Get ready to take the placement tests
Many students may have evidence of college readiness that can exempt them from part or all of the placement process. Please read our exemptions and waivers page to learn more. Return to this page when you're ready for the placement test.
Most students will take the placement test after applying to PGCC and completing student orientation. Students who have not properly applied to the school cannot start placement. Once you’ve submitted your application, follow these steps to complete your placement test:
- Review the study materials and sites to help you prepare. We especially encourage students to refresh their math, reading, and essay-writing skills before testing.
- Take the placement tests in person or begin online placement.
- If you're interested in a WDCE program, please visit our WDCE testing site.
Take the Placement Tests Online
Students can now take the ACCUPLACER and ALEKS-PPL tests online if they have an active Owl Link account and a supported computer. The online platforms require you to install software that monitors and records your screen, microphone, and webcam to protect the integrity of the tests. After you finish the test, Testing Center staff will have access to the recordings for a limited time. If you do not wish to use this software or do not consent to be recorded, we invite you to take the test in person.
- Students who need the ESL test must visit a PGCC campus.
- WDCE students who need online placement for their programs should visit our WDCE placement testing site.
- Students in Early College Access programs must also take the placement test in person at an appropriate location. These programs include Dual Enrollment, Concurrent Enrollment, P-TECH, ITEC, the Academy for Health Sciences, and many others.
Because of the software requirements, you must request access to the online placement test. The Testing Center may deny access to online placement tests for any reason, such as exceeding the limits on test attempts, network outages, or more.
Please read the guidelines below to take the placement tests online successfully.
- The College uses Repondus Monitor for the online ALEKS-PPL test and Examity for the online ACCUPLACER test.
- The placement tests do not work on phones and tablets. You must take the test on a desktop or laptop computer running recent versions of Windows or macOS. Chromebooks also work.
- Your computer must have a webcam, microphone, and fast, reliable internet access.
- There is no penalty if the monitoring software and websites do not work, but you must take the placement test in person.
- Please ensure that anything you wish to keep private is not visible or audible.
- Test your webcam to ensure that your entire face is visible and well-lit. Any hats or coverings should reveal your face. Test your microphone for clear sound.
- Use the same photo ID for each stage of the test process.
- Before starting the test, close all programs, apps, browser tabs, or windows with other content.
- During the room scan, include your clean scratch paper and pencils in the webcam’s view. Show the entire room—not just the ceiling or floor.
- Try to avoid moving or tilting your computer, and make sure it is on a firm surface.
The Testing Center has additional rules for online placement tests. Violating any of these or other testing center rules will cause the College to reject your test attempt. Each online platform may have additional rules which can trigger rejection. A rejected test attempt causes the College to invalidate your scores and remove them from your student record. All future attempts must be at a College Testing Center in person.
- You must complete the test in one sitting. Ensure you’re alone and remain at your computer with no interruptions for the entire test.
- You are not permitted to use phones, tablets, or any other devices while taking the test. We recommend turning them off until the test is over.
- Take the placement test by yourself. Other people cannot help or be present while taking the test.
- Keep your webcam and microphone running for the entire test session.
- Before starting the test, close all programs, apps, browser tabs, or windows with other content. Accessing any content outside of the test on any device may trigger rejection.
- Do not use your phone or other devices while taking the test.
- Do not wear earphones or other Bluetooth devices while taking the test.
- The only resources allowed are clean scratch paper, pens or pencils, and accessibility tools for disabled students.
Use the yellow button to start the online placement request form. The testing center will contact you through email after one business day to approve or deny your request and send more instructions.
Take the Placement Tests in Person
Here you will find instructions to take the placement test in person at one of our locations following the submission of your application. Feel free to read about the placement tests before you come to the testing center. Once you arrive, you must complete any required forms and show your photo ID to take the test.
Please ensure that you have sufficient time to complete the placement tests. Incoming students taking tests for Reading, English, and Math Readiness may need up to three hours to complete all of them. However, not all tests must be taken on the same day.
The Testing Center is located in Bladen Hall, Room 100 at PGCC's main campus in Largo, MD. Please refer to our hours for the Testing Center for times and availability. All students must abide by the rules and guidelines at all locations.
The Placement Test Requires a Photo ID
Students must present one of these forms of photo ID for placement tests, waivers, and exemptions.
