Placement Testing

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. These tests include:

The Writing Sample, used to determine English course placement, is required of all students who are planning to register for English Composition I (COMP110) or Business Communication (OADM110).

The Mathematics placement test is used to determine the level at which a student is best prepared to begin the study of mathematics.

The Reading Test measures vocabulary and comprehension.

The chemistry placement test measures comprehensive, basic chemical vocabulary and math applications. The Chemistry Placement Exam is only required for students planning to enroll in CHEM121.

American English as a Second Language Students for whom English is their second language should take the American English as a Second Language (AESL) placement test which consists of a writing sample, a 45 minute grammar test, and a reading test. An oral interview may also be required. . Students must contact the AESL Coordinator, at 215-968-8018, for information on testing, advising and registering for classes.

The purpose of placement testing is to assess the level of student learning and skills for placement at the appropriate level in courses. If test results do not meet the standards of college-level courses, students are required to register in courses which help them to improve their learning and skills and increase their opportunity to succeed in college work.

The placement tests are given on regularly-scheduled days and at other times when demand is adequate. For additional Placement Testing information and to view the Placement Testing Schedule visit www.bucks.edu/testing.

Placement tests may not be taken a second time unless permission is granted by the Academic Department.

Test scores are entered on transcripts for College use but are removed from those transcripts sent to off-campus locations, such as other colleges or employers.

Test scores are valid for placement purposes for three years. If a student does not enroll in the College within three years, new testing will be required.

Who Must Be Tested

  • All applicants and reapplicants for full-time or part-time status;
  • Students with a degree or course work from a foreign country's college or university;
  • All students planning to enroll in reading, writing, or math courses, or CHEM121.

Exemptions from Testing (Waivers) Individuals qualifying for an exemption from Placement Testing must complete the Form available through the following link: Waiver or Evaluation Form

  • Previous Success in the College Level Course:
    Students who have taken English composition and/or mathematics courses from a regionally accredited college within the United States, and earned a grade of C or better in these courses, are exempt from Placement Testing for that course. In order to be eligible for this exemption, please contact your previous college(s) and request that they mail an official copy of your transcript to Bucks County Community College's Office of Admissions.
  • Already Earned a Bachelors Degree:
    Students who have already earned a Bachelors degree from a regionally accredited college within the United States are exempt from Placement Testing. In order to be eligible for this exemption, please contact your previous college(s) and request that they mail an official copy of your transcript to Bucks County Community College's Office of Admissions.
  • Senior Citizens:
    Students 65 years of age or older are exempt from the Math and Reading Placement Tests, but must take the Writing Placement Test to register for COMP110.
  • Personal Enrichment:
    Students who at the time of application indicated they are enrolling at Bucks solely for personal enrichment (not seeking a degree or certificate program, or taking a course to transfer credit) are not required to take Placement Tests, unless they are enrolling as a full time student or in courses that specifically require Placement Tests.

Questions regarding exemptions from Placement Testing can be directed to the Office of Admissions, at (215) 968-8100, admissions@bucks.edu.

Testing Accommodations

If testing accommodations are necessary as a result of a physical or learning disability, notify the office of Disability Services, in advance, 215-968-8463 (V/TDD).

Use of Test Results

Depending upon placement test scores, students may be required to enroll in one or more of these courses:

AESL081 - Writing Fundamentals for International Students
AESL083 - Reading Fundamentals for International Students
AESL085: Oral Communication Fundamentals for International Students
AESL101 - Writing Skills for International Students AESL103 - Reading Skills for International Students
AESL105 - Oral Communicative Skills for International Students
READ090 - Introduction to College Reading
READ110 - College Reading and Study Strategies
COMP090 - Basic Writing COMP107 - Introduction to Rhetorical Skills
MATH090 - Pre-Algebra
MATH095 - Basic Algebra
CHEM100 - Preparatory Chemistry

Students who test into the above courses should complete them as quickly as possible at a required rate of no less than one per semester of enrollment.

