Placement Tests: a tool for Community College Success

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Placement Tests: A Tool for Community College Success

When you enroll in college, you may be asked to take several placement tests. These measure specific academic skills that are essential for your success in college and cover reading, writing, math and sometimes other subjects. The writing test may require you to write an essay.

What Are the Tests Used For?

Some students enroll in college without the skills they need to succeed in college courses. Placement test results help determine which students would benefit from remedial, or catch-up, classes. They are also called developmental or basic skills courses. These classes help prepare students for the pace and complexity of college-level work.

After you complete the tests, you’ll meet with an adviser to decide which courses you should begin with. Your first-semester schedule is based both on the results of these tests and on your interests.

What Are the Tests Like?

Colleges use several common placement tests, including one developed by the College Board, ACCUPLACER®. If you take an ACCUPLACER test, you’ll use a computer. The test responds to your answers by giving you harder or easier questions. Scores are available immediately.

Other common placement tests work in a similar way. Several states and individual colleges have developed their own customized tests.

How Can I Prepare?

Talk with your English and math teachers about ways to prepare for placement tests. Or contact the community college test or assessment center and ask what you should do to get ready. You might also want to consult the college website.

If you’ll be taking an ACCUPLACER exam, you can practice online with sample questions. You can refresh your overall math and grammar skills using free and low-cost SAT® practice materials.

As in any testing situation, you can do your best by following a few basic tips:

  • Try to schedule your test at a time of day when you’re at your peak — mentally and physically.

  • Get enough rest the night before your test.

  • Allow plenty of time to arrive and settle in at the test center.

  • Pace yourself during the exam.

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Bergen Community College Testing Information

To access Testing Services, visit

Using the “Quick Links” drop-down menu, select “Testing Services”
The mission of the Office of Testing Services is to maintain an atmosphere conducive to providing a constructive testing environment when administering both computer-based and paper and pencil tests.  We strive to consistently assist and provide accommodations needed for group and individual settings when administering placement, proficiency, make-up, online, credit by examination, and GED testing. For more information about Testing Services, please see the TestingServices FAQ.


Office Location and Hours of Operation

  • The Office of Testing Services is located in Room S-127 in the Pitkin Education Center, 400 Paramus Road, Paramus, NJ.

  • When classes are in session, 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, plus some evenings and Saturdays.

  • When the College is open but no classes are in session, 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

  • The office is closed on Sundays throughout the year and on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the summer (June, July and the first half of August).

  • Please call 201-447-7202 for current hours of operation. For any other inquiries email us at


The Accuplacer placement tests for Basic Skills and ESL are given on a walk-in basis.

BEFORE coming in to take the test you MUST meet the following requirements:

  1. Completed application to Bergen Community College. This means you have an active record on the BCC system and a student I.D. number has been issued to you.

  2. If you are eligible for a waiver, read and fill out the waiver form and mail it or fax it to (201) 447-2693.

  3. You are strongly urged to study for the placement test. For test information go to:

If you meet the requirements listed above and are not eligible for a waiver you may test on any of the dates which are updated weekly on the BCC website. PLEASE REPORT FOR TESTING TO ROOM S-127 AT THE PITKIN EDUCATION CENTER, PARAMUS CAMPUS. Bring a photo i.d., a pen and know your Social Security number. NO test will be administered without proper identification.

Please note: This information is current as of 1/2/13. For updated information, be sure to consult the BCC Testing Services website.

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