New Student Assessment Placement Testing

All NEW students who have not been declared exempt from Accuplacer testing (see below for list of exemptions) must complete assessment testing prior to attending an Orientation and Registration session and registering for classes at RCTC.

At this time, only admitted SUMMER and FALL 2019 students can register for an assessment test session.

Assessment tests are given in the RCTC Testing Center, located on the 2nd floor of the Atrium, room AT 209. 

What is the assessment 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?
New students applying for Fall 2017 or later can be considered for the following Accuplacer testing exemptions. Official copies of test scores and/or transcripts MUST be submitted to RCTC prior to an exemption being made. Students who have attended RCTC (non-PSEO) prior to Fall 2017 need to refer to their original terms of enrollment for specific testing exemptions.

  • Successful completion of collegiate English and/or Math courses
  • ACT scores in the following sections: Math score 22 or higher; Reading score 21 or higher
  • MCA scores in the following sections: Math score 1150 or higher; Reading score 1047 or higher
  • SAT scores in the following sections: Math score 530 or higher; SAT Reading and Writing (ERW) score 480 or higher
  • Accuplacer assessment completed at another institution

ACT, MCA, and SAT scores are now good for five calendar years beginning with NEW applicants in Fall 2017 and later. Students who enrolled at RCTC prior to 2017 will need to refer to their original terms of enrollment.

Where can I find additional accuplacer resources?

General Resources

Reading Resources

English 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? All Accuplacer test results are valid for three years.

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? Yes. All students have the opportunity to retake the Accuplacer test. Students must meet with their Academic Advisor or Counselor, who will register the student for the appropriate test(s). Students are not able to register themselves for a retest session, as they are separate from new student testing sessions.

Students are not 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.

Disability Accommodations
Persons with disabilities will be accommodated as appropriate to the individual needs. Contact the RCTC Disability Services Office for assistance at 507-280-2968.

Distance Proctoring
Students who live outside the Rochester area can complete testing at any Minnesota State College or University. In order to schedule testing, you will need to notify RCTC where you will be testing. Please fill out the Remote Testing Request form and submit to RCTC at least 1 business day prior to contacting the institution you will be testing at.  Once the form has been processed, students and the other institution will receive notification that a testing voucher has been created and testing can be scheduled.  Once students have completed testing, please contact the Welcome Center within two business days to sign up for orientation.

Students who live outside the Minnesota State College or University area (a state other than Minnesota) also has the option to do remote testing. Please fill out the Remote Testing Request form and return it to RCTC using the provided information.

*The proctor for remote testing must not be a relative or live with the student. Also, the test cannot be taken at a personal residence. Suggested testing locations are a library, school or workplace.