FCC Placement Testing

Please visit guides.frederick.edu/testing/vpp for details!

When you start your college career, it’s important that you have the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to succeed during your first classes.  FCC, like every other community college in Maryland, uses a series of short tests (ACCUPLACER & ACCUPLACER ESL) to make sure that all new students can demonstrate college-level proficiency in reading, writing, and math. English as a Second Language students may be required to complete an alternative reading/writing placement test called the ACCUPLACER ESL, which will measure your reading, language use, and sentence meaning.

These are very important tests. Your results will determine if you need additional skill-building (developmental) courses prior to enrolling in credit classes. It is very important to ensure that your class placements are as accurate as possible, and the FCC Testing Center works closely with our English and Math departments to ensure that every student starts off on an academic path that supports their academic goals and academic success.

Please note that ACCUPLACER & ACCUPLACER ESL Test scores expire after two years.

To learn more about, and register for upcoming SAT and ACT Test Prep classes now enrolling at the College, visit www.frederick.edu/SATPrep.

Preparing for the Test

View the FCC "Spend an Hour, Save a Semester!" online guide which includes information regarding the ACCUPLACER & ACCUPLACER ESL placement tests including explanations of the tests, detailed information on the topics covered in each section, links to multiple online resources that will help you prepare for your placement tests, and information on how to access personalized ACCUPLACER & ACCUPLACER ESL test preparation support.

Prep for the Test to do Your Best Online Placement Testing Guide

Test Exemptions

Incoming FCC students may be exempt from taking one or more placement test based on their academic history and their other test scores.
To secure placement testing exemptions, incoming students must submit the following to the FCC Welcome Center: (Send electronically to transferevaluation@frederick.edu.)

  • High School Transcript and previous College Transcripts
  • Transfer credits from another institution can fulfill necessary requirements.
  • College Entrance Exam Scores from SAT and/or ACT
  • Advanced Placement (AP) test scores and International Baccalaureate (IB) test scores
  • CLEP, DSST and other credit by examination program scores in college level math, reading, and writing

Individuals who have completed their junior year, seniors, and/or graduates of Maryland Public High Schools and present a transcript that verifies a cumulative, unweighted high school GPA of 3.0 or better will be exempt from taking the reading, writing, and mathematics placement testing. This measure does not apply to grades earned in English as a Second or Other Language (ESL/ESOL) courses. This GPA exemption will be valid for five years after the date of the individual’s high school graduation.

To be exempt from the ACCUPLACER, students would need to have the following scores (Acceptable if within five years from the date the test is taken):

Reading: Evidence-Based Reading & Writing: 480 Composite/Average score of: 21
Writing: [Not Required]
Mathematics: 530 21
Other Exemptions (only one needs to be met in each subject):
(Reading & Writing)
  • Earning a 3 or better on the AP English Language & Comp, English Literature Exam;
  • Earning a score of 4 or higher on the IB Language A: Literature SL, Language A: Language & Literature SL, Language A: Literature HL or  Language A: Language & Literature HL Test;
  • Earning a GED English score of 165 or higher;
  • Earning a score of 4 or 5 on the English 10 or English 11 PARCC/MCAP test;
  • Successful Completion of the FCPS English 12 transition Experience
  • Earning a 3 or better on the AP Calculus or Statistics Exam;
  • Earning a score of 4 or higher on the IB Mathematical Studies, Mathematics SL, Mathematics HL, or the Further Math Tests
  • Earning an A or B in Algebra II or higher in a FCPS high school during the Junior or Senior year;
  • Earning a GED Math score of 165 or higher;
  • Earning a score of 4 or 5 on the Algebra II PARCC/MCAP test;
  • Successful completion of the FCPS Math transition experience

Questions about Placement Testing

What type of Test does FCC use for Placement?      

The College utilizes adaptive, computerized, untimed ACCUPLACER and ACCUPLACER ESL tests. Each question (depending on if you get it right or wrong) determines the next test question. This provides an accurate measure of your skills. You will take the Reading, Writing, and the QAS/AAF Math tests (QAS=Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics) (AAF= Advanced Algebra and Functions). FCC utilizes a writing sample for some ACCUPLACER ESL test takers to assist staff in making the correct class placement.
What are the best ways to study for the test? How can I reduce testing anxiety?  
For information on reducing test anxiety and resources to assist you in preparing for your placement tests, visit the FCC Prep for the Test to do Your Best Online Guide.
Can I transfer placement scores from other colleges? 
FCC accepts ACCUPLACER scores taken at approved testing locations. Scores must be no more than two years old. Scores must be faxed to the testing center directly from the college or university where the test was given. ACCUPLACER scores from high schools will not be accepted.
How is this test different from pencil and paper tests?

The purpose of the test is to determine the best courses for you to start your college career. Keep the following in mind as you take the test.

 • You only see one question at a time. You cannot look forward to see what questions are coming and you cannot go back to previous questions. You cannot skip a problem and come back to it later.

 • Once you answer a question, you are asked to confirm your answer. THIS IS THE ONLY CHANCE YOU WILL HAVE TO CHANGE YOUR ANSWER. Once you submit your answer, it cannot be changed. Work each problem slowly and carefully. Remember you have as much time as you want.

 • You will not have to answer as many questions as you would on a paper and pencil test.

 • You and your friends will see entirely different problems, from different topics and of different difficulty levels, even though you may take the test at the same time. You may not even have the same number of problems to answer. This is because the test is determining your individual level of academic skills.

 • You will see some easy problems and some harder problems from topics you may not have studied or be familiar with. Don’t worry. This is all part of determining your correct skill level. For example, you may see trigonometry questions on a section testing your intermediate algebra skills. ACCUPLACER is trying to determine if you are at a level beyond intermediate algebra.

 • Your answer to each question determines the direction the test takes and the final determination of your academic skill level.

Writing Samples

Some ACCUPLACER ESL test takers may be asked to do a sample written essay. The essay should be a 300-word or more essay on a topic provided by the Testing Center. Each essay is evaluated by a member of the FCC ESL Department and should represent an example of your best quality writing. Note that you must type your essay; no hand written exams will be accepted.

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Contact Information

Linganore Hall (L-104)

Phone: 301.846.2522
Fax:  301.624.2787


Hours of Operation


Regular Hours

Monday - Thursday: 8:30am-7:00pm

Friday: 8:30am-4:30pm  

Saturday: 9:00am-12:00pm

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