Placement (Assessment) Testing

Placement (Assessment) Testing Links


The Placement Testing Policy

You must have completed an application to the college and have a Bucks student number before you take placement tests. 

As of the 2007 Spring Semester, placement testing is required of all incoming students at Bucks (students enrolling at Bucks for the first time).  Students who were enrolled at Bucks prior to the 2007 Spring Semester are still under the previous rules, with placement testing required of all full-time students, and part-time students before registering for their 16th credit.

What Are The Different Placement Tests?

  • Writing Sample:  The writing sample is used to determine English course placement and is required of all students who are planning to register for English Composition I (COMP110) or Business Letter and Report Writing (OADM110).

    You will have 50 minutes to plan, write and proofread an essay. A college level essay should have the following characteristics: 

    • An introductory paragraph and thesis that clearly responds to the prompt.
    • Multiple body paragraphs that support the thesis.
    • Writing that is generally error-free.                                   

Placement results are available generally within one hour after completing the test.   Instructions for accessing those results on-line are provided at the time of testing.

  • Mathematics: This test is a computer-based, multiple choice test using the Accuplacer program.  This test is used to determine the level at which you are prepared to begin the study of mathematics at Bucks. The test is adaptive, which means that the computer automatically determines which questions are presented to you based on your responses to prior questions. This technique "zeroes in" on just the right questions to fit your skills and abilities. The greater your demonstrated skill level, the more challenging will be the questions presented to you.  No personal calculators are allowed for this test.

Placement results are reported immediately upon completion of the test.

  • Reading: This test is also a computer-based, multiple choice test using the Accuplacer program, which presents questions in reading comprehension and sentence relationships.  For the reading comprehension questions, you will read a short passage and answer questions about that passage.  For the sentence relationship questions, you will read two sentences and answer questions about the relationship between the two sentences.

Placement results are reported immediately upon completion of the test.

Important: Both the Reading and Math tests are not timed so that you can give each question as much thought as you wish. However, once you have verified your answer, you cannot return to that question. You cannot skip a question and go back to it later.

  • Chemistry: The Chemistry Placement Exam is only required for students planning to enroll in CHEM121.  The exam measures comprehensive, basic chemical vocabulary and math applications. In order to enroll in CHEM121, students must take and pass the Chemistry placement exam irrespective of any prior courses they have taken or degrees they have completed. A scientific calculator and a copy of the Periodic Table is provided by the Testing Center at the time of testing. Test results are available immediately after completing the test.
  • American English as a Second Language: Students for whom English is their second language may be asked to take an American English as a Second Language (AESL or ESL) assessment which consists of a writing sample, a grammar test, a reading test, and an oral interview.  After testing, students must contact an AESL coordinator by e-mailing them at, to review their test results and be advised on course selection.

Why Are There Placement Tests?

The College requires placement testing which helps students select courses most suited to their skills, and assists in achieving success in college. Advisors will help students at the start of their college career, and continue to assist them until their goals at Bucks are achieved.

Placement testing will assess each student's level of skills, which will be used for  placement in the appropriate  courses. Sometimes students are required to register in courses which help them to improve their skills and increase their opportunity to succeed in college work.

When Can I Take Placement Tests?

Placement tests are given on regularly-scheduled days and at various times.  View the Placement Testing SchedulePlacement tests may not be taken a second time without permission from the appropriate academic department. 

What Happens to My Placement Test Results?

Placement scores are entered on transcripts for Bucks only.  They are removed from transcripts sent to off-campus locations, such as other colleges or employers.

Placement test scores are valid for placement purposes for three years.  If a student is planning to register for a course that has a placement score requirement, and his/her placement scores are more than three years old, the placement test(s) will need to be taken again.

What Do I Need to Bring to Test?

You must present a  government-issued photo ID, for example, a driver's license, a passport, or a non-drivers State ID card.  Student ID cards are acceptable for placement testing but cannot be used to take any other tests. 

You will also need to bring your Bucks student number, which is provided in your acceptance letter from Bucks.