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Arrival & Orientation

Arrival & Orientation

Placement Tests

All students are required to take the placement tests upon arrival at the campus. The placement tests will determine your ability levels English and math. The test is taken on a computer, so you will know the results minutes after completion. There is no time limit, but for most students the entire testing process takes 1-2 hours.

Highline offers these computer-based placement tests to measure your skills in English and Math:

  • Accuplacer Reading and/or Directed Self-Placement to test English proficiency

  • MyMathTest to test arithmetic, algebra, and trigonometry skills

Taking the Tests
When you arrive on campus, check in with the International Student Program office to schedule your placement tests. You should give yourself enough time to finish the test, which may be 1 - 2 hours depending on your skills. Please check here for testing center hours, study materials, and sample practice tests.

Please see our Test Tips below for information to help you be successful!

Advisors use your placement test scores to help you register for classes. All international students must take an English proficiency test before their first quarter. MyMathTest can be taken at any time, but we recommend that math and science majors take it before their first quarter.

You must show your passport and application fee receipt to take the test. Please get a copy of your application fee receipt from the International Student Programs Office before visiting the Testing Center.

After the Test
When you have finished your test, you'll need to go the International Student Programs office in Building 25 to register for your classes. An ISP advisor will help you to do so.


If you feel that your test score is inaccurate and you wish to take the test again, try again for FREE!

  • Accuplacer: Can be taken up to 2 times per quarter
  • MyMathTest: Can be taken up to 3 times per quarter
  • Directed Self Placement (DSP): Sorry, but the DSP may only be taken ONCE.


Exemptions from Taking Highline Placement Tests

You might not be required to take placement tests at Highline if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • If you have completed a US-based college level writing or composition class, such as WRIT 101 or ENG 101, with a 2.0 grade point average (GPA), you are not required to take an English placement test.

  • If you have completed a college level math class in the US or abroad, such as any class above 100 level, with a 2.0 equivalent GPA, you are not required to take MyMathTest. Please bring the course description of the course(s) you have taken and your transcripts to determine your level
  • If you have taken a different English placement test at another school and your score is less than 2 years old, you may submit that score for placement. Please note that Highline's placements may be different than at other schools.

Please speak with an ISP advisor if you believe you meet any of the above criteria.


Test Tips

  • Brush up on your math basics. The math test will have material that you may not have studied in a long time, so visit Prepare for Placement to get an idea of what to expect.
  • Allow enough time. You will need 1 - 2 hours to take the test. The test is not timed, so you can take as long as you want. There is no need to rush.
  • Don't stress! You cannot fail these placement tests. The scores are only used to put you in the classes that match your abilities. If your score is low, you will be placed in more basic classes. If your score is high, you will be place in higher level classes. Just do your best!
  • Get a good night's sleep and eat a healthy breakfast on your test day.

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