Accuplacer Placement Testing

Placement testing is offered remotely via Zoom and on-campus in Lynn or Danvers. No appointment is necessary, however the last start time for testing is 1 hours before closing. Keep in mind that  the full battery of placement tests takes 2–3 hours to complete.  If you would like to complete all the tests in one sitting, please arrive early. 

There are many ways to be exempt from testing. Check Communications Exceptions and Math Exceptions before you test. If you still need to test, remotely or in person, it's a good idea to prepare. Here are some study guides.


Accuplacer math scores are valid for course placement for three years.  Students whose math placement scores are more than three years old  must retest or use another placement measure.   

Students may take each of the Math Accuplacer tests a maximum of three times in a calendar year.  A minimum of one week between test attempts is required.     


Zoom Testing 

To test remotely, you need a computer with a mic and a camera. You must have the ability to share your screen and keep your camera on during testing.

Zoom hours:

Monday          9am–5pm
Tuesday         11am–7pm
Wednesday    11am–7pm
Thursday        11am–7pm
Friday             9am–5pm

On Campus Testing

Placement tests are offered on a drop-in basis in Lynn (LS-215) or Danvers (DB-213). No appointment is necessary but a photo ID is required.

On Campus hours:

Monday          9am–5pm
Tuesday         9am–7pm
Wednesday    9am–7pm
Thursday        9am–7pm
Friday             9am–5pm

NOTE:  No on-campus testing July 5 (remote only).  The last seating for testing is always 1 hour before closing.  Nursing students must be seated at least 1.5 hours before closing.

Both Zoom and on-campus offices close at 4:00 pm the first Monday of each month (the last seating is at 3, 2:30 for nurse education testing).

Select Saturdays:
Open 9 am - 1 pm the first Saturday of each month via Zoom and Lynn campus only.

No services on legal holidays
June 19, July 4, remote only July 5.


You must have an NSCC ID number in order to test.   

  1. If you have not applied to NSCC, please email to seek application instructions

  2. If you have applied as a New Student, please sign up for a New Student Completion Event. You will be contacted by Student Support and Advising to determine your course placement and if you need placement testing.

  3. If you are a Visiting Student and need to take a Placement Test in order to take a course, please email Please type Visiting Student in the subject line and list the course you would like to take.  You will be contacted by an advisor to determine which test or means of demonstrating proficiency is right for you.

About the Tests

The College Board has developed ACCUPLACER Computerized Placement Tests (CPTs), with the help of college faculty committees, to provide information about skill levels in reading, writing, and mathematics. NSCC uses these tests to determine the courses best for you. Accuplacer tests are divided into two parts:

  • Reading/Writing Communications or English as a Second Language (ESL) Communications

  • Math


Reading and Writing
    • Reading Comprehension: 20 multiple choice questions

    • Writing: A five paragraph essay

ESL Communications
    • Reading Comprehension: 20 multiple choice questions

    • ESL Listening: 20 multiple choice listening questions

    • Writing: An essay in response to a prompt


The math tests have three levels:

    • Arithmetic: 20 multiple choice questions covering fractions, decimals, and percents. Determines mathematics proficiency.

    • Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra and Statistics (QAS):  20 questions. Places students into courses from Elementary Algebra 1 to Precalculus.

    • Advanced Algebraic Functions (AAF): 20 questions. For placement into Precalculus and Calculus.

Accuplacer 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.

Except for the essay, the tests are not timed. Students have one hour to complete the essay.


See the sections of sample questions to prepare for your placement test. 

Free Prep Resources

Accuplacer Study App
Longsdale Publishing practice tests Contact NSCC’s testing center for Longsdale access codes
Khan Academy
NSCC Arithmetic Preparation Course

Study Guides for Testing

Note: All these study guides are in PDF format.

For Communications

Reading Competency Packet
Writing the 5-Paragraph Essay
Sentence Competency Packet

For ESL Communications

ESL Reading Skills
ESL Writing

For Arithmetic

Arithmetic Study Guide
Fractions Competency Packet
Decimals Competency Packet
Percent Competency Packet

For Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra and Statistics

Study Guide

For Advanced Algebraic Functions

Study Guide

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

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


NSCC’s 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 in accordance with NSCC’s student confidentiality policy.

For more information, please contact us in Danvers at 978-739-5429, in Lynn at 781-593-6722 extension 6695, or online at

Contact Us

Danvers Campus

Kerry Breeze

Room DB-213
1 Ferncroft Road
Danvers, MA 01923


Lynn Campus

Alicyn Thompson

Room LS-215
300 Broad Street
Lynn, MA 01901

781-593-6722 extension 6275



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