Placement Testing

Each institution in the Alabama Community College System requires all students who enroll in an associate degree or a certificate program 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 five years.

For information on placement testing, students should review the Testing Services page contained in the Gadsden State Community College webpage,

For additional information email or contact one of the following test centers: Gadsden, telephone 256.439.6819; Ayers, telephone 256.832.1217. 

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

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 English and/or math course placement of students.  Placement is progressive.  Advisors will 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. 
  • 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, if the GPA and grades are within five years.  
  • 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.  

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.


  • 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 or higher
  • Placement into ENG 101 w/ 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


  • Placement into MTH 112 or higher-level math
    • Math Placement based on ACT math sub-score of 20 or higher; should be determined through advisor review of student's program requirements. 
  • Placement into MTH 112 (if placement testing is required)
    • Accuplacer Next-Gen Quantitative Reasoning/Algebra/Statistics (QAS) score of 267-300
  • Placement into MTH 100 or MTH 110 or MTH 112 w/ MTH 111
    • 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 Next-Gen Quantitative Reasoning/Algebra/Statistics (QAS) score of 253-266 
  • Placement into MTH 100 w/ MTH 099 or MTH 110 w/ MTH 109
    • ACT math sub-score of 17, or
    • HS GPA of 2.75 or higher and C in Algebra II, or
    • Accuplacer Next-Gen Quantitative Reasoning/Algebra Statistics (QAS) score of 243-252
  • Placement into MTH 098
    • Accuplacer Next-Gen Quantitative Reasoning/Algebra Statistics (QAS) score of 200-242

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.