Placement Testing Information

FCC Student

What is the Placement Test?  

FCC’s Testing Center follows Maryland guidelines for skill assessment prior to registration. (See FCC catalogue.) Proficiency in reading comprehension, sentence skills (grammar), study skills, math, and essay writing is measured by taking the placement tests.  Developmental skill-building courses will be required when scores do not meet state-mandated cutoffs.


The college utilizes an adaptive, untimed ACCUPLACER test, which means that each answer to a question determines the next test question.   This provides a more accurate measure of an individual student’s skills.

Why do students need to take the Placement Test?

Placement testing provides information about the best courses for students to begin their college career at FCC.

Who needs to take the Placement Test?

Unless otherwise exempted, all students will be required to take a reading, sentence skills, and math placement test. A writing placement test may also be required.

Students may be exempt from taking some of the placement tests under the following circumstances:

  • Scores over 550 on the critical reading and/or mathematics portion of the SAT (If scores are older than five years, you must take the placement test.)
  • Score of 21 or higher on the English, reading, and/or mathematics portion of the ACT (If scores are older than five years, you must take the placement test.)
  • Students with eligible AP test scores of 3 or better in English Language & Comp, English Literature & Comp and/or Calculus or Statistics
  • Students who have earned an A or B in Algebra II or higher in a FCPS high school during their junior or senior year and within the last two academic years
  • Eligible transfer credits from another college

Where and when can I take the Placement Test?

Placement testing is done on a walk-in basis in the FCC Testing Center, Library Building, Room L104.  Placement Testing Hours are:

Monday through Thursday, 8:30am-7:30pm
Fridays 8:30am-4:30pm (Closed on Fridays May 25 through July 27)
Saturdays 9:00am to noon

Please allow enough time to complete testing, as the Testing Center does close at the above times.

What should I bring to the test?

Students are required to have a picture ID to take a placement test and should also have FCC student ID # with them.
Valid Identification includes:

  • Driver’s License
  •  Passport
  •  Employee ID
  •  Student Photo ID
  •  MVA temporary photo ID
  •  Original birth certificate or court change of name in addition to TWO proofs of residence which can be from a long list of things such as property tax bill, rent contract, canceled check with name and address imprint, utility and cable bills, etc.

For their own safety and out of consideration for other testers, under no circumstances are children permitted in the Testing Center or to be left unattended during testing.

How do I get my Placement Test results?

With the exception of the writing sample, your score report will be explained to you immediately following testing.  You cannot "pass" or "fail" the placement test.  Results are used by advisors to help determine course selection.

Students with disabilities

The Testing Center works closely with The Office of Services for Students with Disabilities to provide services for students with ADA accommodations.  Students needing special testing accommodations should contact the Services for Students with Disabilities Office at 301-846-2408. 

Additional Resources

Information on Accuplacer

Practice Accuplacer questions for all areas (reading, writing and mathematics)

Prepare for the Placement Test

Select a subject:

English
Mathematics
ESL
Study Skills

Contact Information:

Testing Center
Library Building, Room L104