Registration & Student Services Building

Assessment Center

Ability to Benefit (ATB)

What is Ability to Benefit (ATB)?

All applicants applying for Federal Financial Aid for post-secondary education must show ability to benefit from a college education.

How do students demonstrate Ability to Benefit?

Students who have earned a high school diploma or GED or equivalent are considered to have the basic skills to benefit from a college education.  They do not need to take an Ability to Benefit (ATB) test.                                                             

Students without a high school diploma, GED or equivalent can show ability to benefit by receiving qualifying scores on an Ability to Benefit Test (ATB) test. Students must be approved to take the test by the Financial Aid Office.

Which tests are administered for ATB at De Anza?

(1) COLLEGE BOARD ACCUPLACER: Sentence Skills, Reading Comprehension and Arithmetic, and (2) CELSA: Combined English Language Skills Assessment (English as Second Language).

Are ATB tests different than Placement tests?

De Anza College also uses College Board Accuplacer tests and CELSA for placement, but students taking Accuplacer or CELSA tests for ATB must also meet other ATB testing requirements.  

Students taking tests for ATB qualification (or Financial Aid Extension) must first be approved by Financial Aid Department to take the test and must bring the ATB form from the Financial Aid Office and inform Assessment staff that they are testing for ATB when they sign-in to test.  See ATB test requirements below.

If ATB testing is needed, which test should a student take?

Students who plan to enroll in English for native speaker courses must take ACCUPLACER ATB tests.

These students must take 3 tests (Sentence Skills, Reading Comprehension and Arithmetic) during a single test session. Students who do not receive qualifying scores on all 3 tests during the test session will need to re-test on all 3 tests.

English as Second Language students who plan to enroll in English as Second Language courses (ESL) can take the CELSA ATB test.  Students who take CELSA for Ability to Benefit do not need to take the Arithmetic test.

What is the re-test policy for ATB testing?

Students who do not receive qualifying scores on their ATB test are eligible for 1 re-test on ACCUPLACER or CELSA.  Students who wish to re-test must wait minimum of 2 weeks to allow time for study and review. The re-test does not change course placements.  Students who do not qualify on the re-test will be advised of options.

Are there practice tests for ATB?

For review and practice, students choose their own review books or online web sites for tutorials. The following is one online site that provides free practice tests:

What documentation is needed to take the ATB test?

Students should bring the ATB form given to them by Financial Aid and a current government issued photo identification (passport, driver's license, DMV ID card, permanent resident card...)

Students who need ATB testing with accommodations must provide documentation of disability and their approved accommodations.

Assessment Department Building: Registration & Student Services
Room: RSS 144
Phone: 408.864.8717

Last Updated: 6/8/17