The College of the Desert Assessment Test covers three skill areas: reading, writing and mathematics (Calculators are not allowed). Results and score interpretation are provided immediately after the test; students keep the test print outs and bring them when meeting with a counselor or faculty advisor. The counselors and advisors use the scores as part of their process of placing students in appropriate course levels in English, reading and mathematics.
Some College of the Desert courses in English, reading, math and other subjects may require minimum skills in related test areas, but the assessment test scores are used only for course placement purposes, or as one way in which prerequisite course requirements may be met. The test is not used in the admission process and there is no minimum score that must be achieved. So students should not think that the results of the test could prevent them from enrolling at College of the Desert. It is not possible to “fail” the assessment test. We want students to start at the most appropriate course level to insure their chance of success at C.O.D.
All new students are expected to take the assessment test, except those who have completed English Composition and Intermediate Algebra with grades of C or better at another accredited college or university.
As the assessment instrument is not a timed exam, students are able to take the test at their own pace. However, students should allow approximately two hours to complete the test comfortably.
Some testing of high school seniors is given at various local high schools during the spring semester; however, most students come to the college for the test.
Calculators are not allowed.