College Placement Test

The College Placement Test (CPT / ACCUPLACER)

The ACCUPLACER (CPT) assesses your skills in reading and math for proper placement into English and math classes.

About Testing

Who is required to take the CPT / ACCUPLACER

If you are taking 10 or more credits, math or English classes, or working toward a degree or certificate, you will need to either:

  1. Take the ACCUPLACER placement test, OR
  2. Be placed based on valid multiple measures (other K-12 or college placement exams or previous coursework):

Multiple Measures: Which placement path is right for you?

High School Transcripts:
Prospective Running Start and recent high school graduates may use their high school transcripts (official or unofficial) to determine initial placement into math and English courses with the following guidelines:

English and Math Placement:

  • Math classes must have been completed with a full year of a B average or better in the class, within the last academic year. We will place you back in the same math class, to make sure you have the proper tools to move on; or you can take our ACCUPLACER test and place yourself higher from the level that you showed proficiency in without having to take the full math assessment from the beginning.
  • Transcripts will be reviewed by our Assessment Office and placement will be determined.
  • English placement is verified off high school transcripts if ‘ELA’ was met (which comes from the Smarter Balance Assessment).

Smarter Balance Assessment Scores:
Running Start and recent high school graduates may use their Smarter Balance scores in English and Mathematics to determine initial placement into courses.

Please bring a copy of your score report to the Assessment Center for review. The report must include your name, scores, student identification number and recommended level of placement. You must enroll in the appropriate English or math course no later than one year after high school graduation.

Score Level English Placement Math Placement
4 ENGL& 101 MATH& 141, MATH 147, PHIL& 120
3 ENGL& 101 MATH 99, &107, 140, &146
2 ENGL& 101 contingent on earning a B or better final grade in statewide English bridge course
OR
Use another assessment method
MATH& 107, 140, &146 contingent on also earning B or better final grade in statewide math bridge course
OR
Use another assessment method

SAT & ACT Scores:

  • SAT Scores of 470 or higher, will place students into English 101 for 3 years from the date of the exam.
  • ACT Scores of a 19 or higher, will place students into English 101 for 3 years from the date of the exam.
    Currently there is no math placement option off SAT/ACT Scores.
Subject Score Level English Placement Math Placement
IB Language A 5+ English 101  
AP Eng or Language Comp 4 or 5 English 102  
AP Eng or Language Comp 3 English 101  
Calculus AB or BC 5   Math 153
Calculus AB or BC 3 or 4   Math 152
Statistics     Math 99

College Transcripts:
If you have credits from another college, you may be able to use your unofficial transcript for placement if you have taken math &/or English courses.

For placement: To determine placement in order to enroll into math &/or English classes at SPSCC, unofficial transcripts should be submitted to the Assessment Center (assessment@spscc.edu), Enrollment Services or Advisors.

For credit: If you want to have your college credits applied to a degree you are earning from SPSCC, you should send official transcripts to: incomingtranscripts@spscc.edu

Placement Reciprocity:
If you completed a placement test at another Washington Community or Technical College within the last calendar year, you may request placement based on Reciprocity.

You will bring an official copy of your placement results to the Assessment Center for review or email it to: assessment@spscc.edu

What to expect for the test

The College Placement Test (ACCUPLACER) is NOT timed, but typically takes about an hour and a half, if you are taking both parts (English and math). Please check in at least two hours before closing. Note the Assessment Center hours.

Before you walk in to take the Placement Test, you will pay the $25 test fee at the One Stop, located in Building 22–Second Floor at the Olympia Campus, or at the reception desk at Lacey.

Calculators are not allowed on the test, but scratch paper is provided by our centers.

Test results are available immediately upon completion of testing.

  • Bring a valid government issued ID for any test you are taking.
  • Power down cell phone (phones are not allowed with testers during exams, storage is available).
  • Email assessment@spscc.edu with any questions, concerns or scheduling questions.

The areas of ACCUPLACER placement testing include:

  • Reading Comprehension (20 questions) – the only test required for English placement – 90+/120 to get into English 101
  • Arithmetic (17 questions) – score a 72+/120 to go directly into Elementary Algebra
  • Elementary Algebra (12 questions) – score a 79+/120 to go directly into College Level Math
  • College Level Math (20 questions)

Prepare for the Test

Prepare for the test with a study guide and sample questions, available at the following websites:

College Placement Test Prep

Our free Test Prep workshops help prepare prospective students for the math and English placement tests so that you start college on the right foot. Join us to learn the ins and outs of the Accuplacer, discover the most effective test-taking strategies, and complete practice questions under the guidance of an expert tutor.

Test Prep Workshops & Online Course

Test Prep Workshops: See Learning Support Services for the current Test Prep Workshop Schedule.
Test Prep Website: Can’t make it to a workshop? Study up on your own using our free online College Placement Test Prep Canvas course, with information about the Accuplacer tests, practice quizzes, strategies for effective test-taking, and a host of resources specific to each of the math and English exams.
COLLEGE PLACEMENT TEST PREP