Taking the Placement Test(s)
For the placement test, you need to
Bring a single quarter
Bring a photo ID
Bring a pencil
Call if you have questions
Which photo ID's can I use?
The following forms of photo identification are accepted by Student Assessment Services for PLACEMENT TESTS only
- PGCC student ID or employee ID card (w/name & photo)
- Driver's License
- Maryland State (MVA) ID card
- Employer's ID (w/name & photo)
- Military ID
- Permanent Resident Card (I-151 or I-551)
- Employment Authorization Card (I-688A)
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?
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.
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
No personal property (including, but not limited to books, notes, purses, bags, phones, pagers, PDAs) is allowed at the testing stations. Lockers are provided for personal belongings at a 1 Quarter. Lockers will not lock without a quarter. Your quarter will be returned to you by the locker mechanism, when you retrieve your belongings. All personal possessions must be secured in lockers. Students must have quarters to use the lockers — change is not available from SAS staff. Change machines are located in vending areas around the 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:
- Are you a native of the United States of America or one of the following countries?
- Antigua & Barbuda
- The Bahamas
- Cayman Islands
- New Zealand
- St. Kitts & Nevis
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent & the Grenadines
- Trinidad & Tobago
- United Kingdom
- Virgin Islands
- 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. We encourage you to bring this copy to an academic advisor who will evaluate your scores and help you choose classes. 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.
- Eat well and get plenty of rest prior to the test
- Allow yourself ample time to review the sample test before your actual test
- Review basic math operations with decimals and fractions before you test
- Calculator use is permitted during the College-Level Mathematics test ONLY. The SAS staff at Largo campus will loan graphing calculators for the testing session.
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|
|SAT Critical Reading||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.