Placement Testing

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As part of the Board of Higher Education's accountability for the quality of education in the public higher education system, each institution is required to assess the basic academic skills of entering students. Common testing instruments and identical cut-off scores are used on all campuses. This entry assessment, or placement testing, occurs in three areas: reading, mathematics, and writing.*

Taking the Accuplacer

Students can make arrangements to take the accuplacer at any public institution. Dates and times for placement tests vary by college but can usually be found on the college's website.

Helpful hint #1: Use the search engine on your institution's website and type in keyword terms like "placement test," "placement testing," "placement," and "accuplacer" to find more information.

Helpful hint #2: Visit the College Board website for tips on how to study for the Accuplacer.

The College Board’s Accuplacer Computerized Placement Test is used to test reading and mathematics. The cut-off score for reading is 68. Students who score over 500 on the SAT I-Verbal exam are exempt from the reading test. Cut-off scores for mathematics are 40 on the College Level Math test or 82 on the Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test.  All students take the math test.

To test basic writing skills, campuses use an impromptu writing sample that is evaluated by local campus faculty using common scoring guidelines. Students who score over 600 on the SAT I-Verbal exam are exempt from both reading and writing tests. 

*Note: In Fall 2013, the Board of Higher Education (BHE) allowed for a period of experimentation and authorized the use of new criteria for placement in developmental education and college-level courses (AAC 14-12).  In January 2016, the BHE voted to extend this period of experimentation and focus efforts on GPA placement standards for recent high school graduates (AAC 16-19). The Department of Higher Education is collecting data and will make a recommendation to the BHE in late Fall 2018 to consider modifying existing policies as necessary.