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In an effort to provide effective educational services for students, Tacoma Community College’s entry skills assessment process helps identify each student’s strengths and weaknesses in English and math. Assessment may include basic skills testing, review of SAT scores, translation of other placement scores, or college transcript review. The results are used for academic advising, course placement, and program placement.

Assessment is required for any student who plans to register for:

  • Six or more credits
  • English or math
  • Courses with a math, reading or English prerequisite which the student has not satisfied
  • A degree, certificate or transfer program
  • The Running Start or Fresh Start program

International students take an English language placement exam upon arrival and are required to demonstrate English proficiency before beginning college academic classes. Students whose English proficiency is not at college level take classes in TCC’s English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program.

Transfer students who have completed college-level math and English coursework with a grades of ‘C’ or higher may substitute a transcript review for the assessment process. Unofficial transcripts may be used for this purpose.

Students with disabilities may request testing accommodations by contacting the Access Services Coordinator in Bldg. 7, at 253.566.5328.

Math Placement Options

Certain recent high school graduates may be placed into math courses based on their high school math courses and grades. This option only applies to students from the Tacoma School District, University Place School District, and the Peninsula School District who are entering TCC within one year of high school graduation and are taking their first TCC math course no more than two years after their last high school math course was completed. Specially trained advisors in Bldg. 7 or the MARC analyze the student’s high school transcript as well as the student’s assessment score to gain the best placement for eligible students.

TCC also accepts scores on other colleges’ recognized placement tests when taken within the previous year. TCC also accepts the statewide Math Placement Tests - General (MPT-G) used by Washington’s public four-year schools to establish readiness for college-level mathematics.