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Placement Testing Frequently Asked Questions

When and where are the placement tests offered?

Please see the Placement Test Schedule.

Do I need to take a placement test?

All applicants to degree, diploma, and certain certificate programs must take a placement examination (assessment) or qualify for a waiver as indicated below. The assessment is not an entrance examination. The primary purpose of placement examinations is to determine the individual’s skill level and readiness. Assessment results will be used to determine the need, if any, for developmental placement. Faculty advisors will also use the results in planning students’ programs and classes.

Placement assessments are administered in the following areas: Writing/Sentence Skills, Reading and Mathematical skills. All placement scores are valid at CFCC for five years from date of examination.

CFCC will accept official copies of placement tests taken at other colleges (ASSET, COMPASS, ACCUPLACER). SAT scores (CFCC College Code 5094) directly from the College Board, or ACT scores (CFCC College Code 3185) are also accepted by CFCC. Official high school transcripts that post SAT or ACT results are also accepted. Students enrolling in programs that have placement testing requirements are required to have placement test scores on file prior to being accepted at CFCC. The placement test may not be necessary if the applicant meets one or more of the following requirements:

  • Placement testing may be waived for NC graduates starting Fall 2015 with a high school graduation date less than 5 years old, an unweighted GPA of 2.6 or higher, and successful completion of specific math and English courses.
  • Successfully completed comparable writing and reading and/or math developmental courses at other North Carolina Community Colleges.
  • Achieved CFCC’s cut-off scores for desired curriculum programs by submitting official ASSET, COMPASS or ACCUPLACER (CPT) scores taken at other institutions within the last five years.
  • Achieved the following minimum scores within the last five years: SAT Reading OR Writing – 500; ACT Reading – 22 or English – 18; SAT Math 500 or ACT Math – 22; and has submitted an official copy to the Admissions Office.
  • Satisfactorily completed a college level English Composition and/or Mathematics course above the developmental level at an accredited college or university.

Information about the SAT

Information about the ACT

What is on the placement test?

The parts of the test consist of Writing (Sentence Skills), Reading, Numerical (Arithmetic), and Algebra. The parts you take depend on your program of study.

How can I study/prepare for the test?

Preparation information, tips, and sample questions from the official Accuplacer web site may be found here: http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/accuplacer/index.html.

Do I need to make an appointment to take the placement test?

Yes. To schedule a test please go the Testing Schedule

Is there a fee for taking the placement test?

No. There is no charge to take the placement test.

What do I need to bring to the testing room?

You need to bring a #2 pencil, a photo ID (such as a driver license), and know your CFCC College ID number and your CFCC program of study. CFCC Student Services requires you to have an application on file in the Admissions Office before testing.

How long will the test take?

The length of time for testing depends on how many parts of the test you need. Each part takes approximately twenty-five minutes. For example, if someone needs four parts of the test, it takes about 2-1/2 hours (with paperwork/instructions).

When will I receive the results of placement test?

Score results are generated as soon as you finish testing.

For a more detailed explanation on the results of your scores, see the Placement Test Advising Guide or the CFCC catalog.

Do my placement test scores really matter?

Most definitely! Your scores determine whether you are proficient in English and math. If you are proficient in these areas, you can register for the first level English/math for your course/program. If you are not proficient, you must take the developmental course(s) listed on your advising report.

Can I take placement test more than once?

Applicants/students can take the placement test only twice in (12) twelve consecutive months.

If I have a disability, can I make special arrangements?

Yes. If alternative accommodations are necessary because of a disability, requests for approval, assistance, and scheduling should be arranged through the CFCC’s Coordinator of Disability Services at (910) 362-7012.

Do I need to keep my advising report?

Yes. For advising purposes, it may be helpful to have your report with you when you register for classes.



Wilmington Campus
411 North Front Street
Wilmington, NC 28401

North Campus
4500 Blue Clay Road
Castle Hayne, NC 28429

Burgaw Center
100 East Industrial Drive
Burgaw, NC 28425

Hours of Operation
Monday-Friday: 8:00am to 5:00pm

Accessibility Services

Cape Fear Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, political affiliation or age.