Frequently Asked Assessment Questions

English, Math and ESL Assessments are available on a walk-in basis — no appointment is necessary. No cell phones or iPods/MP3 players allowed in Assessment Center.

What is the purpose of assessment?

The purpose of assessment is to gather student placement information. Counselors review assessment scores, transcripts, current study skills, goals, major, career aspirations, and the need for special services. Assessment is necessary for a first time student if there are no previous records. Assessment can be waived if the student brings assessment scores from another California Community College to the Assessment Center. Advanced Placement scores can be given to the counselor to aid with course selection. Sorry we cannot use EAP, ACT, SAT, ELM or EPT.

Which assessments are offered at Cypress College?

  • College Test for English Placement Service (CTEP)
    Native Speakers of English

The CTEP assessment is designed to measure the English skills of native speakers of English. It is required for placement in English courses. Exemptions are: Completion of an AA degree or higher, or transcripts/grade reports showing completion of college English with a grade of “C” or better from another college/university. The CTEP assessment may not be used for placement in ESL courses. Assessments are timed. Allow 1.5 hours per test process.

  • English Language Skills Assessment (CELSA)
    Non-Native Speakers of English

The CELSA assessment is designed to measure the English skills of non-native speakers of English. The CELSA assessment is required for placement in English as a Second Language (ESL) courses; the CTEP assessment may not be substituted for placement in ESL courses. However, students scoring high on the CELSA assessment may be referred to the English Department faculty for recommendation. Assessments are timed. Allow 1.5 hours per test process.

  • Math Diagnostic Testing Project (MDTP)

All students who have not taken a math course at Cypress College are required to take this test before enrolling in the following mathematics courses: Math 15, 20, 25, 30, 38, 40, 45, 100, 110, 115, 120, 130, 141, 142, 150A. Exemptions are enrolling in Math 10, or providing transcripts/grade reports indicating completion of any of the above courses with a grade of “C” or better. Please review course listings and prerequisites. Assessments are timed. Allow 1.5 hours per test process.

What must I bring to the assessment session?

You will need to bring the following:

  • Photo ID (Drivers License, Passport, Green Card or High School ID)
  • Student Number @ ________ or Cypress College ID card
  • #2 Pencil for Math Assessment

Do I need an appointment to take the assessments?

Placement tests are available on a walk-in basis. No appointment is necessary.

What accommodations are made for students with disabilities?

Students with verified disabilities may be eligible for accommodations such as extended time on assessment tests. Contact Disability Support Services at (714) 484-7104 for information.

How do I understand my basic skills assessment results?

Assessment of your basic skills is an important step in learning more about yourself as you choose courses in which you can be successful. These tests, however, cannot tell you everything you need to know when making your course selections. A counselor can assist you in selecting the most appropriate courses. Your success is influenced by a variety of factors, such as your:

  • educational background
  • goals
  • study skills
  • work and family priorities

What do my test results tell me?

The basic skills test are for placement purposes only: After each testing session, you will receive a receipt that will indicate:

  • the tests you have taken
  • the date the tests were taken
  • the number of questions you answered correctly for each test
  • course placement recommendations

Should I retest?

Test scores are just one of many factors considered when course recommendations are made. Counselors use additional information from the multiple criteria list on the back of the test receipt. Keep in mind that a low score does not indicate failure but perhaps a need to develop or enhance your skills. You may need to take a lower level the first semester to gain the necessary skills. Assessment scores from other California Community Colleges will be accepted if not already assessed at Cypress or Fullerton Colleges.

What do I do with my results?

After assessment, you need to sign up for orientation and bring any unofficial high school or college transcripts to the orientation session. The orientation will provide you with:

  • Important information about your assessment results
  • Academic advisement in a small group setting
  • Hints that will help you be successful in college
  • Information about Cypress College programs and services
  • Campus policies and procedures
  • Graduation and transfer requirements
  • a review of the campus map and parking directions

How do I sign up for orientation?

You may sign up for the orientation session at the Assessment Center on the second floor of the Student Center during registration sessions.

Please refer to the statement in the College Catalog regarding the Standards of Student Conduct & Discipline (Administrative Procedures 5500): 1.3 No cheating, plagiarism or academic dishonesty.