Good-bye, Accuplacer: Changes in placement for English and math

Over the past two years, a workgroup in the Student Learning Experience Coordinating Committee (SLECC) has been focusing on adopting better ways for new students to figure out the level of math and English courses that will best support their success. This group has moved forward with recommendations from faculty and peer colleges across the state to adopt multiple measures for placement, as well as research-based, effective placement tools.

As of April 19th, 2018, Shoreline will no longer be offering Accuplacer for placement;  instead, Shoreline will support the following processes to help students select the appropriate math and English courses.

Multiple measures for both math and English
Students can use high school transcripts and/or existing test scores to guide their course placement and selection. One recent significant change is that students who received a 2.5 cumulative GPA in high school within the past five years can enroll in English 101.  See for details about multiple measures.

ALEKS for math
ALEKS is a computer-based assessment tool that also provides students an opportunity to practice and brush up on key competencies that will be used for placement into math classes. One practice test and up to four proctored placement tests are provided. ALEKS will use the results of students’ test attempts to identify topics and create an individualized learning module to help them review. The cost for ALEKS is $20 (payable on the ALEKS website via credit/debit card or at the cashier).

Directed Self-Placement for English
Directed Self-Placement (or DSP) is not a test, but a series of questions and tasks in which students reflect on their own skills and confidence related to reading and writing. Based on their responses, a recommendation is provided about the English course that would be best for them. Research has demonstrated that outcomes for students taking part in DSP are as good as or better than traditional testing methods. DSP is offered free of charge.

Look for more information on DAAG and on and in the coming weeks.

If you have questions about changes in placement, please contact Bayta Maring ( or Derek Levy (

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