GTCC is committed to an open-door admissions policy in order to provide access to quality educational programs to everyone, regardless of previous educational preparation.  GTCC believes that the College has the responsibility to provide the necessary course work and support services for students to be successful in their chosen educational programs.  Placement testing is the first step in providing those services.  Placement tests are given to applicants in order to place them into the entry-level courses in which they can be successful.

GTCC subscribes to theCode of Fair Testing Practices in Education, a statement to test takers of the obligations of those who develop, administer, or use educational tests and data.


Each department chair is responsible for setting placement test requirements for his/her program and test score prerequisites for individual courses taught by his/her department.  The Learning Evidence Committee, the Developmental Education faculty, and the departmen­tal faculty provide input into setting placement test score requirements.


GTCC uses the North Carolina Diagnostic and Placement (NC_DAP) test developed by Accuplacer and the Computerized-Adaptive Placement Assessment and Support Services (COMPASS) test developed by American College Testing (ACT).   The following specific tests are used for placement into entry level courses at GTCC:

  1. Reading - ACT COMPASS (NC_DAP beginning August 25, 2014)
  2. Writing - ACT COMPASS (NC_DAP beginning August 25, 2014)
  3. Mathematics - NC_DAP

The Assessment of Skills for Successful Entry and Transfer (ASSET), developed by ACT, may be used as an accommodation for students with special needs when appropriate (see Section VI).  The following are the components of ASSET:

  1. Writing Skills
  2. Reading Skills
  3. Numerical Skills
  4. Elementary Algebra
  5. Intermediate Algebra

GTCC will accept placement test results from other colleges if COMPASS, ASSET, or ACCUPLACER was taken within the past three years (see Section IV).


Applicants must complete an application for admission to the college before they may be tested.  The Admissions Office staff will determine which components of the placement test are needed and will refer students with completed applications to the Assessment Center for placement testing.

Placement testing is offered on a walk-in basis daily at the Jamestown campus and at the Greensboro and High Point campuses on specific days throughout the year.  Students are encouraged to review their reading, writing, and math skills before arriving for the test.  Students must present the COMPASS Card (obtained from the Admissions Office and a photo I.D. (such as a driver's license) to a member of the Assessment Center staff before placement tests will be administered.


Placement testing will not be waived for applicants to the Dental Hygiene program.  Placement tests may be waived for applicants to all other programs under the following conditions:

  1. Transferable English courses will waive the writing and reading tests.
  2. Transferable math courses will waive the mathematics test.
  3. Applicants who hold an associate degree from an institution whose credits are transferable to GTCC are not required to take placement tests.  Applicants who hold a bachelor's degree or higher are not required to take placement tests.
  4. 500 SAT Writing or 18 ACT English will waive the Writing test
    500 SAT Reading or 21 ACT Reading will waive the Reading test.
    500 SAT Math or 22 ACT Math will waive the mathematics test.
  5. Developmental coursework completed at other colleges may be used to waive placement testing.

When placement testing is optional and the applicant chooses to take placement tests, the results will be used only for advising and institutional research purposes.


A. (Disability-Related)

Applicants may qualify for appropriate testing accommoda­tions (such as, separate room; extended time; Closed Circuit TV (CCTV); audio tape; large print; reader; interpreter; scribe) on the basis of a documented disability.  Applicants with an obvious disability may not need to submit documentation in order to receive appropriate testing accommodations.


  1. Admissions staff should refer applicants who request testing accommodations to disAbility Access Services.
  2. Documentation will be requested.  A disAbility Access Services counselor will review documentation to determine appropriate accommodations.
  3. A disAbility Access Services counselor will complete a Placement Test Accommodations Referral Form and give it to the applicant.  Applicants must contact the Assessment Center and make an appointment to reserve a separate room for testing if one is needed.  The disAbility Access Services counselor will coordinate interpreter, scribe or reader accommodations.
  4. Applicants must present the Placement Test Accommodations Referral Form at the time of testing. No testing accommodations will be made without a completed Referral Form.
  5. Assessment Center staff will refer the applicant back to the disAbility Access Services counselor upon test completion for advising.
  6. The Assessment Center staff will maintain a file of all Placement Test Accommodations Referral Forms.  All records will remain confidential.

B. English as a Second Language

Applicants for whom English is a second language may qualify for extended time on the ASSET placement test.  The applicant must talk to the International Student Advisor/Counselor to receive permission for extended time.


Retesting represents a great cost in terms of time and money to both the college and to the examinees.  Therefore, applicants should be encouraged to prepare so they may do their best when taking placement tests.

A counselor or advisor may authorize a retest by initialing the retest authorization on the COMPASS Card.  The student must present a photo I.D. and submit the Compass Card to the Assessment Center staff upon arrival for testing.

A student may retest only once in a six month period.  An exception may be made if the student provides documentation that he/she has been involved in tutoring or other forms of remediation.  This documentation must be presented to a counselor in order to obtain authorization to retest.  A copy of the documentation must be attached to the retest authorization form in order for the third test score to be valid.  The student must present the retest authorization with the attached intervention documentation when he/she arrives for the test.  The Assessment Center will maintain a file for the documentation to be held for three years.

A student enrolled in a Developmental Studies course may retest in that subject only with authorization from the instructor.


Applicants who have taken ASSET, COMPASS or ACCUPLACER placement tests at other colleges within the past three years may have their test scores transferred to GTCC.  The applicant should request that his/her placement test scores be sent directly to GTCC's Admissions and Records Office.  The Admissions and Records Office provides a form which applicants may use to facilitate the process.  Copies of placement test results delivered by an applicant will not be accepted unless the report is signed by an official of the sending college and delivered in a sealed envelope with the college official's signature across the seal.

Applicants who have taken ASSET or COMPASS placement tests at GTCC may have their test scores transferred to other colleges by making a request in writing to the Admissions and Records Office.  The Admissions and Records Office will provide a form to facilitate the request.  The Admissions and Records Office will mail the test score report to the college or will provide the report to the student in a sealed envelope with the college official's signature across the seal.

Applicants to other colleges who wish to take ASSET or COMPASS at GTCC may do so by contacting an admissions representative.  The admissions representative will have the examinee complete a special credit application and a request to have test scores sent to another college.  The admissions representative will contact the other college, if necessary, to clarify which tests are to be given to the examinee.  The admissions representative will provide the examinee with a COMPASS card with the appropriate tests to be taken indicated on the card.

The examinee must bring a photo I.D., the COMPASS card, as well as the form to request the transfer of GTCC COMPASS or ASSET scores, to the Assessment Center at the time of testing.  The Assessment Center staff will give the examinee a copy of the student score report and will send the test scores to the other college.  The Assessment Center staff will keep a record of those tested for other colleges.


  1. Placement test scores are valid for 5 calendar years after the year the student tested.
  2. Placement tests do not give credit for course work.
  3. When math placement tests scores indicate placement in 2 different levels of math, the student should be advised on whether to begin with the lower math course or the higher math course.  The student should be allowed to make an informed decision about which math course would be best for his/her situation.

Approved by the Assessment Committee on 1/11/93

Updated 5/10/93

Updated 8/24/94

Updated 4/20/95

Updated 5/15/96

Updated 12/12/96

Updated 5/1/98

Updated by the Learning Evidence Committee on 2/14/2007



Page Last update 07/10/2014