Placement Testing 


Taking the Placement Test(s)

For the placement test, you need to

Bring a single quarter

Quarters only, no other coins.

Bring a photo ID

approved photo ID with name and picture

Bring a pencil

Sharpened pencils

Call if you have questions

Phone: (301) 322-0147
Make sure you have and KNOW your 7-digit PGCC Student ID number (Colleague ID).

Which photo ID's can I use?

The following forms of photo identification are accepted by Student Assessment Services for PLACEMENT TESTS only

Where is the sample placement test?

Student Assessment Services produces an online sample test for the Michigan Test and a sample test for ACCUPLACER. To pick up a print copy of the sample tests, you must come to the Testing Center at PGCC. There are many other practice tests available on the internet as well. Use your favorite search engine to find them. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed to view our sample tests which you may download from the link on the left sidebar.

When and where can I take the placement test?

Check our hours

Placement test hours click me

All students must take the placement test after completing and submitting an application to the school and paying the admissions fee. Students who have not properly applied to the school may be turned away. The testing center is located in Bladen Hall, Room 100 at PGCC's main campus in Largo, MD. Click on the clock to the left to see the hours for the Testing Center at the Largo campus. All students are expected to abide by the rules and guidelines of the Testing Center.

Make sure you have and KNOW your 7-digit PGCC Student ID number (Colleague ID).

What's my student ID number?

After applying to the school and paying your application fee, the Admissions office will assign you a student ID number to be used for placement tests, registration, and exams. You may find this number on your bill, on your schedule, or by logging into your Owl Link account.

Personal property MUST be secured in lockers

At the Largo Campus Testing Center, no personal property is allowed at the testing stations. This includes books, notes, phones, purses, bags, pagers, or anything else we believe is inappropriate for the test. All personal possessions must be secured in lockers, which require the use of a Quarter. The quarter will be returned to you by the locker when you retrieve your belongings. Students must have a quarter to use the lockers and change is not available from Testing Center staff. Change machines are located in vending areas around the Largo campus.

How do I get another copy of my placement test scores?

If you have already taken a placement test at a PGCC campus within the last 2 years, you may request a printed copy of your placement test scores from the testing center. You must come to the testing center in person and show a valid photo id to get your scores. The testing center is located in Bladen Hall, Room 100 at PGCC's main campus in Largo, MD.

You must have and show a valid Photo ID to take a placement test or get scores

Who needs to take a placement test?

Students who have not previously attended a college and earned college credit or who have attended a college in another country in which the primary language is not English. Students who have completed college courses and earned college credit should see an advisor to determine whether any placement tests need to be taken.

Which test do I need to take?

While most students born in the United States will take a computerized placement test known as ACCUPLACER, some students will instead be required to take the Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency - a test designed for non-native English speakers.

To determine whether the ACCUPLACER or the Michigan Test is the most appropriate placement test for you, please answer the following questions:

  1. Are you a native of the United States of America or one of the following countries?
    • Antigua & Barbuda
    • Australia
    • The Bahamas
    • Barbados
    • Belize
    • Bermuda
    • Canada
    • Cayman Islands
    • Dominica
    • Grenada
    • Guyana
    • Ireland
    • Jamaica
    • Montserrat
    • New Zealand
    • St. Kitts & Nevis
    • St. Lucia
    • St. Vincent & the Grenadines
    • Trinidad & Tobago
    • United Kingdom
    • Virgin Islands
  2. Did you attend Middle School and High School or attain a GED Certificate in the United States?

Did you answer NO to both questions 1 and 2?

You will probably be required to take the Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency. This is a paper exam with 100 multiple-choice questions evaluating Reading, Grammar and Vocabulary skills. You will also submit a short, handwritten essay about an assigned topic which is evaluated by instructors from the ESL department.

Did you answer YES to either question 1 or 2?

You will take the ACCUPLACER Reading and Sentence Skills placement tests. Most students will also take both an Arithmetic and Elementary Algebra test. Some students may also take a College-level Mathematics test, if they demonstrate sufficient proficiency in Algebra. Most students may also complete a short background questionnaire and a career assessment survey.

What happens after I finish the test?

For the ACCUPLACER tests, you will receive a printed copy of your scores immediately. New students are required bring their scores to one of the college's Student Orientation programs. There, an adviser will evaluate your scores and help you choose classes. Students who already have college credit can bring their scores directly to an adviser. The Michigan Test and the English Writing Sample must be evaluated by instructors, which takes 2-5 business days. Normally, all scores will be posted to a student's record within 2 business days of receiving final scores from ACCUPLACER or the instructors.

What happens if I do not do well on the placement tests?

No student will be denied admissions to the college on the basis of placement testing performance, except international students (F-1 visa), who must score high enough to allow full-time enrollment. However, your performance on the tests will determine which college courses you may or may not take. Non-credit developmental courses may be required for students who earn scores below the standards set for college-level courses. Accordingly, you are advised to take the placement testing requirement seriously and employ a common-sense approach when preparing for the test.

How many times can I take the placement tests?

Placement tests for PGCC can be taken twice within a two-year period. You are encouraged to take the placement test a second time if the results from your first test indicate a need for developmental courses, or if the first test results do not meet your personal expectations. If you decide to retest, you MAY NOT take the same placement twice in the same day. You must wait until the next business day, at earliest. The highest score from either attempt will be used for placement. However, a third test will not be allowed until two years have passed since the second test.

Also, please be aware that no placement test can be taken after you enroll in a course or sequence considered to be preparatory in nature (for example, Developmental Studies, ESL courses). If you enroll in a developmental course, you cannot use the placement test to substitute for course performance even if you have only taken the placement test once.

I took the SAT or ACT. Do I still have to take the placement test?

After being admitted to the College, you may be exempt from all or part of the placement test if your SAT or ACT scores meet our requirements below AND your valid scores are from tests taken less than 5 years ago. You must present your original score report to Student Assessment Services to be granted any exemptions for your scores. Scores from exams taken more than 5 years ago will NOT be accepted.

Accepted Standardized Tests
Exam Section Minimum Score
ACT Reading 21
ACT English 21
ACT Mathematics 21
SAT Critical Reading 550
SAT Mathematics 550
SAT Writing 550

What if I have a degree or college credits from another school?

If you have earned 12 or more transferrable credits from an accredited American school, you may be exempt from taking one or more placement tests. Immediately after you are accepted to PGCC, you must show objective evidence of prior college work (such as a transcript or grade report) to the Transfer Center in Admissions and Records and an academic advisor to obtain approval for the exemption. Students should discuss their previous academic history with an advisor in the Advising Center before taking any placement tests or attempting to register for classes.