Accuplacer: Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Entry-Level Assessment?

The entry assessment at Cape Cod Community College consists of the ACCUPLACER® Test suite from College Board. Test subjects are reading comprehension, sentence skills, arithmetic, elementary algebra and college level mathematics. The testing, advising and registration appointment takes approximately 2 ½ hours. To take the test, please schedule your appointment online for new students following directions on your invitation letter. Those students who are retesting or participating in dual enrollment, PACT or ACT/DOL please call (508) 362-2131 x4543 to schedule your appointment.

The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (MDHE) has set the cut off scores for placement into college level credit courses as opposed to college preparatory courses.


Placement test published by The College Board for incoming college students.

Nationally normed test customized and delivered by educational institutions

Fast, accurate determination of whether a student has the skills to take college level courses or would benefit from some developmental work.

Extensively used by community colleges, four year colleges, and technical schools around the world.

Requirements for placement test

Whether full-time or part-time, a student must complete the state approved entry assessment as indicated:

  • If student is newly matriculated and has no prior college credit in English, reading comprehension, mathematics
  • Prior to registration for any course that has a specific cut score as a prerequisite
  • If student’s placement scores are more than three years old

For students with disabilities, accommodations for the college placement exams may be arranged with the O'Neill Center for Disability Services: (508) 362-2131 x4533

Who must take the test?

The college placement test is required for all entering students seeking to earn a degree or certificate program from Cape Cod Community College or for those students who want to take English, mathematics or reading courses, or other courses that have placement test scores as prerequisites.

To evaluate the level of preparation and to place students in appropriate courses, the College requires entry assessment in the skill areas of English, reading and mathematics. To satisfy entry assessment requirements, a student needs to take the college placement test unless other equivalent transcripts are provided in college level course work and such work has been evaluated.

Are there any fees for taking the college placement test?

There is no initial charge for students enrolling at Cape Cod Community College. Based on agreements with other institutions, Cape Cod Community College may assess students who are not applying for CCCC admission. These students should contact the Assessment Center for information regarding testing fees by calling: (508) 362 2131 x4543.

How are the College Placement Test Scores used?

Entry assessment scores will be used for course level placement. A student may place at the college level in one or more areas and at college preparatory level in other areas. If skills are below the levels defined by the state as required for successful performance in a college credit courses, the College may limit student enrollment to college preparatory courses and any additional course for which he or she may be prepared.

When and where are the tests given?

The college placement test is given at the Assessment Center on campus. It is located on the 2nd floor of the Grossman Commons Building. Placement testing appointments can be scheduled online for newly matriculated students by following the directions on their invitation letter. Those students who are retesting or participating in dual enrollment, Pact or ACT/DOL please call (508) 362-2131 x4543 to schedule your appointment. The Assessment Center is open Mondays–Fridays from 8:30am–4:30pm.

How long are my test scores valid?

At Cape Cod Community College, students’ test scores are valid for three (3) years.

Are transfer students required to take the college placement test?

Test scores are not required for transfer or readmission students who have satisfactorily completed college level English, mathematics and/or reading courses. Newly matriculated students must still schedule their appointment with the Assessment Center for the Advising and Registration part of the program.

I have credits coming from another college. Do I still have to test?

If the Admissions Office has sent you a letter stating that you are waived from testing, then you do not have to test. You still need to make an appointment with this office for Advising and Registration. Follow the directions on the blue letter in order to schedule this appointment. If Admissions had not received your official transcripts then, yes, you need to make an appointment for the Assessment, Advising and Registration process.

What does officially waived mean? If I am waived in math, does that mean my English is waived (or vice versa)?

Officially waived from testing means that the Registrar's and Admissions Offices have reviewed your transcripts and made a decision, based on your prior college credit(s), that you have been waived from one or more skill areas of testing.

Being waived in one area of the Assessment test does not guarantee you will be waived in others.

How do I make this appointment?

If you are a newly, matriculated student and received your blue invitation in the mail, then please use the preferred method and follow the instructions listed on your letter to make your appointment online. If you are not a newly, matriculated student or you are having problems scheduling online, please call the Assessment Center at (508) 375-4021 and we will be happy to help you to schedule your appointment.

What is adaptive testing?

Each test is adaptive and the computer automatically determines which questions are presented to you based on your response to prior questions. This technique selects just the right questions to ask without being too easy or too difficult. Each test is untimed so that you can give each question as much thought as you wish. However, once you have selected and confirmed your answer, you cannot return to that question.

What should I do to prepare for the test?

Students are encouraged to prepare for the college placement test by reviewing the Student Guide to the computerized Placement Tests provided at the Accuplacer tutorial site available at This guide provides sample questions and an overview of how the test works and outlines the skills necessary for success on this test. For actual tutorial sites, please refer to ACCUPLACER® Review Sites.

How do I answer questions on the test?

Because you take the computer placement test on a computer, you do not have to answer as many questions as on paper-and-pencil tests. The number of questions on a test ranges from 12–20. The questions appear one at a time on the computer screen. Since most questions are multiple choices, all you need to do is use the Enter key or mouse to select an answer. When you have completed the question and confirmed your answer, a new screen will appear with your next question.

Should I guess on questions that I don&'t know?

The college placement test is an adaptive test and questions are chosen for you on the basis of your answers to previous questions. Because the test works this way, you must answer every question when it is first given. You can change your answer to a particular question before moving on to the next question, but you cannot return to the question. If you do not know the answer to a question, try to eliminate one or more of the choices. Then pick from the remaining choices.

You cannot pass or fail this test. It is designed to place you into the appropriate levels of Math, Reading and English.

How will the computer deliver testing?

You will complete your test using a computer with use of either the keyboard or mouse to enter your answers and supply other information. A Proctor is present should you have any questions or problems. The Proctor has the ability to resolve difficulties that may occur.

What should I do at the end of the test?

At the end of the test session, a Student Score Report will appear on the monitor. Please print TWO copies of the test results. The Proctor will give you a copy of your results. You will then meet with an Advisor (Dual Enrollment students with Admission Officer) to select and register your courses.

How often can I take the placement test?

Students can take the test for the first time and one retest is allowed once for each section. There is a retest fee of $7.00. Students' test results are valid for three years at Cape Cod Community College.

What does "Confidentiality of the Tests" mean?

Your test scores and the information you provide when taking the tests will only be provided to The College Board, to the college at which you are taking the tests or at which you are enrolled. The information may be used for counseling, advisement and placement purposes and may be used to document whether or not you have met state testing requirements. The College Board may also use it for research purposes but your name would never be included. Your test information will not be disclosed for any other purpose without your permission. If you have any questions about confidentiality, please see the Proctor.


Assessment Center