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The Online SCC ESL Placement process helps place new students in English as a Second Language (ESL) classes which match their skill level so students can be successful. It is for students whose native language is not English and who wish to enroll in ESL classes for the first time.

Students take the ESL Placement online to find the best classes. It is in Canvas, the college online class system. To take the test, students will need a laptop or computer (completing the placement process using a phone is not recommended).

ESL Course Sequence

How Placement Works

The ESL placement has two parts. Plan 1-1.5 hours to do everything.

  1. A quick 16-question survey (no grade) about yourself, your level of English skills and education, and two questions showing you sample readings and sample student writing at different levels. Please answer all the questions.
  2. A writing sample from you based on a topic we give you on that page. You can have up to 50 minutes to write. The writing part is very important, so do your best. The writing sample is important, so it should be your best work, but it must be your own, not anyone else’s.

Before Testing

To complete the ESL Placement process, students must:

  • Complete an application for Sacramento City College if you are a new student or the supplemental application if you are a continuing student.
  • Obtain your student ID number. Check your W-ID emails (
  • Send an email to Professor Thomas: when ready.
    • Include your full name in the email
    • Include your student ID number in the email
    • If you need someone available to contact during the test, please ask. We’ll make an appointment.

Testing Online

You will then get a confirmation email with instructions for signing into the Placement website, and a Canvas Invitation message to join that website. Your invitation from Los Rios Community College District will say: "You've been invited to participate in the course, Online SCC ESL Placement. Course role: Student"

The email will ask you to click "Get Started". After you join, go to Canvas and you will see a course card, or the course name: Online SCC ESL Placement. You can also login first and you should see the invitation at the top.

When you go into the Online SCC ESL Placement site, you will see an info page; it is easy to follow. Both parts are timed and will close and save after 50 minutes (each). Please complete both parts on one day / one test period.

The Placement site is available 7 days a week, between 10:00am and 10:00pm (last start 8:30pm).

After Testing

Results are available unofficially in 5-7 days, and list the courses you should start with. In about two weeks, you can find your results by logging into your eServices account using your Los Rios Student ID number and password, click on the Academic Records tile, then Placements. Placements are valid for 2 years and will count as your prerequisite for entering that level or any lower-level if you choose.

When you have your placement results, make an appointment to speak with any ESL Faculty about our courses and with an SCC Counselor to create your Education Plan.

Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS) Accommodations

If special accommodations are needed for testing or if students have disabilities, they should contact the Disabled Students Programs and Services office prior to the placement process.

Retesting Guidelines

To be admitted to assessment testing, students must comply with districtwide assessment practices (effective October 1, 2015). Generally, retesting is not allowed if coursework has started or within 2 years. Assessment practices, retesting rules, and expiration date information.

Standard Assessment Practices (PDF)