New Student Assessment
What is the Placement test?
It is a test of reading, writing, and mathematics that Rochester Community and Technical College uses to determine how your skill levels meet course prerequisites to ensure your success in college.
Who must take the test?
All new students are required to complete new student assessment testing if they are registering for seven or more credits collectively.
Why do I need to test?
Due to variations in high school teaching styles and grading standards, your grades in high school alone are not sufficient to determine which RCTC courses are appropriate for you. High school grades are often a reflection of attendance, extra credit, and variables which do not reflect precisely on how much you know. Using a common test allows us to measure what you know.
We match your demonstrated knowledge to the courses offered at RCTC. Then you meet with an academic counselor or advisor and they assist you with choosing the courses that are right for you. This is a proven method of making sure that you don't register for classes that are too difficult (which can lead to frustration and failure) or classes that are too easy (which would be a waste of your time and money).
Getting registered for the right classes are will improve your chances of remaining in college and achieving your goals. Whether you plan to graduate with a degree, transfer your credits, or enhance your professional skills; chances are you will earn better grades because you will be better prepared.
Could I be exempt?
You may be exempt from taking all or a part of the assessment if you:
- Completed the Accuplacer assessment testing at another college (within the past three years for Reading and English and past two years for Math). The documentation of your scores was provided to RCTC, or
- Successfully completed collegiate English and/or Math courses (grade of C or better) that meets the requirements for your RCTC program and provided RCTC with an official copy of your transcript, or
- Completed the ACT within the past three years and have a score of 18 in English and a score of 21 in Reading. You must present an official ACT report to the college. Your math course placement will be determined by your ACT Math subject score, which is only valid within the past two years.
Where can I find additional accuplacer resources?
How long is the test?
The test is self paced. Please allow yourself at least two hours to take the test so that you do not have to rush through.
Can I use a calculator?
The test will provide an online calculator when needed.
What should I bring to the test?
For purposes of identity verification we ask you to bring your driver’s license (or another form of photo ID). Also, for purposes of unique identification of testing records, your Stinger ID number is needed. Without this number, a Social Security Number could be substituted.
Can I fail the test?
No. These tests assess your current skill level, not your potential. The purpose of the assessment is to determine your placement in college level course work, which enables you and your advisor or counselor to make informed decisions about which courses to take at the beginning of your college career.
The assessment does not affect your admission to RCTC (unless you are a PSEO applicant).
When should I test?
You will receive instructions regarding testing dates and times once you are admitted to the college. Reservations are needed.
If you live so far away from our campus that taking the test here is not feasible it may be possible to take the test at another location. Fellow Minnesota State College and University System institutions may allow you to complete the test at their institution even though you will attend RCTC.
When will I get my test results?
Test results are intended to be used as an advising tool for you and your RCTC advisor or counselor. Therefore, you will receive your results when you meet with an advisor or counselor.
How long are the results valid?
Results are valid for three years in Reading and Sentence Skills and two years in Math. If you tested and did not attend RCTC – but you did complete coursework at another school, it may be a good idea to test with RCTC so that your course placements reflect your up-to-date skills and knowledge.
Can I re-test?
A College Professional faculty, Advisor or Counselor may recommend for a student to re-test and must reschedule the test.
Students may be allowed to test more than two times within a 12 month period.
Is English your second language?
RCTC suggests that students who did not graduate from an American high school complete the English as a Second Language (ESL) version of Accuplacer. The ESL test provides placement recommendations for English language courses specifically designed for students who speak English as a second language. Students may choose to take either assessment, or both, if necessary.
RCTC may refer persons with very limited English language proficiency to the Rochester Adult Basic Literacy program for language development skills.
Persons with disabilities will be accommodated as appropriate to the individual needs. Contact the RCTC Disability Services Office for assistance at 507-280-2968.