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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

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  • 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.
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You may be exempt from placement testing or waived from course prerequisites based upon prior learning. Transcripts, test scores and grade reports must be provided to the registrar’s office for verification and evaluation. Send all official and unofficial transcripts to

Exemptions from placement testing: 

  • Students who register or start classes within five years after their high school graduation do not have to test if they:

    1. Earned a final 3.0 cumulative unweighted high school GPA or
    2. Earned at least a 3.0 cumulative unweighted high school GPA at the end of their first semester of their senior year
  • SAT reading score of 480 or better and/or math score of 530 or higher
  • ACT English, reading and/or math score of 21 or higher
  • MCAP, PARCC, AP, IB, CLEP or DSST scores
  • Prior college-level English and/or mathematics coursework from another college/university with an earned letter grade of "C" or higher

Waivers for courses with applicable prerequisites:

  • Final unweighted cumulative U.S. high school GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • SAT/ACT scores*
  • Placement test scores
  • Prior Wor-Wic coursework
  • Students who have received a score of 165 or above on the GED within the past two years;
  • Coursework at other institutions or acceptable non-traditional coursework (military, AP, IB, CEP, etc.)
*Test waivers are only good for placement tests taken within the last two years.

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

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  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. Wor-Wic provides reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
    You may be eligible to receive academic accommodations if:
    • You have experienced a disability in the past.
    • You had a 504 plan or Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) in high school.
    • You experience a medical condition that has, or could, affect your academic performance.
    Appropriate documentation should be submitted to the academic and disabilities counselor at least four weeks before the start of classes so that eligibility can be determined, and the appropriate accommodations can be made. Documentation can be an official evaluation or letter from a licensed professional that clearly states your diagnosis, or an IEP or 504 plan from your high school. The college does not evaluate, diagnose or treat disabilities. For more information, please contact Karen Mohler, academic and disabilities counselor at or 410-334-2899.
  5. Review and prepare for your assessment:
    • Prepare by reviewing the Frequently Asked Questions
    • Practice for the Accuplacer assessments (Reading, Writing, WritePlacer Essay, ESL and Arithmetic (for non-credit programs) 
    • Practice for the ALEKS Math assessment (covers Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry & Statistics) (for credit programs)

Math Placement: The ALEKS diagnostic test consists of 30 questions or less and is untimed. We suggest that you plan one to two hours of time to complete the math diagnostic test.

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  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.

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You can retest one time following a 24-hour waiting period for all tests except Accuplacer WritePlacer essay. You must complete five hours in your personal ALEKS math study module in order to retest. Placement is based on the 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.
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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.

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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.