- PGCC student ID or employee ID card (with name and photo).
- State-issued driver's license.
- Maryland state (MVA) ID card.
- Employer's ID (with name and photo).
- Valid passport.
- U.S. Uniformed Service ID Card (military ID).
- U.S. DoD Common Access Card.
- Permanent Resident Card (Green Card/Form I-551).
- Employment Authorization Document (work permit).
Rules for Placement Testing
Please complete all tests on your own using appropriate resources, such as a pencil and blank scratch paper.
- Math tests provide a built-in calculator resource only for questions that require them.
- Inappropriate resources include, but are not limited to, the following: other people, books, notes, the internet, phones, calculators, computers, etc.
- If the College finds evidence that a student used an inappropriate resource while taking a placement test, their test scores will be invalidated and removed from their student record. Then, the student must take all future placement tests with an in-person proctor.
- Incoming students must follow the College's Code of Conduct and other Testing Center rules.
Testing Center Dates with Closed or Reduced Hours for Fall 2023
See our Hours and Schedule for service and campus availability.
Closed All Day
|August 26||August 16
(10:30 AM – 6:00 PM)
(8:30 AM – 12:00 PM)
(Prof. Development Day)
(12:30 PM – 4:00 PM)
(8:30 AM – 12:00 PM)
|December 16||December 8
(12:30 PM – 4:00 PM)
|December 19–January 1, 2024
Masks are Recommended in the Testing Center
All PGCC Testing Center locations encourage everyone to wear a face mask to reduce the spread of disease.
Bring Your PGCC Student ID Number
After applying to the school and paying your application fee, you will be assigned a student ID number to be used for placement tests, registration, and exams. You may find this number on your bill, on your schedule, in your Owl Link, and in your PGCC Navigate account. Your student ID number is also encoded in the bar code of your PGCC ID card, if you have one.
Bring One Quarter for the Locker Room
At the Largo campus Testing Center, students are only allowed to have the following items at their desks: photo ID, pen or pencil, and a testing center locker key (if a locker is used). All other possessions brought into the center must be secured in a locker, which requires a quarter. The locker will return this quarter after a student reopens it to retrieve their possessions. Change is not available from our staff.
Sample Tests and Study Guides
This list of online resources can help students improve skills needed for the placement tests. Some may also be useful after starting courses.
Who takes the ESL Accuplacer test?
The ESL Accuplacer test is for incoming international students who need to demonstrate their level of English and Reading Readiness. However, international students may take the same English and Reading placement test as U.S. students if they satisfy any of the following conditions:
- They completed all of their middle and high school education in the U.S.
- They have a diploma from passing the GED tests in the U.S. Students with a GED diploma should submit their official GED transcripts to PGCC.
- They are from any of the countries below:
- Antigua & Barbuda
- The Bahamas
- Cayman Islands
- Commonwealth of Dominica
- New Zealand
- St. Kitts & Nevis
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent & the Grenadines
- Solomon Islands
- Trinidad & Tobago
- Turks & Caicos Islands
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
- Virgin Islands
After Finishing the Placement Tests
For the in-person placement tests, students will receive a printed copy of their scores immediately. Instructors must evaluate the ESL test, which takes 2-3 business days. Typically, all scores will be posted to a student's record within two business days of receiving final scores from tests or assessments. Still, holidays and other college closures might delay this process. All students must make an appointment with an advisor, who will evaluate their scores and help them choose classes.
Contacting An Advisor
After you finish the placement process, you must contact an advisor to register for courses. Please visit the advising website to ask questions and schedule appointments.
ALEKS-PPL Prep and Learning Modules
When you finish the ALEKS-PPL math placement test, the ALEKS platform creates a series of prep and learning modules to help you improve your math skills for another attempt. The study modules do not work on phones and tablets. You must use a desktop or laptop computer running recent versions of Windows or macOS. You may also use recent Chromebook models. Use the yellow button below to log into ALEKS-PPL and continue working. This link is not the placement test.
Getting Copies of Placement Test Scores
If you have already taken a placement test at a PGCC campus within the last four years, you may request a printed copy of your placement test scores from the Testing Center. You must come to the Testing Center in person and show a valid photo ID to get your scores. The testing center is located in Bladen Hall, Room 100, at PGCC's main campus in Largo, MD.