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Frequently Asked Questions


If you are new to college and intend to earn a degree, either at PVCC or at a transfer institution, you must take all 3 course placement assessments: reading, writing, and math or you may use High School GPA of 2.6 or higher within the last 10 years, or ACT scores taken within the last 5 years, or SAT scores taken within the last 5 years, or GED scores taken within the last 5 years in lieu of assessments. See the Course placement chart to see score requirements.

If you are enrolling in any English, reading, or math courses for the first time in college, or if you are enrolling in any course which has course placement assessment scores as a prerequisite, you must take the appropriate course placement assessment or have high school transcripts or ACT, or SAT, or GED results on file prior to enrollment. See link above.

We want you to be as successful as possible. Research shows that placement assessments help you to enter English, reading, or math courses at the proper starting point. The result is that you have a better chance of completing your courses successfully.

Course placement assessments are not "pass or fail" tests. They are merely tools to help ensure that you are starting at a course level appropriate for you. Whatever scores you earn, an English, reading, or mathematics course will be recommended for you. However, it is important to do your best on the course placement assessment or you may be placed into a course that is lower than appropriate for your academic skill level. This may mean taking extra classes that you do not need, lengthening the time it takes to earn your degree and costing you more time and money.

First, complete a college application if you have not already done so. You can also complete the form in the Welcome Center or by phone at 602-787-7000. You may upload your high school transcript here

Go to Testing Services Center, Kranitz Student Center room 2400, during walk-in testing hours. Allow at least one hour per subject, reading or math and one and a half hours for English placement.  Photo ID is required to take the placement assessment. Hooded garments not allowed.

If you have a learning or physical disability that would prevent you from taking a course placement assessment under standard conditions, you may request accommodations through Disability Resources and Services.

Course placement assessment scores are good for 2 years from the date you take the assessment. The exception is the "Reading Exempt" score which does not expire.

A. One retest is allowed after a 24-hour waiting period. One additional retest is permitted no sooner than 3 months after the initial test. Because your retest opportunities are limited we strongly suggest that you review prior to testing. See our course placement page for links to sample questions, study guides, and websites. Remember to bring photo ID when you return to retest.

It is not possible to receive credit for classes based on your placement assessment scores. However, your reading score may be high enough to exempt you from taking CRE101: Critical and Evaluative Reading. If this happens your score report will read "Reading Exempt." This score will never expire. No credit hours are awarded for reading exemption. Please check with an academic advisor to see how this will affect your program of study.

PVCC does accept credit earned through programs such as CLEP, AP, DANTES, ACT-PEP, etc. Please see the section on Credit for Prior Learning in the common pages of the current college catalog for more information. PVCC offers CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) examinations for credit.

All Maricopa Community Colleges accept the same placement assessments and cut scores. Your scores will be valid at any MCCCD campus and are accessible through the Student Information System. You do not need to have scores sent from campus to campus within the Maricopa County Community College District.

If you took the Accuplacer test at another school and your scores are less than 2 years old, we will be happy to accept them. Your scores must be sent directly from the school at which you tested to the MCCCD school you plan to attend. As of February 1, 2012, Accuplacer is the only course placement instrument approved by MCCCD Instructional Councils. Other tests, such as ASSET or COMPASS, will no longer be accepted. Please contact Testing Services at the MCCCD school you will be attending for more information about having your scores transferred from another school.

A calculator is provided within the testing software for problems for which a calculator is allowed. No personal calculators are permitted. Scratch paper and pencils will also be provided.

You can view your placement scores by logging into your Student Center at There is a link, “ Test Scores” located under Academic History.  You can also visit the Testing or Welcome Centers for assistance.