Frequently Asked Questions

Oh no! There aren't any more ESOL placement tests scheduled, and I want to take classes this term. Can I?

No. You must wait until next term to take ESOL classes. Each campus offers ESOL placement opportunities every term, and we urge students to plan ahead for this. Take an ESOL placement test as soon as you can at the campus where you plan to take classes:

The Rock Creek Campus 971-722-7300), the Cascade campus 971-722-5234), the Sylvania campus 971-722-4533) the SE Center 971-722-6277), or the Hillsboro Education Center 971-722-6817). See the Testing Center website for more information. Don't wait until the week before classes start...by then it is too late.

I took the ESOL placement test 2 years ago. Can I use the same score?

No. The scores for the placement test are only good for 1 year. Also, you must take the ESOL placement test again if it has been longer than a year since you last took classes.

I was in an ESOL program at another college/university. Do I have to take PCC's ESOL Placement test?
Yes. Each language program is special or unique. If you are new to PCC, please plan on taking the ESOL placement test here.
I just want to audit an ESOL class. Do I still have to take the ESOL placement test?

Yes. You must take an ESOL placement test whether you want to audit an ESOL class or receive a grade for an ESOL class. Important: You must pay tuition if you audit a class. It costs the same amount of money as it does for students taking the class for credit.

I've been in the U.S. a long time. Why do I have to take the ESOL placement test? Can't I just take the regular Compass test?

Experience shows that only a very small number of nonnative English speaking students who take the regular Compass test get placed into WR 115. Even fewer nonnative English speaking students get directly placed into WR 121. Instead, you may find yourself placed in Writing 60, 80 or 90. These Developmental English courses are not designed to meet the needs of a person who already is fluent in one or more languages and who is now building skills in English. Moreover, you will not get college credit for reading or writing 60, 80 or 90 level classes; however, you will get credit for ESOL levels 5 – 8. If you choose to take the regular Compass test instead of the ESOL placement test, and then decide that ESOL classes are what you want to take, you still must take an ESOL placement test. The regular Compass test is not a substitute for the ESOL placement test.

I hate my score! I know I'm better than this! Can I re-take the ESOL placement test?

No. Even though this test is free to you, it costs money and time to give this test. You may only take the Compass ESL test once a term and no more than twice in three years.

I took the ESOL placement test. After the test, I was placed at Level 6 for reading. However, when I went to class the first week, the teacher told me I would be more successful if I took Level 5 Reading instead. I'm confused...

The results a student gets on the ESOL placement test are used together with a diagnostic test the reading/writing teachers give the first day of class. Based on the results of these additional diagnostics you might be asked to move up or down a level from your original placement. Because it is normal to switch classes or levels the first week of school, you should keep all book receipts and not write in any of your textbooks. If you write in your textbook, it cannot be returned to the PCC bookstore.