Placement Testing for New Students

It's really not scary! We just want to make sure you are ready for the classes you want to take.

Before you start taking college-level classes, we need to make sure you don't waste time and money in classes that you are not ready for or do not need. We do this by looking at your grades in high school or at other colleges, the courses you took, test scores on the ACT and SAT and other factors. In many cases, we also give you a free placement test.

For our English and reading placement test, we use Accuplacer, an untimed computer adaptive test, to assess students’ skills. To assess you in math, we use either Accuplacer or the ALEKS Math Placement test. Non-native speakers are assessed in reading, language use and listening. On the day of your test, you should be well-rested and familiar with the format of the tests. You should allow three hours to complete all placement tests. Please note that placement tests are only given by appointment. If you have to take a placement test, your enrollment coach will schedule the placement testing appointment for you.

Students have lots of questions about the placement test. Review our FAQs below for the answers you need.

Placement Tests FAQs

Who must take the Placement Test?
  • New credit students currently in high school
  • New credit students without a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent
  • Guest credit students who want to register beyond nine cumulative credit hours
  • Credit students who want to register for an English or mathematics course or any college-level course that has an English or mathematics prerequisite
  • Non-credit allied health students
Check out if you meet one of our requirements to waive the placement test in "Who is not required to take the Placement Test" in the box below.
Who is not required to take the Placement Test?

Exemptions are granted for:

  • Students who have associate or higher degrees from regionally-accredited colleges in the U.S.; or
  • New students who are classified as special students who want to register for one course in a term that does not have a college-level English or mathematics prerequisite.

Exemptions are granted for the English and/or Math placement test(s) for:

  • College transfer students who have received transfer credit for ENG 101 and/or a college-level mathematics course (MTH 152 or higher);
  • Students who have received a mathematics Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) subset score of at least 530 and/or an English score of 480 within the past two years;
  • Students who have received American College Testing (ACT) subset scores of at least 21 in mathematics and an average of 21 on the reading and writing sections within the past two years;
  • Students who have received a score of 165 or above on the GED within the past two years;
  • Students who have earned an English 10 or 11 and/or an Algebra II Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) score of Level 4 or 5 who register or start classes within one year after the student’s date of high school graduation;
  • Students who have earned a grade 4 or above on the International Baccalaureate (IB) Language and Literature assessment and/or the IB Math Studies assessment;
  • Students who have successfully completed a high school transition course in English and/or mathematics who register or start classes within one year after the student’s date of high school graduation;
  • Students who have earned a score of 3 or higher on the Advanced Placement (AP) English Language and Composition test or the English Literature and Composition test and/or the AP Calculus AB or BC test; and
  • Students who register or start classes within five years after the student’s date of high school graduation who earned at least a 3.0 cumulative unweighted high school GPA, who want to take ENG 101, MTH 102 or MTH 152.

Your enrollment coach will help you determine the need for placement testing.

How to prepare for the Placement Test
  1. Apply to the college online at
  2. Submit your high school and/or college transcripts to Student Services as soon as is possible after you have completed the application.
  3. Your enrollment coach will discuss placement with you and whether or not you meet the requirements to be exempt from placement testing.  If you have to take a placement test your enrollment coach will determine what tests are required and will help you schedule your placement appointment.  
  4. If you believe you are eligible for special accommodations during test taking, make sure that you speak with the academic and disabilities counselor prior to taking your placement test.
  5. Study for the assessment by taking practice tests designed to help you succeed on Accuplacer. A list of these practice sites can be accessed here:

Math Placement: No preparation is necessary to complete the ALEKS diagnostic, but it is important that you do your best. The diagnostic test consists of 30 questions or less and is untimed. We suggest that you plan 1-2 hours of time to complete the math diagnostic.

What happens on the day of the test?
  1. Report directly to the Testing Center (BH 226) at least fifteen minutes before your appointment time.  
  2. Bring your school or government-issued photo ID.
  3. Cell phones or other electronic devices are not permitted in the Testing Center.
  4. Complete the tests, making sure that you read directions carefully and devote your full concentration to the questions. The testing center aide will explain your scores to you.

Math Placement: Credit students, please keep your documents with your ALEKS username and password. Visit the Math Lab (BH 225) for help getting acquainted with the Prep and Learning Module. Five hours of practice can save students 14 weeks in a math class. Start in the right math class by using your FREE ALEKS Prep and Learning module.

What happens after I test?

You can retest one time following a 24-hour waiting period. For an ALEKS math retest, you must complete five hours in your personal ALEKS math study module in order to retest. Placement is based on the student’s higher score.

Math Placement: Once you have completed the ALEKS diagnostic, you will be automatically placed into a FREE Prep and Learning module within ALEKS. The module will give you an opportunity to learn, practice and review topics based on your first diagnostic. You must spend a minimum of five hours in the learning module, reviewing math topics, before retaking ALEKS to improve your placement. WWCC will use your highest score so there is no harm in retesting, and it may save you time and money by starting you in the next level math course.

  1. Take initial ALEKS math diagnostic test
  2. Log in to the FREE Prep and Learning Module. Spend five hours improving and refreshing skills in a personalized learning path.
  3. Save time and money!
    Retake ALEKS to improve your math placement and start in the math course that is right for you.
How long are test scores good for?

Test scores are valid for two years. After two years, students must retest in subject areas for which developmental course work was indicated and for which the course work was not attempted nor completed.

What if I started taking developmental courses after the last time I tested?

A student who has started the sequence of developmental education courses can retest if their test scores are at least two years old and their last attempt at the course was at least two years ago.