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Placement Testing

Stock Image of woman studyingPennsylvania Highlands Community College uses the ACCUPLACER computerized placement testing to determine a student's academic skill level in reading, English, and math. This is not a college entrance examination; rather, it is an accurate assessment of skills for appropriate course placement.


Who is required to take the ACCUPLACER test?

All degree-seeking full and part-time students and all non-degree seeking students planning to enroll in English or mathematics courses.

Why is it necessary to take the ACCUPLACER test?

The ACCUPLACER test helps to determine if you are ready to succeed in college level coursework. The tests evaluates your academic skills in English, math, and reading, which are very important to your success in college classes. 

What if I have a disability?

If you have a disability that will prevent you from performing well under standard test conditions, please call the Student Success Center at 814.262.6451 for information on testing accommodations.

How do I schedule the ACCUPLACER test?

After you have completed the Penn Highlands application process, you will be contacted by that office to schedule an appointment for placement testing and academic advising.  If you wish, you can contact the Admissions Office directly at  admissions@pennhighlands.edu to schedule the test.

How do I prepare for the ACCUPLACER test?

WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO PRACTICE AND PREPARE FOR ACCUPLACER TESTING. By adequately preparing and successfully testing into college level courses, you can save time and tuition. If, however, your skill level in English and/or math needs more development, our college-preparatory courses can help you to strengthen your skills in order to be successful at the college level.

Here are some links to help you adequately prepare for the ACCUPLACER test:

 ACCUPLACER Practice Questions 
 (This link provides actual practice questions.) 

 ACCUPLACER Study App 
 (You can access a FREE study app from a computer, tablet, or smartphone by creating an account.)  

 Khan Academy 
 (This link provides additional study materials for further preparation.)

Exceptions to ACCUPLACER placement testing:

Students may be exempt from testing upon receipt of official scores or based on certain circumstances:

  • SAT
    • Mathematics 500+
    • Critical Reading 500+
    • Writing 500+
  • ACT
    • Mathematics 19+
    • Critical Reading 21+
    • English 18+
  • High school transcript within 5 years showing at least three English courses completed with a grade of C or higher in each and unweighted high school GPA = 2.6 on a 4.0 scale.
  • High school transcript within 5 years showing at least three math courses completed, of which one is Algebra II with a grade of C or higher and unweighted high school GPA = 2.6 on a 4.0 scale.
  • GED™ College Ready designation on the GED™ test. Students must submit a GED™ transcript reflecting a minimum score of 165 in each of these subject areas: Mathematical Reasoning, Reasoning through Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies.
  • CLEP math or English exam with credit-granting score of 50.
  • AP® math or English exam with qualifying credit-granting score.
  • A grade of C or better in college-level English or math from an accredited college. Official transcripts are required.

Penn Highlands requires the ACT, SAT, CLEP, AP® or GED™ transcript report, or high school transcripts within 5 years that include ACT or SAT scores. Once received, the College will authorize the student to register.

Additional ACCUPLACER placement testing information:

  • Free of charge for admitted students
  • Untimed (take your time and do your best).
  • A calculator is provided within the ACCUPLACER math test.
  • Re-testing is available; however, we recommend total preparation for your first test. You have an opportunity for one re-test only after a period of one week from the original test.

Stock Image of man reading

College-Preparatory Courses

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College offers college-preparatory courses in math, reading, and English. Depending on your placement test scores, you will enroll in the college-preparatory course that best suits your needs. These courses are carefully designed to build skills that will lay a foundation for your success. College-preparatory classes are small, allowing more direct involvement with your instructor and your classmates. Each course is offered in a variety of technology-enhanced formats, ranging from a summer program of six weeks to a semester-length of fifteen weeks. Whether you simply need a refresher or a more intensive review, successfully completing your college-prep courses tends to promote your success in your chosen field of study.

The following college-preparatory courses are offered:

  • ICR 031 (College Reading)
  • ENG 020  (Introduction to Composition)
  • MAT 085 Algebra Fundamentals

For a complete description of the college-preparatory courses and their requirements, please refer to the Pennsylvania Highlands' College Catalog (eLOG).

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