Schedule Placement Test

Due to COVID-19, ALL in-person summer tests (June-August 2020) have been cancelled.

Because there are NO on-line testing options, NCC has put alternative placement measures in place.

STEP 1: Please request that your most recent SAT scores be sent directly to NCC’s Admissions Office from the College Board. ( If you forgot your password, a College Board representative should be able to assist you.

STEP 2: Please email a copy of your high school transcript to NCC’s Admissions office at: If you require assistance, contact your high school and request a copy be sent directly to NCC’s Admissions Office.

*If you have taken even one year of ESL during high school, or did not attend an English speaking high school, please contact Professor Hannah Moeckel-Rieke at for evaluation.

STEP 3: One week after submitting documents:

        • If you are a NEW first-time college student, please register to attend a PAW Workshop for next steps/course registration or email with any questions.
        • If you are a CURRENT NCC student, email Cathy Miller for assistance with course registration.

If you have questions, please email Thalia at:

In order to sign up for a placement test, you must first submit an application to NCC, and receive your permanent NCC Student ID (Banner) number. You may not test with a temporary ID number beginning with “G-“

We strongly encourage you to test well before the start of the semester in which you plan to enroll. If you receive your placement results early, you can take full advantage of our advising services and have a better choice of classes.

We make it convenient for you to test by offering a variety of times each week. Exact days and times for tests are determined four to six weeks in advance.

If you have a documented disability and would like to request testing accommodations, call the disabilities coordinator at (203) 857-7192. Please contact the coordinator before you schedule a test.

In most cases retesting is not allowed, so we encourage you to be serious and committed to doing your best. Schedule your test for a time when you will not be distracted or rushed. Most students complete the test in approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Please plan to be here for at least that amount of time.

Please choose one of the following

Basic Skills

Many of our courses, regardless of the subject area, require certain English skills. You should take the Basic Skills English test (1) if English is your first language or (2) if English is your second language but you graduated from a U.S. high school with all four years of mainstream English (not ESL) classes.

If you are pursuing a degree at NCC or planning to enroll in courses with a math requirement, you will also have to take the math section of the Basic Skills test. ESL students should wait to get their ESL results before signing up for a math test.

If you have passed college-level English or math courses or achieved certain scores on the SAT test, you may be exempt from all or part of the Basic Skills test. For more information about exemptions, click here.

For more information about the different sections of the Basic Skills test and how to prepare for it, click here.

English as a Second Language

If English is not your first language, in most cases you should take the ESL Test, which is specially designed to measure the skills of students like you & those who are not native speakers of English. The test will determine your ESL level or place you into a mainstream English course if that is more appropriate for you.

The test has three parts: student information, grammar, and essay writing on a topic. The test takes 40-90 minutes.

The test is in English, and all instructions are given in English. You cannot use a dictionary or an electronic translator, and you cannot bring friends or family members into the testing room to interpret for you. We want to measure your English skills in order to match you with the class that can best help you.

If you have questions or need help with scheduling, please contact the Testing Center at 203.857.7070

What the Basic Skills Test Covers


The test contains two sections, with 20 questions in each.

Reading Comprehension:  This test measures your ability to understand what you read.  Some items will ask you to read a short passage and then answer a question about it.  Other items will consist of two sentences followed by a question about the relationship between them.

Sentence Skills:  This test measures your understanding of sentence structure — how sentences are put together and what makes a sentence complete and clear.

Note: Sometimes the scores on these two sections might not give us a complete indication of your English skills, and we will require you to do an additional assessment, either an essay or a reading retest, which will be evaluated by an English professor.  Like the computer sections, an essay or a reading retest is not timed, but most students take about 45 minutes to an hour to finish it.


There are three sections — Arithmetic, Elementary Algebra, and College-Level Math — each of which contains between 12 and 20 questions.  You will start the math test with the Elementary Algebra section.  Depending on your score, you may end the math test at that point or you may be required to take either Arithmetic or College-Level Math.

Elementary Algebra:  This test measures your ability to perform basic algebraic operations, such as those with integers and rational numbers, and to solve equations and word problems that involve elementary algebraic concepts.

Arithmetic:  This test measures your ability to perform basic arithmetic operations — addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division — and to solve problems with whole numbers, fractions, percents, and decimals.

College-Level Math:  This test measures your ability to solve problems involving college-level mathematics concepts such as intermediate algebra, functions, and trigonometry.

How to Prepare for the Basic Skills Test

Remind yourself of test-taking strategies that have worked well for you in the past.

Practice solving some math problems with paper and pencil.  We do not allow you to bring a calculator with you, and an on-screen calculator is available only for certain questions.

If you have not taken math courses recently, you may want to look over math notes, textbooks, or other material to refresh your memory.  A short amount of review before the test may enable you to place out of a course that covers math topics you have already studied.

Basic Skills Sample Test Questions