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Academic Achievement Center at MassBay

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Placement Test FAQs

Q: Why do I need to take the placement test?
A: The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education requires all new students seeking a Degree or Certificate to be assessed in English and mathematics to determine your appropriate level of beginning course work.



Q: What type of test will I take?
A: You will complete a written essay and computerized test(s). The written essay is a timed test (60 minutes), while the computerized test(s) are multiple choice and have no time limit restriction.



Q: How long will the test take?
A: The Native speaker exam will take approximately three hours to complete, the written essay is timed for 60 minutes. The Accuplacer Reading Comprehension and mathematics are computerized and un-timed. The ESL exam will take approximately 2 ½ hours to complete, consisting of three sections: writing, 60 minutes, Structure, 45 minutes and Listening, 30 minutes.



Q: Is there a fee to take the test?
A: At this time we do not charge a testing fee.



Q: What if I have a disability and need accommodations?
A: If you have a disability and need accommodations for testing you may contact the Office of Disability Resources to make arrangements for your placement test. Contact:

  • Joseph W. O'Neill: 508-270-4286


Q: What if I have course credits from another college?
A: If you have already completed college level course work in English and/or mathematics you may be exempt from all or part of the placement testing. Please bring in an official copy of your transcript to be evaluated by an Advising Counselor, or mail it to the Office of Student Records.



Q: What should I study before taking the placement test?
A: You can try some sample questions on our website (add link to sample questions), attend a refresher workshop (link workshops) or stop by the AAC to pick up materials.