Post-admission communications assessment

Congratulations on your admission to Durham College (DC)!

Students accepted into select programs for the 2017-2018 academic year, must complete a Post-Admissions Communications Assessment (PACA).

The assessment will determine whether or not you must take the first-year Communications Essentials course in order to gain the reading and writing skills required in your program.

You can complete your assessment one of the following ways:

  1. Walk-in:
    • Check your email for your voucher.
    • Have your student ID number and voucher with you.
    • Visit the Test Centre
      • Oshawa campus, Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Gordon Willey building, Room B291C.
      • Whitby campus, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Room 181
  2. Book an appointment:
    • Check your email for your voucher.
    • Have your student ID and voucher number ready when you call to book.
    • Call the Test Centre at 905.721.2000 ext. 2557 (Oshawa campus) or ext. 4233 (Whitby campus).
  3. Online*:

*There is a $25 USD fee for completing the assessment online through Accuplacer Live. Assessments completed after Tuesday, August 15, for fall semester students and Wednesday, November 1, for winter semester students, must be written in-person at the Test Centre.

Results

Following your assessment, you will receive a notice that tells you whether or not you must take the Communications Essentials course.

Accommodation

If you require accommodation, please contact the Access and Support Centre (ASC):

T: 905.721.3123

TTY: 905.721.3187

E: asc@durhamcollege.ca

PACA programs

Oshawa campus

  • Advertising and Marketing Communications
  • Child and Youth Care (compressed)
  • Contemporary Web Design
  • Dental Reception and Administration
  • Developmental Services Worker
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Interactive Media Design
  • Journalism - Mass Media
  • Law Clerk Advanced
  • Library and Information Technician
  • Massage Therapy
  • Music Business Administration (two-year)/Music Business Management (three-year)
  • Office Administration - Legal
  • Office Administration - Real Estate
  • Police Foundations
  • Protection, Security and Investigation
  • Public Relations (compressed)
  • Social Service Worker

Whitby campus

  • Building Construction Technician
  • Crane Operation, Rigging and Construction Techniques
  • Mechanical Technician - Elevating Devices
  • Mechanical Technician - Millwright
  • Mechanical Techniques – Plumbing
  • Office Administration - Executive
  • Office Administration - General
  • Office Administration - Health Services
  • Office Administration - Health Services (four consecutive semesters)
  • Welding Engineering Technician

Frequently Asked Questions

Why must I complete a Post-Admission Communications Assessment?

The Post-Admission Communications Assessment provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate your communication skills. It addition, it enables Durham College (DC) to determine if you would benefit from the first-year Communications Essentials course. If your results show that you already have strong abilities in reading and writing, you will be exempt from the course.

I’m an international student and have already taken an English test as part of my admissions. Do I still need to take the Post-Admission Communications Assessment?

Yes. This test is for all DC students. We encourage students to take the assessment electronically before August 15. Please contact the Test Centre as soon as you have received your voucher to make the necessary arrangements to complete the assessment, which can be done either in person or remotely. See the instructions below on how to complete the assessment remotely, and note that there is a charge of $25 USD for the remote evaluation. If you are unable to take the assessment before August 15, you can complete it in person at the college in your first 10 days of classes.

Does the assessment affect my admission into the program? Will I lose my acceptance if I do poorly?

No, your admission into your program will not be affected. The Post-Admission Communications Assessment is designed to evaluate your reading comprehension and basic writing skills. This will enable the college to provide you with appropriate support to help ensure you are successful in your program.

How many times am I allowed to write the assessment?

Each student is only allowed to take the communication assessment once. Please remember, the results do not affect your acceptance into your academic program.

What is the Communications Essentials course?

Communications Essentials emphasizes the study of the mechanics of writing through the editing/revising of written passages. Additionally, the application of proper grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, and organization is demonstrated through the submission of students’ written work. Concurrently, the course further enhances students’ reading comprehension skills through an analysis of both the form and content of published written work. (e.g. paragraphs, articles, essays, and editorials etc.).

How is the assessment conducted?

The assessment is computer-based. It uses ACCUPLACER, an internationally recognized system that quickly, accurately and efficiently assesses reading comprehension and writing skills. It takes approximately 90 minutes to complete, but you will have two hours. For more information, please visit the ACCUPLACER website and refer to the following subjects: reading comprehension and WritePlacer assessments. DC does not administer the math or English as a second language (ESL) assessments.

Do I need to study?

You do not need to study. The assessment is intended to measure your current skills. However, if you would like to prepare prior to your evaluation, please visit the ACCUPLACER website and review the free ACCUPLACER Sample Questions Guide.

Where is the assessment being offered?

Students will have two options for completing their assessment:

  1. In person: DC Oshawa campus Test Centre, Gordon Willey building, Room B291 2000 Simcoe St. N. Oshawa, ON L1H 7K4Whitby campus 1610 Champlain Avenue, Room 182 (or other as indicated by Office 181) Whitby, ON L1N 6A7

When you receive your voucher, please contact the Test Centre to arrange a booking that fits your schedule. Please have the following information available when you contact the centre:

  • Student ID.
  • Voucher number.

You can contact the Test Centre by one of three ways to arrange your booking (a limited number of seats are available for each test writing date and time):

  1. Email: testcentre@dc-uoit.ca. Please provide your contact information and indicate you are writing the PACA.
  2. In-person: During normal business hours, visit the Gordon Willey building, office B291C at the Oshawa campus or office 181 at the Whitby campus.
  3. Telephone: Call 905.721.2000 ext. 2557 for the Oshawa campus and ext. 4233 for the Whitby campus.

