Placement Testing

Each institution in the Alabama Community College System requires all students who enroll in an associate degree or certificate programs and those who enroll for more than seven credit hours or fourteen weekly contact hours, be assessed using a comprehensive assessment instrument. As mandated by the Alabama Community College System, the assessment instrument is ACCUPLACER. The purpose of the placement test is to determine the math and English course level in which the student is eligible to enroll. Test results can be challenged once per academic year, and the student can retest for a fee of $10.00. Review of resource materials is required prior to retesting.  Test results are valid for a period of three years. For further information, students should contact one of the following test centers: Gadsden, telephone 256.549.8497; Ayers, telephone 256.832.1241.

For additional information on placement testing, students should review the Testing Services page contained in the Gadsden State Community College website https://www.gadsdenstate.edu/students/testing-services.cms

The following students are exempt from the assessment requirement:

  1. Those who have acceptable ACT, SAT or GED scores; consult with an advisor for recommended course placement.
    Those who have an associate degree or higher
  2. Those who transfer degree-creditable, college-level English or mathematics courses in which they earned a grade of “C” or better
  3. Those enrolling for personal enrichment purposes only
  4. Those enrolling in short certificate programs having no English, reading or mathematics requirements
  5. Those who have completed required developmental coursework at another Alabama Community College System institution within the last three years
  6. Those enrolling to audit a course
  7. Those who can provide documentation of assessment by the placement test within the last three years
  8. Those who are transient student

Some persons may delay taking the placement test until or unless they plan to enroll in English or a mathematics course. These persons include the following:

  1. Senior citizens
  2. Anyone not seeking a degree or a certificate but taking courses for vocational reasons only
  3. Those in certain short certificate programs having no English or mathematics requirements
  4. Transient students

Placement Test Screening 

There are three separate screening placement levels to determine proper developmental placement of students.  Placement is progressive.  Advisors need to follow each level (in sequence) in order to correctly place students.    

  • Screening Level 1:  This level is the first level and determines placement via an ACT score that is not older than 5 years.  All screening must begin here first.  See Level 1 chart for more information.
  • Screening Level 2.  This level is the second level of screening and only takes place if a student does not meet 100-level eligibility under (Level 1).  Level 2 determines placement via a review of the high school GPA and English and math course grades, or review of SREB English and math course grades.  See Level 2 chart for more information.
  • Screening Level 3:  This level is the third level of screening and should only be utilized when a student is not eligible under Level 1 and Level 2 screening.  Level 3 determines placement via Accuplacer scores.  See Level 3 chart for more information.

NOTE:  Reversing the order of or skipping screening levels is not allowed, for in doing so, one could inadvertently place a student in a developmental class incorrectly.  Screening should be followed in the sequential order.

Placement scores and the high school GPA are valid for five years only.  If older than 5 years, the student must take the Accuplacer.

Students who meet placement criteria on the basis of approved ACT sub-scores or high school markers in both math and English are exempt from taking Accuplacer.  That is why it is important to screen all students under Level 1 and Level 2 screening before moving to Level 3.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Screening should take place in sequential order: Level 1, Level 2 to Level 3. Keep in mind, while screening, that the ultimate goal is to find the highest student placement, not the lowest. Thus, if a student is screened into developmental placement under Level 1 (ACT), you should move to Level 2 (high school GPA and grades) to see if you can screen the student out of developmental placement at this level. If not, move to Accuplacer testing. For example, if the ACT score is not high enough to place a student out of development, but the GPA and applicable high school grades are high enough, you must input that information and place that student out of developmental and into the gateway course. This approach holds true for Accuplacer scores as well. Therefore, placement is a graduated process. The highest placement pathway stands.

English 

  • Placement into ENG 101
    • ACT English sub-score of 18 or above, or
    • HS GPA of 2.75 or higher and A or B grade in English IV, or
    • SREB English Essentials course grade B or higher, or
    • WritePlacer (Accuplacer) score of 5
  • Placement into ENG 101 and ENG 099
    • ACT English sub-score of 17, or
    • HS GPA of 2.75 or higher AND grade of C in English IV, or
    •  WritePlacer (Accuplacer) score of 4, or
  • Placement into ENR 098
    • WritePlacer (Accuplacer) score of 3 or below

Mathematics

  • Math Placement based on ACT math sub-score of 20 or higher 
  • Placement into MTH 100 or MTH 110/MTH 109 LS or MTH 112/MTH 111 LS
    • ACT math sub-score of 18 or 19, or
    • HS GPA of 2.75 or higher and A or B grade in Algebra II, or
    • Accuplacer Classic Elementary Algebra (EA) score of 60-79 or Accuplacer Next-Gen Quantitative Reasoning/Algebra/Statistics (QAS) score of 253-266 for MTH 100
    • Accuplacer Classic Elementary Algebra (EA) score of 80-120 or Accuplacer Next-Gen Quantitative Reasoning/Algebra/Statistics (QAS) score of 267-300 for MTH 110 or 112
  • Placement into MTH 100 and MTH 099
    • ACT math sub-score of 17, or
    • HS GPA of 2.75 or higher and C in Algebra II, or
    • Accuplacer Classic Elementary Algebra (EA) score of 50-59 or Accuplacer Next-Gen Quantitative Reasoning/Algebra Statistics (QAS) score of 243-252
  • Placement into MTH 098
    • Accuplacer Classic Elementary Algebra (EA) score of 20-49 or Accuplacer Next-Gen Quantitative Reasoning/Algebra Statistics (QAS) score of 200-242

Please see the Placement Charts for additional information. 

Advisors Must Verify

  • Only ACT subject matter examinations are used for placement purposes. Composite ACT scores MAY NOT be used for placement in math and English courses.
  • Placement scores were earned within five years of placement determination.

GED Pathway: Note that effective June 7, 2019, an additional Pathway has been created for GED students. Any student scoring 165 or higher on the GED College Ready exam is hereby allowed to enroll in gateway courses, MTH 100 and ENG 101. The student does NOT take MTH 099 or ENG 099 unless the student voluntarily chooses to do so.