Cerro Coso Community College

Studying Hard

Assessment / College Placement

Assessment testing is administered to incoming students in order to:

  • evaluate academic potential
  • assist in selecting course work at the appropriate level
  • determine whether or not minimum proficiencies in writing, reading, and mathematics have been met

If you have taken English and/or math through an accredited institution, or have taken a placement test previously, you may have met the assessment requirement. To determine if you have completed assessment, please contact Counseling.

To qualify for an early registration date, students need to complete all the steps of the following process: Orientation, Assessment, and Counseling to develop a Student Education Plan. To schedule an appointment for any of these steps, please contact Counseling.


Cerro Coso uses ACCUPLACER® as the computerized assessment test that will provide information about your level of skill accomplishment in reading, writing, and one of three levels of mathematics.

Studying for ACCUPLACER®

Cerro Coso students are strongly urged to study for the Accuplacer Placement Exam. This test can be taken one time within a 3 year period (please see Retest Policy below), therefore we encourage students to do their best on this test. While a student cannot pass or fail this test it is important to get the highest score possible, not only because it cannot be retaken but also because it could possibly save hundreds of dollars on the cost of books and tuition if a student were able to test into higher levels of English and Math classes. Below are links to the College Board for sample questions and study guides.

College Board website on ACCUPLACER tests

Preparation & Sample Questions: To ensure that test scores accurately represent your skill levels, you may wish to review basic concepts in reading, grammar, arithmetic, trigonometry, and algebra before taking ACCUPLACER, especially if you have been away from school for more than a year. Many students find that SAT Preparation or SAT review books are helpful in refreshing their basic skills. These are available at local bookstores, public libraries, and online at the SAT Preparation Center™.

Placement Test Dates

Appointment Required – Please contact a campus near you:

(760) 384-6219 at Ridgecrest / Indian Wells Valley / Online
(760) 379-5501 at Kern River Valley Lake Isabella
(661) 258-8644 at East Kern Center: Edwards AFB
(661) 823-4986 at East Kern Center: Tehachapi
(760) 872-1565 at ESCC Bishop
(760) 934-2875 at ESCC Mammoth Lakes

Ridgecrest/IWV, LRC 631
Ridgecrest/IWV, LRC 631
Ridgecrest/IWV, LRC 631

Test Policy

Students who have taken the placement test at another California Community College may submit a copy of their scores and placement recommendations for review and evaluation. Previous placement scores can be used as part of a multiple measures process for assessment.

Re-test Policy

Students may retake any part of the placement exam at Cerro Coso Community College by submitting a petition explaining reasons for the retest. Student requests to retake the exam must demonstrate extenuating circumstances that impacted the initial testing results or compelling evidence that their placement level may have increased since the initial exam. Students may petition to request a retest of one or all sections of the placement exam under the following conditions:

  1. There has been a lapse of a semester from the initial placement exam.
  2. AND the student can demonstrate that he/she has participated in an instructional activity that is likely to impact placement scores (examples: taking a developmental course, participation in regular and ongoing tutoring, or participation in other structured instructional activity).
  3. AND the student scored within 5 points of reaching the next placement level of English, math or reading.

An appeal verifying that these conditions have been met must be submitted to the Director of Students & Counseling Services or designated representative for approval before retaking any part of the placement exam. Petition forms are available in the Counseling Centers on each campus. Note: A student may retest if their placement scores are 3 or more years old without doing a petition.

Kern Community College District