Where do I go for a placement test?

If you’re currently incarcerated:

    In a federal prison: When you get to the federal facility, the staff will review the information from your county jail assessment to determine your needs. If you do not have an educational assessment on file and you have not earned a high school diploma or GED, the facility’s education department should give you an assessment test.[2740] If you did not receive an educational assessment and you think you need one, or if you have any questions about the process, talk to your case manager or your facility’s education department staff.
    In a California state prison: When you get to the state facility, CDCR staff will review your file from county jail to determine if you need an educational assessment. CDCR requires that you have a TABE score on file. If the county jail that did your assessment did not give you a TABE assessment, you will be required to do one when you get to a state facility (even if the jail gave you an assessment using a different test). If this doesn’t happen, ask your correctional counselor to arrange for you to take the TABE, or submit a request to the Testing Coordinator in your facility’s education department. Based on your TABE results, staff will recommend classes that are appropriate for you.[2741] If you already have a high school diploma or GED, CDCR will not do a TABE assessment for you.[2742]
    In a California county jail—Any county jail that offers educational programs will also offer educational assessments.[2743] If you feel that you need an educational assessment, or have questions about your education level, contact the facility’s education staff.

NOTE: When you first got to county jail while your case was pending, you likely were given a comprehensive evaluation, which included an assessment of your physical and mental health, your drug history, and your education history.[2744] Based on your answers to questions about your education history, facility staff decided whether or not to do a full educational assessment on you. If you reported that you already have a high school diploma or GED, the staff may have decided not to give you a full educational assessment because you already meet the minimum education-level requirement.[2745] Information from your county jail assessment will be sent to any facility that you are transferred to in the future.

IMPORTANT: If you are about to be released, talk to your counselor to make sure that you get all of your educational assessment information and any other paperwork relating to any educational courses you completed while you were incarcerated.


If you’re formerly incarcerated:

    If you have returned to the community after a period of incarceration, it’s likely that you had an educational assessment done while you were inside (see above). If you CAN get this information from your facility, you will NOT need to get another assessment once you are out. Contact the last facility that you were in and ask to have all of your assessment and placement information sent to you.
    If you cannot get your assessment information from your facility, or if it has been a very long time since your last assessment or since you last attended school, you may want to get reassessed.
    Visit or contact your local public library or an adult education program or community college near you to get information about placement testing.[2746] Note: You may have to pay a fee for placement testing, although most schools and programs offer free assessments for students who enroll with them.
    If you have Internet access, check these websites for adult education programs near you that may offer testing:
    America’s Literacy Directory: www.literacydirectory.org
    California Library Literacy Services: http://libraryliteracy.org/about/index.html
    California Adult Schools: www.californiaadultschools.org/cas/
    California Adult Education Provider Directory: www.otan.us/caaeproviders/
    California Community College Finder: www.californiacommunitycolleges.cccco.edu/maps/map.asp
    California Council for Adult Education: http://www.ccaestate.org/
  1. 2740

    18 U.S.C. § 3624(f)(4); 28 C.F.R. pt. 544 subpt. H; U.S. Dep’t Justice Fed. Bureau of Prisons, Program Statement 5300.21, Education, Training, and Leisure Time Program Standards (Feb. 18, 2002); U.S. Dep’t Justice Fed. Bureau of Prisons, Program Statement 5350.24 English-as-a-Second-Language Program (July 24, 1997); U.S. Dep’t Justice, Legal Resource Guide to the Federal Bureau of Prisons (2014) at 19-20; see also Christopher Zoukis, Education in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Prison Education.com (May 23, 2013), www.prisoneducation.com/prison-education-news/education-in-the-federal-bureau-of-prisons.html.

  2. 2741

    Frequently Asked Questions, Cal. Dep’t of Corr. & Rehab. Div. of Rehabilitative Programs, http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/rehabilitation/faqs.html - tabe.

  3. 2742

    General Education Development (GED), Cal. Dep’t of Corr. & Rehab. Div. of Rehabilitative Programs, http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/rehabilitation/general-education-development.html.

  4. 2743

    Telephone Interview with Fred Rutledge, Principal, Alameda County Educational Program (Apr. 2, 2015); see also Cal. Veh. Code §§ 1900-1909.

  5. 2744

    Telephone Interview with Fred Rutledge, Principal, Alameda County Educational Program (Apr. 2, 2015).

  6. 2745

    Interview with Carmen Garcia, Legal Administrative Assistant, Root & Rebound (April 15, 2015).

  7. 2746

    See U.S. Dep’t of Educ. Office of Vocational & Adult Educ., Take Charge of Your Future: Get the Education and Training You Need (2012).