment scores from other California Community Colleges taken within the last two years. Please send (fax, email, etc) or bring a copy of your scores along with course descriptions of the courses you were placed into to the Assessment Center for verification. Please be sure to include your DVC Student ID # on any documentation sent, otherwise we won't be able to translate and post your scores.


Q. Can I take my assessment test at DVC to use at another college?

A. NO! We only test students who are planning on attending DVC. If you are planning on attending another school then you will need to take your assessment test with that school. We will not send scores to any other school.


Q. How can I receive my assessment scores?

A. In compliance with the Student Privacy Act, Assessment Center staff cannot give results over the phone, through mail, fax or email. Scores are available on InSite/WebAdvisor, under the Test Summary option, located on the DVC website. Cut scores for the Test Summary are available on the Test Score Results page. Please note that scores are only valid for two years from the date of testing.


Q. How long does it take to process my results?

A. All assessment tests scores will be available on the same day the test is taken. Your scores will be posted to InSite/WebAdvisor within 24 hours.


Q. Can I use my SAT or ACT scores for course placement?

A. No, the Assessment Center does not evaluate SAT or ACT  scores.


Q. Can I use my AP or EAP scores to exempt out of testing?

A. Yes, if you were successful on either your math and/or English EAP test then bring your results to the Assessment Center (SSC 140) for evaluation. Your results would need to say "CSU Ready" to be eligible. Results are only valid for the semester following graduation from high school. Your scores can be found at Print a copy, write your DVC Student ID # at the top of the page and bring them to the Assessment Center. For assistance with AP scores and to receive your exemption, please contact the Admissions Office at 925-969-2078.


Q.  Does the Assessment Center offer proctoring services for outside colleges?

A.  No, proctoring services for outside exams ceased June 30th, 2013 so that DVC could return to its primary responsibility of assessing incoming students.  For suggestions regarding potential proctors, please contact your school.


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