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SCC Rules

Placement Testing Rule

Approved By and Date:Executive Leadership Team03-05-2014

Applicants for associate degree, diploma, and curriculum level certificate programs must complete a placement (assessment) test. ACCUPLACER is used by Stanly Community College for placement testing. Test scores determine an applicant’s academic readiness relative to the academic requirements of his or her program of study. If the applicant has taken the ASSET, COMPASS, or ACCUPLACER test at another college, those scores may be transferred to SCC. Appropriate developmental course work is available beginning the first term of enrollment for those applicants whose test score(s) indicate deficiencies. To increase college success, the applicant will be advised to limit his/her course load based on the number of developmental courses he/she has placed into. Applicants presenting placement test scores older than five years will be required to retest unless special circumstances exist that, at the discretion of the Admissions Department, justify waiver.

Prior to taking the ACCUPLACER, applicants are encouraged to complete the Practice Placement Test available on the college’s website under Admissions. Additional practice websites are available under the Admission Placement Test section. After completing the Practice Placement Test, an applicant may find it helpful to review some of the test subject matter before attempting the ACCUPLACER test. Test preparation information is available on the college’s website.


Students may retest once during the five years in which their test scores are valid. (Allied Health applicants should refer to the admission requirements for these programs for more information regarding retesting). It is recommended that students complete remediation prior to retesting. If the student is already enrolled in developmental studies at the time he or she retests and if the scores on the retest place him or her out of developmental studies, the student will follow the college’s standard withdrawal and refund procedures for tuition and books if he or she chooses to exit the developmental course.

Placement Test Waiver

  1. Applicants who have previously completed college-level English and mathematics courses may be exempt from placement testing. Such exemptions are subject to approval by the Admissions Office.
  2. Students graduating from a high school, which is legally authorized to operate in North Carolina, within 5 years of college enrollment and having completed the following requirements will be considered college ready and are exempt from placement testing upon approval from the Admissions Office:
    1. Required:  an unweighted GPA of 2.6 or greater
    2. Required:  all 3 high school math courses:
      1. Algebra 1
      2. Geometry
      3. Algebra II
        1. Required: one of the following eligible 4th math courses from group (a) or (b):
          1. Eligible High School math courses:
            1. Advanced Functions and Modeling
            2. Analytical Geometry
            3. Calculus
            4. AP Statistics
            5. Discrete Mathematics
            6. Integrated Mathematics IV
            7. Mindset
            8. Pre-Calculus
            9. Probability & Statistic
            10. Trigonometry
          2. Eligible 4th Community College math courses (taken in Career & College Promise Pathways):
            1. MAT 143 (Quantitative Literacy)
            2. MAT 151 (Statistics I)
            3. MAT 152 (Statistical Methods I)
            4. MAT 155 (Statistical Analysis)
            5. MAT 161 (College Algebra)
            6. MAT 162 (College Trigonometry)
            7. MAT 165 (Finite Mathematics)
            8. MAT 167 (Discrete Mathematics)
            9. MAT 171  (Pre-Calculus Algebra)
            10. MAT 172  (Pre-Calculus Trigonometry)
            11. MAT 175  (Pre-Calculus)
            12. MAT 200 or above
  3. Applicants who present official SAT and/or ACT results that are no more than five years old may be exempt from placement testing provided the scores are equal to or higher than the following:

Minimum Scores Required to Waive Placement Test

Tested on or after 3/1/2014:

SAT Verbal 500 Writing, Reading
SAT Math 500 Numerical, Elementary Algebra (Pre-Algebra, Algebra)
ACT English 18
ACT Reading 22
ACT Math 22

Tested on 1/7/2012 or before or on 2/28/2014:

SAT Verbal 500 Writing, Reading
SAT Math 500 Numerical, Elementary Algebra (Pre-Algebra, Algebra)
ACT English 18
ACT Reading 21
ACT Math 22

Tested prior to 1/7/2012:

SAT Verbal 510 Writing, Reading
SAT Math 510 Numerical, Elementary Algebra
ACT English 22 Writing
ACT Reading 22 Reading
ACT Math 22 Numerical, Elementary Algebra

Applicants who present SAT and/or ACT scores below the minimums stated above must complete the corresponding section(s) of the placement test. Students presenting SAT scores which include both a writing and reading component must score 500 or higher on both sections in order to waive the placement test.

Placement Testing For Persons with Disabilities

Persons with disabilities may request special accommodation for placement testing. Official documentation verifying the disability and the need for special accommodation must be submitted to the Director of Counseling and Special Services at least sixty days prior to testing. Special accommodations include but are not limited to extended test time, enlarged print test material, and tests on audiotape.

Testing into Developmental Courses (language changed to omit Math pre-test as it is no longer offered)

It is the intent of the College to assist students in their academic advancement. Individuals taking the ACCUPLACER and scoring below entry level in math, reading, and writing will be placed into developmental courses. Developmental courses are designed to prepare students for successful entry into college-level English and math courses. Students who are placed into developmental course(s) must complete all prerequisites before entering curriculum-level English and math courses. For all English developmental studies courses, the pre-test is the only option for testing out of the courses indicated by the student’s placement test scores (the pre-test is not available for developmental Math courses). The Credit by Examination, through the Credit through Advanced Standing Policy for curriculum level courses, does not apply to developmental courses. See the policy under Academic Regulations. To ensure proper placement, it is the policy of the developmental English program to administer a pre-test within the first three days of the fall and spring semesters and within the first two days of the summer session in seated classes. Pretesting for online classes is available upon request. This pre-test indicates a student’s ability to apply the skills identified in the course syllabus. Students whose pre-test scores are passing may advance to the next course in their sequence. The passing pre-test score for all developmental English courses is 80 or better. When completed, the pre-tests are forwarded to the English developmental studies coordinators. The coordinators forward the names of students who passed the pre-tests to the Office of Enrollment Management, which will award non-course credit for the developmental courses. Non-course credit receives no grade or quality points and will not be used in determining a grade point average. Credit hours received by testing out of the courses awarded with the pre-test exam credit may not be considered when calculating hours to determine the student’s enrollment status (full time or part time). Credit earned through pretesting could affect financial aid, veterans’ benefits, insurance coverage, or other issues concerning the student’s attendance status.

Example 1: A student registers for 17 credit hours and tests out of a 3 credit hour course. The student still remains in attendance with 14 credit hours and is considered full time for both aid and benefits.

Example 2: A student registers for 14 credit hours and tests out of a 3 credit hour course. The student’s hours for attendance will be reduced to 11 credit hours for aid and benefits. The student may choose to maintain the total credit hours needed to receive aid and benefits by registering for another course.

Placement Testing For Online Students

Students seeking degrees, diplomas or certificates online are required to complete the same admission requirements as those completing programs through traditional methods of instructional delivery. However, students who find it inconvenient to take the placement test on the campus of Stanly Community College may test at another college. Official test scores and placement recommendations should be mailed directly to the SCC Admissions Office from the college where the test was completed. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

Placement Testing - Electronic Devices

SCC does not allow the use of any device to share or exchange information at any time during the placement test or during breaks while taking the placement test. This includes the use of all electronic or digital devices including cell phones, smart phones (including Blackberries and I-Phones), PDAs, MP3 players, I-Pods, pagers, computers, watches that beep, and portable listening or recording devices (unless approved for disability requirements in advance of the testing date). If a test taker is seen using a cell phone or any other prohibited electronic device or if the device makes noises or vibrates, that test taker may be dismissed from the test. It is possible that the test taker’s scores may be cancelled and the device may be confiscated.