ESL Placement Testing

What is the purpose of the test?

In most cases, if your first language is not English, you will be required to take the ESL placement test.

The test is not a comprehensive evaluation of your English proficiency. Instead, the test is designed only to put you into an appropriate English course, either an ESL class or English 101. Usually, therefore, you take the test only once, when you enter NCC. If results show that your English skills are not high enough for credit courses, you may enroll in our non-credit ESL program. See the levels of ESL here.

What do I need to do before the test?

Step 1: Apply to NCC

Fill out an application for admission to the college:


Step 2: Take the ESL Placement Test

Only after receiving a student number in Step 1

Contact us for a placement test:

Mary Ellen Milvid:

Luke McCarthy:

Denise Daych:

Hannah Moeckel-Rieke:

What is the test like?

The ESL placement test has three parts:

  • 1. Background information about you
  • 2. Multiple-choice questions on grammar, vocabulary, and/or sentence structure
  • 3. Essay writing

You will take the test on a computer, but you do not need computer experience.

Do I have to take any other placement tests?

If your ESL level is high enough, you are eligible to take other courses in NCC’s regular curriculum and if you would like to do so, we will need to evaluate your math skills. After your ESL test placement, we can give you information about requesting a math placement test.