Inform the Test Centre that you wish to take the Post-Admissions Communications Assessment (PACA). Sessions are offered from Monday to Saturday between 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. with options at both the Oshawa and Whitby campuses (with limited seating per session).Visit the Test Centre website for more information.

  1. Remotely through Accuplacer Live:

http://accuplacerlive.onlineproctornow.com/ There is a $25 USD fee for completing the assessment through Accuplacer Live. Assessments completed after August 15 for fall-semester students and November 1 for winter- semester students, must be written at the Test Centre. See instructions below for information on how to use Accuplacer Live to complete your assessment.

Is there a fee associated with the assessment?

There is no fee for writing the assessment in person. However, if you choose to complete it remotely using Accuplacer Live, you will be charged $25 USD.

What is the voucher number used for?

You will receive a voucher by email, which you will need to sign in to the assessment either in person or online.

I have an exceptionality and require accommodations to write the assessment, how do I arrange this?

Students who require academic accommodations to write the assessment should contact the Access and Support Centre (ASC) to have supports put into place prior to arranging their session. Visit www.durhamcollege.ca/asc to learn more or contact the ASC at asc@durhamcollege.ca or 905.721.3123.

What should I expect the day of the test? What do I need?

The assessment will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. You will be given two hours to finish. Please arrive 15 minutes early and be sure to bring:

  • Photo ID.
  • The email containing your voucher number.
  • Your student number.

The Test Centre will supply and collect any paper/pens required. Making notes on electronic devices is not allowed.

When is the last date I can write my assessment?

If you are enrolled in a program that requires you to write the Post Admission Communications Assessment, you must complete it by the fifth day of classes. In order to access the most flexible schedule for writing the assessment, it is strongly recommended that book your assessment as soon as you receive your voucher. If you do not complete the assessment by the deadline, the Communications Essentials course must be added to your timetable. If you complete the assessment before the fifth day of classes, and your results show you do not need the course, you will be given the option to remove it from your timetable.

How do I use Accuplacer Live to complete the assessment remotely?

Visit the Accuplacer Live website at http://accuplacerlive.onlineproctornow.com/ and use the following steps: If you have not yet created an account:

  • Go to http://accuplacerlive.onlineproctornow.com/ and select ‘Schedule Your Test’
  • Click ‘Register’ on the right hand side under the new user section
  • Fill out your personal details, along with email address and password
  • In the dropdown menu for selecting your institution, search for Durham College Accuplacer’ and add it
  • Note: Do not use the ‘Durham College’ option
  • Click ‘Register’
  • Go back and login with your email address and password
  • Under the ‘Select Institute’ section, ensure that ‘Durham College Accuplacer’ is selected
  • If it is not, then select ‘Add Institute’ from the dropdown menu
  • Search for ‘Durham College Accuplacer’ and select it
  • If required, enter the validation text as requested
  • Click ‘Add’ to add this institution
  • Ensure that ‘Durham College Accuplacer’ is now selected under the ‘Select Institute’ section (see screenshot below)
  • Under the ‘Select Exam…’ menu, select ‘Durham College Accuplacer Evaluation’
  • Click ‘GO!’ and you can then pick an appropriate date/time
  • Select your desired date to check for available timeslots; if none are available pick another date
  • Select your desired time from the list
  • Click the payment link and follow instructions there
  • After completing the payment process, enter your reference/receipt number from that process
  • Below that, enter your voucher number that was emailed to you
  • Click ‘Next’ and follow instructions

If you have already created an account:

  • After logging in at Accuplacer Live and registering successfully, under the ‘Select Institute’ section, ensure that ‘Durham College Accuplacer’ is selected.
  • Note: Do not use the ‘Durham College’ option.
  • If it is not, then select ‘Add Institute’ from the dropdown menu
  • Search for ‘Durham College Accuplacer’ and select it
  • If required, enter the validation text as requested
  • Click ‘Add’ to add this institution
  • Ensure that ‘Durham College Accuplacer’ is now selected under the ‘Select Institute’ section (see screenshot below)
  • Under the ‘Select Exam…’ menu, select ‘Durham College Accuplacer Evaluation’ (see screenshot below)
  • Click ‘GO!’ and you can then pick an appropriate date/time
  • Select your desired date to check for available timeslots; if none are available pick another date
  • Select your desired time from the list
  • Click the payment link and follow instructions there
  • After completing the payment process, enter your reference/receipt number from that process
  • Below that, enter your voucher number that was emailed to you
  • Click ‘Next’ and follow instructions

What happens after I take the test?

After you complete the assessment you will be sent an email that indicates whether or not you will be required to take the Communications Essentials course. If you are required to take the assessment it will be part of your registration block and you only need to choose a timetable that best suits your schedule. If you are exempt from the Communications Essentials course you may choose to take a spare period or replace the course with a general education course or another course with the equivalent time requirement of three hours.

What happens if I don’t take the assessment?

If you do not take the assessment, you must add the Communications Essentials course to your timetable. If you decide to complete the assessment before Day 10 of classes and your results show you do not need the course, you will still have the option to drop it.

Still have questions?

Please contact Admissions at oshawaenrolmentservices@durhamcollege.ca or 905.721.3000.

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