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North Shore Community College
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Computerized Placement Testing (CPTs)

Contact Information
Danvers: Jane Saunders
Room DB213
One Ferncroft Road
Danvers, MA 01923
(978) 739-5429

Lynn: Cynthia Therrien
Room LS 215
300 Broad Street
Lynn, MA 01901
(781) 593-6722 x2168

General Information

The College Board has developed ACCUPLACER Computerized Placement Tests (CPTs), with the help of committees of college faculty, to provide information about skill levels in reading, writing and mathematics.

North Shore Community College uses Accuplacer tests to determine appropriate course placement. The test is divided into two parts - communications or ESL communications and math.


Reading Comprehension - 20 multiple choice questions.
Writing is a five paragraph essay.

ESL Communications:
Reading Comprehension - 20 multiple choice questions.
ESL Listening - 20 multiple choice listening questions.
Writing is an essay in response to a prompt.


There are three levels of math:
Arithmetic - 17 multiple choice questions covering fractions, decimals and percents. Determines Mathematics proficiency.
Elementary Algebra - 12 algebra questions. Places students into courses from Elementary Algebra 1 - Precalculus
College Level Math - 20 questions. For placement into Precalculus and Calculus.

The tests are computerized, with students using either the keyboard or a mouse to enter answers. A Test Administrator is always present and has the ability to resolve any difficulties that may occur.

Each test is adaptive, so that the computer automatically determines which questions are presented based on correct responses to prior questions. This technique selects questions that are of an appropriate level of difficulty for the tester. With the exception of the essay, the tests are not timed. Students have one hour to complete the essay.


How Do I Take a Test?

No appointment is necessary. Come to the CAS Testing Center located in DB-213 in Danvers or LS-215 in Lynn. Please show up at least two hours before we close as testing usually takes between one and two hours. The CAS Testing Center hours are listed here.

PLEASE NOTE: Occasionally an office will not be open during regular hours.



Study Guides are available on the Test Prep Resources page.
Accuplacer sample questions


Admission to the Test

Testing takes place in room LS-215, Lynn Campus or DB-213, Danvers Campus. A photo ID (valid driver's license or school ID with photo) and signature are required for admission to a testing session. Calculators and dictionaries are not permitted. Scrap paper and pencils are provided.

Testers receive a numerical score for each portion of the test when testing is complete. The Student Support Center provides score interpretation at orientation or by individual appointment.


Distance Learning

If you live outside of the North Shore Community College geographic area and need to take a Computerized Placement Test at another location, please call (978) 739-5429 or email testing@northshore.edu for information about how to locate a local testing center.


Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

If you have a documented disability and need testing accommodations, contact Accessibility Services well in advance of your testing.



The Center for Alternative Studies and Educational Testing will not provide information to any external sources regarding an individual's test scores unless written permission is received from the student. This policy is in accordance with the student confidentiality policy of North Shore Community College.

For more information, please contact us in Danvers at (978) 739-5429, in Lynn at (781) 593-6722 x6695, or online at testing@northshore.edu.

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