Reading Placement:

Score Required Reading Course
Level 1
(ESL)
AESL103 Reading Improvement for International Students (a required course, must be taken the semester immediately following the test)
Level 1 READ090 Introduction to College Reading (a required course, must be taken the semester immediately following the test)
Level 2 READ110 College Reading and Study Strategies (a strongly recommended course but not required)
Level 3 No Reading Course Required

Students with a Level 1 Reading score are limited in their enrollment to certain courses until they pass READ090 with a grade of C or better. Students who take READ090 must also successfully complete READ110 with a grade of C or better in the subsequent semester. All academic advisors have the list of currently approved courses for READ090 students. Students enrolled in AESL103 must next register for READ090 unless they take the placement reading test at the end of AESL103 and score at Level 2 or 3. Students must pass READ090 with a grade of C or better and a placement score of Level 2 or 3. Students enrolled in READ090 must next register for READ110 unless they take the placement reading test at the end of READ090 and score a level 3 and receive a C grade or better.

Inquiries about the reading test, scores, or course placement should be directed to the Reading Coordinator in the Department of Language and Literature, . 215-968-8133.

Writing Placement:

Score Required Writing Course
  AESL081 Writing Fundamentals for International Students (students who score into AESL081 must also take AESL083, and AESL085)

AESL101 Writing Skills for International Students (students who score into AESL101 are also required to take AESL103 and AESL105)
2 COMP090 Basic Writing
4 COMP107 Introduction to Rhetorical Skills
6 Depending upon major:
COMP110 English Composition I or
OADM110 Business Communication

Students placed into AESL081 must complete with (grade C or better) AESL081, AESL083, and AESL085. Students placed in AESL101 must complete satisfactorily (C grade or better) AESL101, AESL103, and AESL105 in order to move on to other courses. Inquiries about AESL courses, AESL scores, or AESL course placement should be directed to the AESL Coordinator in the Department of Language and Literature, 215-968-8018. Students placed in COMP090 must complete the course with a C grade or better before they are permitted to register for COMP 107. Students placed in COMP107 must complete the course with a grade of C or better before they are permitted to register for COMP110 or OADM110.

Each student planning to take COMP110 English Composition I or OADM110 Business Communication is required to write a multi-paragraph placement essay.

Each essay will be read by two readers and scored 1 (lowest) - 6 (highest), corresponding to standards established by the Department of Language & Literature. A student who receives a 6 should take COMP110 English Composition I or OADM110 Business Communication, depending on major.

Failure to write the placement essay means a student is not permitted to take COMP110 English Composition I or OADM110, Business Communication. If a student is required to take COMP090 or COMP107, registration for COMP110 or OADM110, Business Communication is not permitted until successful completion of the earlier writing course with a grade of C or better.

Inquiries about placement test scores and course placement should be directed to the Department of Language & Literature, 215-968-8150.

Mathematics Placement:

Score Entry Level Mathematics Course
1 MATH090 Pre-Algebra
3 MATH095 Basic Algebra
5 Depending upon major:
MATH103 Intermediate Algebra or
MATH110 Mathematics for Technology I or
MATH101 Mathematical Concepts I or
MATH102 Mathematical Concepts II or
MGMT120 Business Mathematics
7 Depending upon major and previous coursework:
MATH115 Elementary Statistics or
MATH117 Finite Mathematics for Businesses or
MATH120 College Algebra
8 Depending upon major:
MATH122 Trigonometry or
MATH125 Pre-Calculus (if Trigonometry was previously studied) or
MATH140 Calculus I (with appropriate high school background)
9 Depending upon major:
MATH125 Pre-Calculus
10 Depending upon major:
MATH140 Calculus I (with appropriate high school background)

In general, a Liberal Arts major could take either MATH101 or MATH102. Each course is independent of the other and either may be taken before the other.

MATH117 is not a preparation for calculus. It is for students in majors in business, biology, information science, and social science.

Students are not permitted to register for a course higher than the score level indicates but may register for lower level courses.

Inquiries about the Math placement test or course should be directed . to the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics,  215-968-8305.

Chemistry Placement

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.

Inquiries about the Chemistry placement test or course should be directed to the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics, 215-968-8305.