Placement Options


We know how important it is for you to place into the right English and math classes to achieve your goals, and that's where we come in! We offer a variety of placement options to meet your needs.

We are now offering online Directed Self-Placement (DSP) as an option for traditional and Running Start students. This placement option is free and can be accessed anytime from any location with an internet connection!

CBC students taking the Directed Self-Placement online who need computer access, a quiet space and internet connection to test can email or call the Assessment Center at 509-547-0511 to schedule free lab space on campus.  


Looking to improve your MATH placement? Your success is our priority! Students with current math placement in the system now have an opportunity to take the ALEKS test in-person. ALEKS testing sessions are available on campus by appointment only. Call or email%20us for more information, scheduling and test day reminders.

About Directed Self-Placement

Directed Self-Placement is a simple self-assessment that can be completed anytime, anywhere, to help you determine in which math, reading and English courses you should enroll. Available in English and Spanish.

Assessment times vary. However, to be sure you have enough time to complete all assessments, we recommend you begin Directed Self-Placement when you have at least two hours to focus.

There’s no time limit, so take all the time you need! You will need a score in all three assessment areas (math, English and reading) in order to progress through the Getting Started process.

The purpose of Directed Self-Placement is to measure your current skill level and determine the best math and English—and, potentially, reading—courses to help you be successful at CBC. While you do not need to prepare, you may want to review your skills using EdReady.

Although the English and math modules are not a test, they will be used for placement. Take your time to read and answer each question carefully. 

If you’re new to CBC, please log in to your Getting Started steps using your CBC student email and password to complete Directed Self-Placement.

Getting Started

Directed Self-Placement results take two to three business days to process.

If you are a prospective Running Start student and your placement results qualify, you will be emailed a link to apply online for Running Start.

For all other students, your results will be entered in your student account within two to three business days. To review your placement results you will need to first log into your ctcLink account.  Once you’re logged in, return here and click on the Mobile Student Center link, click on “Academics” and select “Test Scores.”

View the Placement Results Guide to understand how your scores place you into English, reading and math.

Have questions about your placement? Our Completion Coaches are available to help you! You can view our Counseling/Advising Center page for information about making an appointment. You can also contact us in the Assessment Center for placement support.

If you're a new, transfer or returning student, be sure to have math, English and reading placement to complete your Getting Started steps. Just log into the Getting Started portal to continue. Once you've successfully completed these steps, you'll be ready to register for your first quarter of classes at CBC!

If you're a current student, we recommend making an appointment with a Completion Coach to interpret your results. For more information, please visit the Counseling/Advising link.

Since the math and English portions are self-assessments, there is no need to retake these portions. You may retake the reading portion once. There is no cooling off period, so please contact us if you want to give it a second try!

For corrections on your form, or if you experience any technical issues, please email%20us for assistance. We're here to help!

Yes. English & reading scores expire two years from the date you took the assessment. Math scores expire after one year. We will always use your highest score to determine your placement at CBC.

You may not have to take the DSP! Check out Other Placement Options below to see if you qualify for alternative placement.

Services for qualified students with disabilities are available! Students who have documented learning and/or physical disabilities and need to request testing accommodations may contact CBC Disability Support Services at 509-452-4412, by email%20or by visiting Room T422 of the T Building before taking a placement test.

Learn more!


Other Placement Options

There are many paths to placement. We’re here to help you understand all the different ways to determine the right math, English and/or reading classes for your goals!

Use qualifying Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) scores and applicable high school transcripts for English and math placement up to one year following high school graduation. Fax, email or bring your scores (which your high school counselor can help you get!) to the Assessment Center.

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High school students using valid Washington state transcripts who earn a “B” or better (in the final term) in a designated Bridge to College course their senior year, and who begin college the year following graduation, are eligible for placement into a college-level English or math. Official or unofficial transcripts can be obtained from a high school counselor or online grading system. Submit your transcripts for evaluation today!

Learn more!

ALEKS is a powerful, artificial-intelligence-based, adaptive math assessment. Through delivery of up to 30 questions, this test reveals and reports on the strengths and weaknesses of your mathematical knowledge and provides you with learning tools for improving that knowledge. Available in English and Spanish.

ALEKS testing is offered on campus by appointment only. Contact the Assessment Center to schedule an appointment.

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Your SAT or ACT math scores can be used to bypass the math portion of your placement test. An SAT math score of 520 or higher or an ACT math score of 22 or higher qualifies you to be placed directly into college-level math courses. These scores are valid for up to two years after graduation.

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We award college credit when you complete the College Board’s Advanced Placement examinations with a score of three or higher. AP courses are developed by the College Board and then taught by your high school teachers.

We also award credit for completing International Baccalaureate examinations with a score of four or higher. The IB program rigorously prepares you for a college-level liberal arts education while you are still in high school.

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Submit your official or unofficial transcript, along with your CBC SID and phone number, for evaluation and placement into pre-college or college level math courses via:

  • Email
  • In Person: CBC Assessment Center, H Building
  • Mail: Columbia Basin College, 2600 N 20th Ave, MS-H7, Pasco WA 99301
  • Fax: 509-544-2037

Allow up to five business days for processing. Scores expire two years after high school graduation.

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If you’ve previously attended an accredited college or university, you should submit an official sealed or electronic transcript from each institution. Your previously earned credits will be evaluated through a course-by-course equivalency and can allow you to bypass testing requirements or certain course prerequisites.

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To request equivalent placement at CBC based on your scores from another Washington Community or Technical College, please complete the Placement Reciprocity Request form.

If you'd like to send your unexpired CBC placement scores to another institution, we're here to help! To start the process, submit a Placement Score Release form.

The best way to determine your placement options is to talk with an expert in our Assessment Center!


We're here to help you figure out how to begin your college journey. CBC requires all degree- and certificate-seeking students to complete placement in math, reading and English, or transfer in qualifying college-level course work. Directed Self Placement is the main placement model used to determine placement into math, English and reading, but there are a variety of options for placement at CBC. Connect with us if you're unsure which path to placement is right for you!




H Building Pasco Campus