Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

PCC uses Placement Testing to determine students’ academic skill level for appropriate course placement. Most new PCC students are required to take the Placement Test to determine their skills in reading, writing and mathematics. The ESOL Placement Test is also offered for students requiring English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses.

Placement test scores can demonstrate satisfaction of prerequisite, or required skill levels for enrollment in many PCC courses. PCC uses the computer-based COMPASS Placement Test and testing is offered at all of our Campuses and some of our Centers (see Testing Dates).

Placement Testing is one of the first steps to enrolling in classes at PCC. Make sure to prepare for your placement test. Your test scores determine appropriate placement in PCC courses.

Check out the new student checklist to learn about all of the steps required to become a PCC student.

Studying for the placement test may help improve your placement result, which means an opportunity to complete your degree more quickly and affordably. Learn more about preparing for placement tests at http://www.pcc.edu/resources/testing/placement/preparing.html.

Placement Testing Highlights

  • Free of charge for admitted PCC students
  • Untimed and takes an average of 1½ to 2 hours to complete
  • Each test (reading, writing and math) may be taken twice in a three year period
  • Math placement test scores are valid for 3 years, while reading and writing scores do not expire – check with Testing Center staff if you have previously taken the placement test
  • Knowledge of computers is not necessary to take the test

What to Expect When You Take the Placement Test

  • Valid photo identification is required for all testing
  • PCC identification number or "G" number is required
  • Testing is done on a drop-in basis within the scheduled testing periods
  • If you do not finish testing prior to the end of a testing session you may return at another time to finish
  • Calculators, pencils and scratch paper will be provided
  • No children are allowed in Testing Centers
  • PCC parking passes are required at all sites
  • Individuals not intending to take classes at PCC will be charged $15 to take the Placement Test – payable at any PCC Student Account Services prior to testing. Student Account Services is not open during evenings or weekends.

Placement Testing for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

If English is not your first language and you may need preparatory ESOL courses you should take the ESOL Placement Test. For more information about ESOL testing and course placement see the ESOL Testing and Placement Guide.

Placement Test Scores from Outside of PCC

PCC can accept College Placement Test scores from other institutions if the tests are one of the following:

  • Accuplacer

PCC will also accept some ACT or SAT test scores that are within two years old.

Bring your official test score copies and valid picture identification to a Testing Center for evaluation.

Placement Testing for Distance Education Students

PCC students who are unable to access the PCC Testing Centers due to their distance from the college can arrange to take a College Placement Test at an alternative site and have their test scores sent to PCC. Other community colleges will often provide this service, generally for a fee. Contact any of the PCC Testing Centers for assistance in locating an ACT (COMPASS) or other testing site and for directions on how to submit test scores.

Accommodations and Disability Services

If you have a disability and require testing accommodations beyond extended time (test is untimed), contact Disability Services to make arrangements for accommodations