Step 2: Placement
After you are admitted and have your student number, it’s time to get placed!
Factors like whether or not you have taken college courses before will determine where you are placed within your Bucks program. Here is what you need to know.
There are three pieces to placement at Bucks!
You may need one or all of these pieces! Read on...
- I want to find my starting point.
Find out if you're exempt from the Placement Tests.
Placement tests determine what level you can start your coursework at in specific subjects. Most incoming students have to take the Math, Reading, and Writing tests; some students must take Chemistry; students who are non-native English speakers must take the AESL placement test.
In some cases, however, you can skip the placement tests. Check the table below to see if you can skip the tests. If not, you will need to take them after you apply for admission, and before you can register for classes.
- I want to take the placement tests.
Take the placement tests, if you aren't exempt.
Your scores will determine what level you can start your coursework at for Math, Chemistry, Reading, Writing, and English as a Second Language. Placement tests are available on a walk-in basis. View testing schedule.
Get your results.
You will receive a postcard when your scores are ready. You can log in to see them. When you are ready to register, your placement will be accounted for automatically in the system.
- I want to skip the placement tests.
Find out if you are exempt.
Use the chart below to see if you might be eligible to skip the placement tests.
Send us your records.
If you are exempt due to your high school GPA or previous college coursework, submit your transcripts for evaluation. You don't need to fill out any special forms; your transcripts are evaluated for placement automatically.
Get your results.
You will receive a postcard with your exemption results.
- I want to skip some prerequisites.
Send us your records:
Request prerequisite waivers.
Submit the Prerequisite Waiver request form for the specific courses you want to be waived.
Get your results.
You will receive a postcard with your waiver results.
- I want to get credits for prior courses.
Send us your records:
- If you have prior graded coursework at an accredited U.S. post-secondary institution, send official transcripts to Admissions.
- If you have prior graded coursework at a foreign institution, submit your transcripts to an approved evaluator. Once they are approved, you can submit them to Bucks for review.
- If you have taken AP exams, have the College Board send your scores to us.
- If you have prior coursework at a post-secondary institution that does not provide letter grades and GPA, or have earned educational credentials via military service and coursework, apply for the Prior Learning Assessment program for credit evaluation.
Request transcript evaluation.
Get your results.
You will receive a postcard when your evaluation is complete and all applicable credits will be applied to your account.
- I want to get credits for experience.
Apply for the Prior Learning Assessment program.
If you have life or work experience that is equivalent to college-level learning and that matches a particular course in your planned Bucks Program of Study, you can take part in the Prior Learning Assessment program to receive credits for that experience.
Here are more details about each step of the process.
You may need to take placement tests. These tests will help sort out what level of study you should begin at for Mathematics, Chemistry, Reading, Writing, and American English as a Second Language (AESL) if needed.
Special provisions are made for the learning disabled, the hearing and visually impaired and for those for whom English is a second language. If you have special needs related to testing, please inform The Accessibility Office (TAO) at 215-968-8463 before coming to test.
Do I have to take Placement Tests?
Placement Testing Required
- All applicants and re-applicants
Whether applying for full-time or part-time status, unless you are in an exempt class, you will need to take placement tests.
- Foreign college students
Applicants with a degree or coursework from a foreign country's college or university need to take placement exams to align existing learning with the Bucks curriculum.
- First-time Math and Chemistry students
All students planning to enroll in their first college math course must take the Math Placement Test prior to registering for the class. All students planning to enroll in Chemistry 121 (Chemistry I) must take the Chemistry Placement Test prior to the beginning of class. No waivers will be given.
- Current High School Students
Students in the High School Enrichment Program and Special Admissions students currently in High School must take the Reading, Writing and Math Placement Tests.
- Summer Study
Students taking summer courses for transfer to another institution do not need to take Placement Tests unless the course(s) they will be taking require a Placement Test score as a prerequisite. See course descriptions for prerequisite information. However, all of the above policies will be in effect if you plan to enroll for future Fall or Spring semesters.
- High School Enrichment Program
Students enrolled through the High School Enrichment Program, must take the Reading, Writing and Math Placement Tests before they may register for any courses. Use this link for information on the High School Enrichment Program.
- Special Admissions
Students who are still in High School must take the Reading, Writing and Math Placement Tests before they may register for any courses.
Exempt from Placement Testing
- 3.0 GPA or Higher in High School
Recent graduates who earn at least a 3.0 GPA in high school may be eligible for exemption from placement testing. If you will graduate from high school this year, or graduated within the last 5 years and meet the GPA standard of 3.0 or higher, have your high school send an official transcript to the Admissions Office.
- Previous Success in College-Level Courses
Students with previous college-level coursework, earned in the United States, should submit a transcript, official or unofficial, from that institution for consideration of Placement Testing Waivers.
- Senior Citizens
Students 65 years of age or older are exempt from Placement Testing. However, they must take any Placement Test required as a prerequisite for a course in which they are planning to enroll.
- Summer study
Placement tests are not required for summer enrollment unless the course requires any/all placement tests as a prerequisite. See the Bucks Catalog listing of course descriptions for prerequisite. For more information about Guest Students visit admissions.
If you are exempt from testing, you can find the Waiver or Evaluation Form.
Credit for Prior Coursework
Advanced Placement (AP) courses completed in high school may be evaluated for potential "transfer" credit. Students seeking this type of credit must submit an official copy of their AP scores to the attention of Admissions; scores must be sent directly from the College Board to Bucks to be considered official.
If you have taken coursework at a college in the U.S., you can submit transcripts in order to receive course credit and/or waive course prerequisites that you have already fulfilled elsewhere. Upon receipt of a Transcript Evaluation Request, we will evaluate parallel work completed at accredited post-secondary institutions for potential transfer credit.
Credit for Life Experience & Professional Credit
The Prior Learning Assessment Program
The Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Program can help you attain equivalent credit for the college level learning you have achieved outside the traditional college classroom, including during military service. PLA can save you time and money because you may not be required to take courses for the material you have already learned. Follow the steps here before registering for classes.