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Placement Testing

The purpose of the placement test is to place students in courses that match their skill levels in reading comprehension, writing/sentence skills, and mathematics. English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students are assessed for skills in reading, listening/speaking, writing, vocabulary/sentence meaning, as well as mathematics.

Due to the importance of this assessment, the Accuplacer test is untimed to allow students the time needed to do their best.  Students are also strongly encouraged to review practice study guides that contain sample questions. A hardcopy is available by request in the Testing Center  or by downloading a copy of the CPT and ESOL practice packets. Students may also qualify for a placement test waiver

Students are required to present a picture ID before taking the Placement Test

What Should I Know About Taking the Accuplacer Placement Test? 


  • The placement test is computer-based. Prior computer experience is not required to take the ctest.
  • Newly admitted and transfer students are required to take the test before Orientation.
  • The test is untimed; students generally complete it within 2 hours.
  • All test questions are multiple choice.  Each test has approximately 15 – 22 questions.
  • Calculators are not allowed.  A test-generated calculator will pop-up if required on a question.
  • Scratch paper and pencil are provided.
  • A proctor or staff will be available to help students before, during, and after taking the test.
  • There are two versions of the test that are administered to either English native speakers or English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).
  • Test scores are available immediately following the test session. The ESOL Writing test the score will be available within one week of testing.
  • Students will meet with an advisor or a Testing Center staff immediately following the test session to discuss test results and to receive information about the next steps in the admissions process.

When is the Placement Test Offered?

  • Mondays: 9am and 1pm
  • Tuesdays: 3pm
  • Wednesdays: 3pm
  • Thursdays: 9am and 1pm

Testing Sessions are available:

  • March to August (Summer & Fall semesters) 
  • October to January (Spring Semester)

Do I need to Schedule an Appointment to take the placement test?

Yes. You can schedule an appointment by calling 763-424-0928. Newly admitted students will receive an admissions acceptance email with a link to the placement test registration form online.

How can I prepare for this test?


Review resources are available on the bottom of the placement testing page or by getting a paper copy in person from the Testing Center staff in ES-108

Can I be exempt from taking the Placement Test?

Although all newly admitted and transfer students are required to take the placement test in order to participate in Orientation, students may qualify for a placement test waiverStudents must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Successful completion (Grade of “C” or better and 2.0 GPA or higher) of college-level algebra and English composition courses at an accredited college or university.
  2. Current ACT sub-scores of 22 or higher in math, 18 or higher in English or 21 or higher in reading.   Note:  ACT score report cannot be older than three years for English and two years for math.
  3. Current ACCUPLACER test scores are valid for up to three years; Math test scores are valid for up to two years.

A copy of unofficial transcripts or test score reports must be attached to the placement test waiver form, unless the student is transferring test scores from another MnSCU institution or have requested that official transcripts be sent to the NHCC Records and Registration office.

What do I do if I need Testing Accommodations? 


The Testing Center works with the office of Access Services to provide accommodations.  Please contact the Access Services Office at 763-493-0556 before testing.

Is it Possible to Fail the Placement Test? 


No. The placement test is not a pass/fail assessment. Test scores will determine course placements at either developmental or college level. The course placements are designed to promote and to support student success. It is important for students to review before taking the test, so that they can be better prepared. Review materials are available on the bottom of the testing center homepage.

Where do I go to take the placement test?

The Accuplacer test is administered in the Testing Center. The Testing Center is located in the Educational Services building, room 108. The Educational Services building is located on the intersection between West Broadway and 85th Avenue in Brooklyn Park.

What if I want to retest? 


Retesting Policies

  • Current students can retest once a term before registering for classes or until they have completed coursework in the ADEV or ESOL course sequence.
  • There is a $10 fee for retesting
  • New student or students with expired test scores can test twice within the same testing period.  This includes the initial time and a retest.  Please call 763-424-0928 to schedule an appointment.

What courses will my test scores place me in?

There are three course placement possibilities:

  • Developmental courses are courses below college level; for example: MATH 0901.  Developmental course credits do not apply toward a certificate, diploma, or a degree.
  • College-level courses are courses designated as 1000 or higher; for example: MATH 1150, ENGL 1201, or ESOL 1230.  Credits earned in a college-level course apply toward the requirements of a certificate, diploma, or degree.
  • Adult Basic Education (ABE). This placement means student will not be able to take courses at NHCC at this time.  More information will be provided to student with this placement during post-assessment advising.

Students are required to register for the courses they place into. Students who place into developmental courses are required to complete these classes in their first term at NHCC before advancing to college level courses. Selection of courses will be addressed at Orientation or with an Academic Advisor.

Can I take the placement test for another school?

Yes. The Testing Center will allow students who plan to attend other MnSCU schools or non-MnSCU institutions to take the Accuplacer here on our site on a space availability basis.

  • MnSCU Students: Please bring the tech ID (Student ID) number from the institution you have applied and intend to register for classes. Let staff know what institution you are taking the placement test for.
  • Non-MnSCU students: Please contact your prospective college or university to contact us with proctoring information.  Please note that there is a  fee.
  • All students: You are required to present a picture ID at the time of testing.

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Testing Center Contact Information




Contact Information

Testing Center

Email: testingcenter@nhcc.edu

Location: ES - 108

Phone: 763-424-0928

Fax:  763-493-0552

General Office Hours

Summer Hours (June 3 - July 28)

(Closed July 3)

Monday, Thursday           

8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Wednesday          

8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.


8:00 a.m. - Noon