Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Placement tests

first time in college student

New student?

If you’re brand new to college and it’s been more than 7 years since high school, take these placement tests to figure out which classes to take during your first term. See more about steps for new students.

PCC uses placement tests to help determine your skill level in reading, writing, and math. Placement test scores can also fulfill prerequisites and demonstrate required skill levels for courses.

If you are under the age of 18, please visit our page for applicants under the age of 18 to determine your next steps for placement.

Placement process

  1. Prepare

    You’ll need a PCC account to complete the placement process. Based on the high school information you provide to PCC, you might need to complete one or both of these set of steps:

    Math: ALEKS

    ALEKS is an online inventory of your math skills. You can take it at any time using a personal computer, or you can visit a Testing Center, the Hillsboro Center, or the Newberg Center.

    You don’t need to study beforehand – ALEKS will guide you through the process.

    Reading & Writing: talk with an advisor

    Prepare for your meeting with an advisor by gathering grades from any high school or college reading and writing coursework you’ve completed, and any past test scores (ACT, SAT, etc.)

  2. Complete placement
    Math: ALEKS

    Log in to MyPCC to take ALEKS. On the MyPCC Home tab, scroll down and on the left side, in the Quick Links channel, click on ALEKS math skills.

    You need:

    • Around 90 minutes to complete the test

    Do not use:

    • Calculators, phones, or any outside help
    Reading & Writing: talk with an advisor

    Submit the request for advisor-assisted placement form and we will be in touch shortly.

  3. Get your placement results
    Math: ALEKS

    After you finish, ALEKS will process your scores right away. You’ll get an email soon with your placement results and your next steps.

    Reading & Writing: talk with an advisor

    When the advisor talks with you, they’ll help you determine the best placement for you and what your next steps are.


Contact testing center staff if you need any help.

  • Students with disabilities: Placement tests are not timed. Contact Accessible Ed & Disability Resources for placement test accommodations, or for training on software.
    • ALEKS accessibility options
      • ALEKS is keyboard navigable and accessible with screen magnification software. Additionally, several accessibility options are available.
      • ALEKS with accessibility features enabled for screen reader use is available. Ask the Testing Center for the ALEKS accessibility link.
      • A practice test for ALEKS is available to help with screen reader use.
  • Test scores from other schools: If you took an ALEKS Math Skills test within the last three years at another school, you can contact us so we can evaluate your scores. You will need to send us a score report that must include your full name, the date of the test, the name of the test and sub-tests, the name of the school and your test scores.
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL): If English is not your first language, you may want to learn more about the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program.