Placement Testing

Prior to registering for courses, most first-time students are required to take placement tests to assess their skill levels in reading, writing, and math.  As these are the building-blocks of education, your performance in these areas will affect other areas of study.  You will be provided with your results and course placement information the day you test.  Please review the details below.

How may I be exempt from testing?

  • Placement testing within the last 5 years at BC3 or another institution.
  • A grade of C or better in college-level English or math; CLEP or AP score of 3 or higher.
  • Enrollment in any non-degree seeking program such as the College’s Senior Citizen, Guest or College Pathways program, unless required by a course prerequisite.
  • Enrollment in a Workplace Certificate not requiring English or math coursework or prerequisites.
  • Official* ACT scores from the past 5 years
    • ACT English - 21 or higher - Exempt from English and reading test
    • ACT Math - 23 or higher - Exemption from math test
  • Official* SAT scores from the past 5 years
    • NEW SAT Reading and Math scores are for tests taken after March 1, 2016:
      • NEW SAT Evidence Based Reading and Writing - 500 or higher - Exempt from English and reading test
      • NEW SAT Math Section Score - 570 or higher - Exempt from math test
    • OLD SAT Reading and Math scores are for tests taken prior to March 1, 2016:
      • OLD SAT Reading - 500 or higher - Exempt from English and reading test
      • OLD SAT Math - 550 or higher - Exemption from math test

*Scores will be considered official only when received from one of the following:

  1. College Board/ACT – scores may be requested to be sent to BC3 at the time of testing or after the fact. Fees may apply.
  2. High School – A high school transcript that includes scores may be faxed or emailed by the high school to BC3 for the purpose of exemption. This transcript does not replace the official transcript required for admission or scholarship.
  3. BC3 - a student may login to a BC3 computer and print a copy of their scores from the test site, while observed by a BC3 employee.

What will be included in the placement test?

Click here for detailed information on test content.

Is it possible to prepare for the placement test?

College requirements are demanding. Please take the tests seriously and do your best. Failure to review may result in course placement below your skill level. Your course placement may even require that you take one or more developmental courses before being eligible to take college-level courses. If you need these skill-building classes, discuss with an advisor how this impacts your overall plan. However, starting at the college level saves you time and money, so it is in your best interest to prepare. Accuplacer provides a review, sample questions and a study app! In addition, feel free to browse the many other skill-building sites available on the Internet.

When will I take the placement test?

After submitting an application for admission you will receive a letter in the mail indicating the time and place of your placement tests. Although the test is untimed, 2 ½ hours usually provide enough time to complete the placement test.

Where will I take the placement test?

The letter you receive will indicate the location for your placement testing.  Testing takes place at the following locations:

What do I need to bring to testing?

  • Your placement testing letter with Student ID at the top
  • Some form of photo ID to verify your identity

What if I have a disability?

If you have a disability or temporary disabling condition that will prevent you from performing well under standard test conditions, please call 724.431.4606 for information on testing accommodations.

Can I retest?

You are permitted to retake the Placement Test one time in each of the three areas assessed (reading, writing, and math). There is no charge. If you have not scheduled your retest and would like to do so, please call your testing site. 

What are the next steps?

  • Your test results will determine course placement and will be utilized in your course selection. Interpreting Your Test Results, will give you detailed information regarding scores and placement.
  • You will receive information regarding advising and registration at the completion of your test.  For additional information, please contact your testing site.


  • Relax! Allow adequate time to find a parking spot and test location, acquaint yourself with the environment, and gather your thoughts.
  • Make sure you understand all directions given to you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Answer each question as it is presented to you on the screen. You cannot skip the question and go back later. As questions are multiple-choice, take a few minutes to logically eliminate one or more choices before picking your final response.
  • Remember there is no failing grade. Answer each question to the best of your ability.