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Placement Testing

Students come to PCCC with different academic skills. To ensure that students are placed in the appropriate courses, new students must take the Basic Skills Placement Test, unless they qualify to be exempted from the test. Students entering the English Language Studies program must take the ELS Placement Test.

Students are invited to take the test after they apply. There is no fee for these tests. Results of the test are available prior to registration. An adviser explains the test scores and assists students in registering for appropriate courses.

Preparing for the Placement Test

It is important to prepare for the placement test. Students who review and take the practice test have better results than those who do not prepare. A practice test is available below, and it includes hints and videos for solving tough problems.  

About the Placement Test

The Basic Skills Placement Test is a computer-based examination using the Accuplacer platform from The College Board. Most of the test is un-timed, with the exception of the Writeplacer section.

The timed WritePlacer section requires students to type an essay based on a passage that is presented along with a corresponding prompt. The remainder of the test is multiple choice in nature. Once an answer is selected and saved it cannot be changed. The student is then presented with the next question. The number of questions presented varies depending on the section being tested.

In general, language (reading comprehension and sentence skills) and mathematics (Algebra and/or Arithmetic) skills are tested. How long it takes to complete the entire exam depends mostly on the pace of the student. However, students should allow about 2 hours to complete the entire examination.

Testing Accomodations for Students with Disabilities

PCCC recognizes that students with documented physical, emotional, medical or learning disabilities may require accommodations. Please contact Disability Services to receive a Letter of Accommodation (LOA) for extended time on the essay portion of the Accuplacer. Email [email protected] or call 973-684-6395.


Transfer Students

Transfer students may be exempt from placement testing if they have successfully taken College-level English and Math. Have an official transcript sent directly to the PCCC Office of Admissions for a transfer credit evaluation.

High School GPA

Students who have graduated from high school within the past 3 years and have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher may be placed at College level for English and Math. For consideration, the student must have an official transcript sent to the PCCC Office of Admissions prior to registering.

SAT Scores

High school students who have achieved a score of 450 on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) section of the SAT within the past 5 years will be placed at College level for English. Students who achieved a 500 on the Math section of the SAT within the past 5 years will be placed at College level for Math. Students must submit official SAT results from the College Board to the PCCC Office of Admissions.

ACT Scores

Students who achieved a 22 in the Math section of the ACT within the past 5 years will be placed at College level for Math. Students who achieved a 22 in the reading section and an 18 in the English section within the past 5 years will be placed in College level English. Official scores must be submitted to the PCCC Office of Admissions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I take this test?

All full-time and part-time students entering New Jersey public colleges take a Basic Skills Placement Test. The results of this test help academic advisors place you in courses for which you are best suited. Therefore, you should take this seriously since it helps the college determine what courses you need to take.

Is this an admissions test? Will I be denied admission?

No. The test has nothing to do with your being admitted to college. In fact, you will not take the test until after you have been accepted for admission.

I have taken courses at another college. Do I need to take this test?

Each college has policies for testing transfer students. However, you will be expected to take the test unless you have attained sophomore status and have received transfer credit for college-level composition and mathematics.

Why do you test Reading and Writing?

Reading and writing skills are essential for success in college. You must read well enough to understand your college textbooks and write well enough to prepare term papers and write essays.

Why are you testing mathematics?

Certain quantitative skills and mathematical concepts are necessary for success in many phases of college-level work. These are the skills and concepts that the test measures.

May I take the test at another college and have my scores transferred?

You are expected to take the test at the institution you plan to attend. If you already took the test at a another college, contact that college’s test administrator to arrange to transfer the scores.

Did You Know?

You can get credit for Prior Learning Experience and high school AP Courses!

Have questions or need more info?

PCCC’s Admissions counselors are here to help! Schedule a one-on-one appointment or video chat with us today.

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