ATTENTION: The COMPASS placement test will be discontinued nationwide on November 30, 2016, and no longer available. All COMPASS tests must be completed by that time, or scores will be lost. New placement tests will replace the COMPASS test at Seattle Central on December 1, 2016. Please check with the Testing Office for details about the new tests, schedule, and fees.

Placement Testing Overview

The Seattle Central College Testing Office subscribes to the mission and standards outlined by the National College Testing Association (NCTA), and is dedicated to providing quality assessment and testing services to the college community. These services include:

  • Comprehensive testing for initial student placement into reading, writing, and math classes
  • Providing a proctored testing environment for Central's Correspondence and Distance Learning students
  • Providing a proctored testing environment for correspondence students of other institutions
  • Administering the General Educational Development (GED®) Test both on–campus and in local correctional institutions.

How to find us

The Testing Office is now located in its newly renovated, permanent space, in room BE1106. Please enter the main building from the main entrance on Broadway Ave and turn right onto the main college hallway. The Testing Office is the first office on the right, across from Information Central.

The tests used at Seattle Central

  • Native and non–native English speakers take the COMPASS exam for initial placement into classes upon admission. This computerized test is done on a walk–in basis and evaluates English and Math skills. Sample COMPASS tests are available for pickup in the Testing Office, and are available online.
  • The General Educational Development (GED®) Test is available to students who have not graduated from high school and wish to earn a high school credential. The test is provided by and in accordance with the guidelines established by the national GED® Testing Service.
  • The SAM Challenge exam tests ability to use Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office and other software applications programs generally required for several college programs. Students who pass the SAM Challenge may be eligible to waive prerequisite or program requirements of MIC 101 (Introduction to Microcomputers) or MIC 102I (Culinary Arts), or other computing courses as decided by the instructional program the student enrolls in. Consult your program counselor before taking the exam to see if SAM Challenge is an available test–out option, as this can vary from program to program.
  • Please see the informational sections on each test for more details.

Special Accommodations: In accordance to Seattle College District's Policy and Procedure 387, Reasonable Accommodations for Students with Disabilities to receive services contact the Disability Support Services office at 206.934.4183 v/tty.

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