Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is intended to provide more information about Testing at Seattle Central.

Is the placement test required?

Usually. The placement test is used to decide which classes students need to start with, so almost everyone needs to take it. However, sometimes there are other factors that are considered. For instance, if you have attended another college and have transferred your transcripts of classes, or if you have Advanced Placement (AP) credit, this can affect your placements.

Generally, if you have taken English 101 or higher at another college, you do not need to take the English test. If you have taken college–level Math (100 or higher) in the last three years, you probably do not need the Math test. However, there are exceptions and you should check with the Admissions Office.

Can I use assessment scores from another college?

Sometimes. Seattle Central will accept COMPASS (native speaker or ESL) or ASSET Test scores from other colleges if they are less than three years old. These are the only tests that are accepted. COMPASS and ASSET are very common entrance exams nationwide; however, every college can be different.

You will need to check with your college to see what test was given. (Note: The University of Washington does not use these tests, and scores from UW are not accepted.) You may also use COMPASS or ASSET scores for Washington State placement reciprocity.

How do I transfer my scores to Seattle Central?

You will need to request a copy of your scores be sent to Seattle Central. If you have sent transcripts, do not assume that any test scores you have will be on it. They usually must be requested separately.

You can bring them in person to the Testing Office or have them sent by fax or mail. By FAX: 206.934.3224. By MAIL: Seattle Central College / Testing, 1701 Broadway, BE1106, Seattle, WA, 98122.

I will be attending Seattle Central, but currently live in another state. Can I take the test where I live?

Yes, as long as it is a COMPASS or ASSET Test. You can try checking local colleges to see if they give either of these tests, or you can visit the National College Testing Association's Consortium website to find a Testing center near you. Not all colleges and universities belong to the NCTA, but that is often a reliable source. Please be aware that fees will vary, and will be the sole responsibility of the student.

Can I use ACT scores at Seattle Central?

You can use ACT scores at Seattle Central (instead of a COMPASS Test) if they meet college–level minimum scores and are less than three years old. For English placement: At least a 19 on BOTH the ACT English AND Reading tests. For math placement: At least a 22 on the ACT Mathematics test. You can submit scores the same way you would submit COMPASS scores (described above) or by contacting the testing company, ACT, Inc. to have your scores sent directly to Seattle Central.

What about the SAT? Or the TOEFL?

These tests are usually for admission to four–year colleges or universities, rather than two–year community colleges. They are not needed for admission to Seattle Central, and are not accepted instead of an ASSET or COMPASS Test. However, you may need one of these tests if you transfer to a four–year school later. More information is available for the SAT at and the TOEFL at

What about the CLEP Test or AP Credit?

Seattle Central does not currently accept the military College Level Examination Program CLEP Test. Advanced Placement (AP) scores are accepted, but should be submitted to Admissions for evaluation.

If I transfer scores from another college, will I get the same classes?

Not necessarily. Each college determines its own score requirements for classes. Usually, the placements are roughly the same, but there may be some differences. If you are requesting to use Washington State placement reciprocity, the classes will match as exactly as possible.

Can I use my test scores from Seattle Central somewhere else?

Maybe. For the other colleges in our District, South Seattle College uses the COMPASS Test for native speakers and ESL; North Seattle College uses the COMPASS Test for native speakers only.

Scores for those tests can transfer there. However, every college chooses its own placement exam and has its own policies for accepting score transfers, so you would need to check with that college. Washington State Community & Technical Colleges will accept COMPASS and ASSET for placement reciprocity.

How can I transfer my Seattle Central scores somewhere else?

You can come in to get them in person or send a written request by fax or mail. If you come in person, you must show some form of Photo ID. If you request them by fax / mail, make sure it includes your name, Student ID# (or Social Security Number), signature, and the complete address / number where you want the scores sent.

It is also a good idea to leave a number where you can be reached if there is a problem. Please note: requests cannot be taken by phone or by email. Also, all scores are deleted after three years, and you should keep this in mind when making your request.

What is Placement Reciprocity at Seattle Central?

Placement Reciprocity is a statewide agreement that allows for the following:

Entering students who have qualified for a specific level of pre–college math, English, or reading, either through course completion or local skills assessment, at one Washington CTC, may have the course placement level honored at another Washington CTC if the student so requests, even if the courses may not be exact equivalents.

Entering students who qualify for entry into college–level math, English, or reading, either through course completion or local skills assessment, will be considered to have met the entry college–level standard at every community and technical college.

Students requesting reciprocity must initiate the process within one year of their initial placement assessment.

If you have questions about Placement Reciprocity, Admissions and Registration staff members are happy to assist you. You may download the Placement Reciprocity form.

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