Placement Testing

All Minnesota State colleges require that students complete a course placement test. ATCC accepts ACT college entrance scores, evidence of successful college work, or students are required to take the ACCUPLACER.


The ACCUPLACER is a series of basic skills tests. ACCUPLACER is not a pass-fail test; it was developed to assist in college academic advising and course selection. Based on your scores and program, you may be required to take college prep coursework. This may add time or classes to your program so it is important to be prepared. Each test is untimed in a multiple-choice format.


If you have taken the ACT or ACCUPLACER test within the last three years, you may not need to take all or individual portions of the test. If you have taken college English or Math courses and earned a grade of C or better, you may be exempt from all or portions of the test. ATCC needs a copy of your test scores or college transcript to make that determination.

To schedule an Appointment for Testing

Please contact the Testing Center or stop by the Testing Center (Room 112). On the day of the test, please bring photo identification. You will need to have your testing completed before registering for classes. We encourage you to test at ATCC, but you may take the ACCUPLACER test at a Minnesota State college near you. If you test outside of the Minnesota State system, please send your results to the Testing Center.


Once you have completed the test(s), a score report will be provided to you. If you are accepted at ATCC and would like to see if your test scores and/or exemptions have been processed, please visit eServices by following the directions at


There is no cost to take the test the first time. You are allowed one retest per semester. There is a $5.00 fee for each portion retaken.

Students with Disabilities

If you have a documented disability and need test accommodations, please call 1-888-234-1222, ext. 4673.

Test Prep & Review Web Sites

Prior to testing, please take the opportunity to use the following resources to prepare for the placement test. This is an important part of your education as testing can affect the amount of time and courses you are required to complete.

External Website: CollegeBoard - Official ACCUPLACER® Free Study App and Sample Tests

Reading, Writing, and Math


ACCUPLACER tests use a multiple-choice format. There’s no time limit on the tests, so you can focus on doing your best to demonstrate your skills.

ACCUPLACER uses the latest computer-adaptive technology. Questions are presented based on your individual skill level. Your response to each question drives the difficulty level of the next question. It's important to give each question as much thought as you can before selecting your answer.

Reading Comprehension

The Reading Comprehension test, comprised of 20 questions, measures your ability to understand what you read, to identify main ideas and to make inferences. You need to distinguish between direct statements and secondary or supporting ideas.


The Arithmetic test, comprised of 17 questions, measures your ability to perform basic arithmetic operations and to solve problems that involve fundamental arithmetic concepts. There are three types of Arithmetic questions:

  • Operations with whole numbers and fractions: topics included in this category are addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, recognizing equivalent fractions and mixed numbers, and estimating.
  • Operations with decimals and percents: topics include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with decimals. Percent problems, recognition of decimals, fraction and percent equivalencies, and problems involving estimation are also given.
  • Applications and problem solving: topics include rate, percent, and measurement problems, simple geometry problems, and distribution of a quantity into its fractional parts.

Elementary Algebra

The Elementary Algebra test, comprised of 12 questions, measures your ability to perform basic algebraic operations and to solve problems involving elementary algebraic concepts. There are three types of Elementary Algebra questions:

  • Operations with integers and rational numbers: topics include computation with integers and negative rationals, the use of absolute values, and ordering.
  • Operations with algebraic expressions: topics include the evaluation of simple formulas and expressions, adding and subtracting monomials and polynomials, multiplying and dividing monomials and polynomials, the evaluation of positive rational roots and exponents, simplifying algebraic fractions, and factoring.
  • Solution of equations, inequalities, word problems: topics include solving linear equations and inequalities, solving quadratic equations by factoring, solving verbal problems presented in an algebraic context, including geometric reasoning and graphing, and the translation of written phrases into algebraic expressions.

College-Level Math

The College-Level Math test, comprised of 20 questions, measures your ability to solve problems that involve college-level mathematics concepts. There are five types of College-Level Math questions:

  • Algebraic operations: topics include simplifying rational algebraic expressions, factoring, expanding polynomials, and manipulating roots and exponents.
  • Solutions of equations and inequalities: topics include the solution of linear and quadratic equations and inequalities, equation systems and other algebraic equations
  • Coordinate geometry: topics include plane geometry, the coordinate plane, straight lines, conics, sets of points in the plane, and graphs of algebraic functions.
  • Applications and other algebra topics: topics include complex numbers, series and sequences, determinants, permutations and combinations, fractions and word problems.
  • Functions and trigonometry: topics include polynomials, algebraic, exponential, and logarithmic and trigonometric functions.