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Assessment for Placement

English Assessment

It is our core belief at Foothill College that all students can succeed given the right level of support.

All students are eligible to access transfer-level English composition— regardless of your educational background or native language. Based on a student's need for additional support, Foothill offers four options of transfer-level English Composition & Reading.

English Composition at Foothill College

ENGL 1A Honors: Composition & Reading Honors
Designed for students who want additional rigor, the honors section offers collegiate preparation in analytic reading and writing skills
  • 1 quarter
  • 5 total units 

How are honors courses different?

  • Longer and more difficult readings
  • More frequent writing assignments
  • More rigorous grading criteria
ENGL 1A: Composition & Reading This course is offered face-to-face, fully online, or hybrid. A standalone English composition course offered without any additional support. Students who may need additional help can attend instructor office hours or visit the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC)
  • 1 quarter
  • 5 total units

ENGL 1A (credit) + NCEN 401A (noncredit)


ENGL 1A (credit) + ESLL 201A (credit)

A transfer-level composition and reading course paired with an additional support course designed for students who need additional help. The non-credit co-requisite, taught by the same instructor, offers students dedicated in class support throughout the quarter. 
  • 1 quarter, 2 courses
  • 5 total units


A second option available for Non-native English language learners is English 1A (5 units) + ESLL 201A (2 units), support course that focuses on language aquisition skills.

  • 1 quarter, 2 courses
  • 7 total units 

How You are Placed

Placement into English Composition is based on high school transcript evaluation or guided self-placement.


Traditional high school student matriculation

If you are a domestic student or your high school used an American style 4.0 scale grade point average (GPA) grading system, your placement has already been calculated. Check your MyPortal account for placement. 

Student did not attend high school or did not attend high school in the United States

If you did not go to high school in the United States, never attended high school anywhere, or your high school transcripts are unavailable. Email to the Testing and Assessment Center to complete a guided self-placement for English.

Transfer student from other college or with other college credit

If you have transfer credit from another college/university or Advanced Placement (AP) scores please complete a Prerequisite Clearance Form.

Student currently in high school

At Foothill College, high school students currently in 11th and 12th grade are placed into English 1A based on cumulative unweighted high school GPA. For 10th graders seeking  placement, we require not only a transcript for GPA, but also letters of recommendations from both an English instructor and a Counselor. We are interested in student's readiness for college-level reading and writing, as well as participation in a college-level classroom comprised of tranditional-age college students as well as older returning students. In particular, does the student have the social maturity for non-fiction readings that may include complex themes of an adult nature and social maturity to engage in critical discourse on these themes with adult learners in a collaborative classroom. Therefore, per Foothill English Department policy, students currently in 9th grade high school are not permitted to enroll into English 1A.

Request to take the English Guided Self-Placement at


assessment staff

We're Here to Help!

Testing & Assessment Center

(650) 949-7743

Student Services Building 8200 Room 8212