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The College is committed to providing students with the skills necessary for success in college work.  The College requires that students demonstrate appropriate level of skills in reading, writing, mathematics and the English language.  Skill level may be demonstrated through SAT scores, ACT scores or Accuplacer placement testing.  Degree-seeking students are required to take placement tests for English and mathematics prior to enrolling at RVCC for the first time. Placement testing may also be required to meet course prerequisites or upon completion of a certain number of credit units.  Students for whom English is not their native language may be required to take an ESL placement test.

Who should placement test?

Students may be exempt from testing if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • Took Accuplacer at another New Jersey college
  • Have completed at least 24 college credits including mathematics
  • Satisfactorily completed college credit classes in English and Mathematics
  • If your SAT or ACT scores are: 

    Type of Test

    SAT Score

    ACT Score


    SAT English Critical Reading



    English I
    ACT English  


    English I



    Elementary Algebra (Developmental)



    Selection of college-level math courses or developmental Intermediate Algebra (depending on major)

    550 +


    Precalculus I, Precalculus Honors, Statistics I, Statistics Honors or a selection of other college-level math courses (depending on major)

  What is Accuplacer?

Accuplacer is an adaptive computer-based test that RVCC uses to determine course placement.  The multiple-choice questions that you see on the test are chosen based on your answers to the previous question.  Because the test works this way, you must answer every question when it is first given.  You can change your answer to a particular question before moving on to the next question, but you cannot leave a question out or come back to it later to change your answer.  Most sections are not timed.  For the English and ESL tests, you will need to type a 60-minute timed essay. Please allow two to three hours for testing.

   How much does the testing cost?

The first time you test, there is no fee because it is covered by your application fee.  If you decide to retest, there is a $10 fee for each section.  Testing Center staff can help you to determine which sections might be appropriate to retest.  Before retesting, please refresh your skills.

  How can I make sure I place as high as possible?

To take a practice test, go to http://accuprep.pccc.edu/  

To get an idea of how the test is constructed, go to www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/accuplacer
To review sample essays, go to http://professionals.collegeboard.com/profdownload/accuplacer-writeplacer-sample-essays.pdf
To review sample ESL essays, go to http://professionals.collegeboard.com/profdownload/accuplacer-writeplacer-esl-sample-essays.pdf
To see math concepts included in Accuplacer and links to support material: Resources for Accuplacer Topics July 2014 PDF
To view videos of math concepts: www.khanacademy.com or www.patrickjmt.com

For additional Math and writing resources, go to the resource section of the Academic Support Center website -- www.raritanval.edu/studentserv/asc/index.html  

A FREE Official Accuplacer Study App compatible with mobile devices is available at accuplacerpractice.collegeboard.org

  When should I take the placement test?

Testing is offered throughout the year on a walk-in basis in the Testing Center, Room L029.  No appointment is necessary.  (See the Testing Center's main web page for current hours.)  

  What should I do if I need disability services?  

If you require testing accommodations due to a documented disability, please contact the Office of Disability Services at 908-526-1200 Ext. 8418 or email disabilityservices2@raritanval.edu to apply for accommodations before taking the Placement Exam.

  What should I bring to the test?

Please bring a photo ID and your student ID number.  Paper and pencil are allowed and will be supplied to you.  Calculators and/or pocket translators are not permitted during the test.  Cell phones and other electronic devices must be turned off and placed in a provided container. 

  When do I get my results?

 For English/Math testing, a Testing Center staff member will immediately review scores and placements upon completion of the test and suggest retesting portions of the test if appropriate.  For ESL testing, students will be required to meet with a faculty advisor for a speaking assessment and placement information. See the testing staff for dates and times of ESL advising.

   What if I fail a test?

There is no pass or fail for placement tests.  These tests are designed to measure your skill levels and place you into appropriate courses.  However, if you place below your best level, you will be taking classes that you may not need.  Testing Center staff can help you to determine which sections might be appropriate to retest.  Before retesting, you must refresh your skills.  There is a $10 fee for each section that you retest. 


Foreign Language Placement

If you have taken Spanish, French, German or Italian language classes within the past five years or if one of these is your native language and you plan to continue with that language instruction here, you are required to placement test prior to registering for a class.  

If you are changing languages or have not taken a foreign language, you may register for a beginner-level class without testing.


revised 9/29/14 dk

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