English as a Second Language (ESL) Placement

student sitting at a table with a laptop computer and book smiling

English as a second language (ESL) refers to students who speak another language primarily, and English is their second language. First-time applicants who have studied at least six months or more in an institution where English is not the primary language of instruction are identified by the admissions review process as potential ESL. ESL applicants who meet¬†CUNY’s college readiness requirements or who score 65 or higher on the English proficiency index may move forward with steps to enroll.

ESL applicants who have not demonstrated English proficiency through either the CUNY college readiness requirements or the English proficiency index will be required to take the CUNY Assessment Test in Writing (CATW) for course placement.

*Please read this important information on CATW and the ESL Diagnostic Assessment (ESLD). Students may use the CATW test preparation resources below to practice for the ESLD.

Test Preparation Resources

  1. (CATW) Practice Exercises
  2. (CATW) Handbook with sample essays


Students required to take the CATW/ESLD will receive an email with information on how to complete this assessment requirement. Students are also required to review CUNY’s Academic Integrity policy which prohibits all forms of academic dishonesty with penalties including suspension or expulsion from CUNY. For questions please email testing@bmcc.cuny.edu

Office of Testing

199 Chambers Street, Room S-103
New York, NY 10007
Phone: (212) 220-8085
Email: testing@bmcc.cuny.edu