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Placement Testing


Sampson Community College administers the North Carolina Diagnostic Assessment and Placement (NCDAP) test or the ACCUPLACER placement test as a standard part of the admissions process. The NCDAP and ACCUPLACER are computerized tests that determine proficiency in math, reading and writing as students prepare to enroll in college-level courses. The results of the assessment are used by admissions counselors to help place entering students in courses and programs that are appropriate to their individual aptitudes and abilities. Because students achieve at varying proficiency levels, developmental courses may be required during the first one to two semesters of enrollment. Prospective students who have completed the NCDAP or other North Carolina Community College System approved entry assessment (ASSET, COMPASS, ACCUPLACER) within the past five years may have their official test scores sent to the SCC Admissions Office.

Types of Waivers

Test Waiver

Applicants who present proof of having met ONE of the following criteria may be exempted from taking the placement test:

  • Completion of a college level Mathematics and English course with a grade of “C” or higher.
  • Achieved Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores of the following (scores over five years old are not accepted by the college):
    • Writing 500 or Critical Reading 500; Math 500 or higher (if taken prior to March 2016).
    • Evidence Based Reading 480; Math 530 (beginning March 2016)
  • Achieved a composite American College Test (ACT) score of Reading 20 or English 18; Math 22 or higher. ACT scores over five years old are not accepted by the College.
  • Graduation from an accredited institution with an associate degree or higher.
  • Disability Accommodations for Placement Testing
  • Students who have a documented disability or handicap that prevents them from taking the placement test under standard conditions may request reasonable accommodations. Requests for special arrangements or audio/visual implements should be presented to the Disability Services Coordinator at least two weeks prior to the date scheduled for testing.
  • Waived by Multiple Measures.

Students, who qualify for a placement test waiver in math or English but not both, will need to complete the ACCUPLACER for the skill area not exempted. Students must present all documentation when requesting a waiver.

Multiple Measures Waiver

Multiple Measures determine college readiness based on specific criteria.  Recent high school graduates, who meet the required GPA benchmark or demonstrate proficiency through standardized testing, will be exempt from diagnostic placement testing and will be considered college-ready for gateway math and English courses.

To be eligible for exemption from placement testing, an applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • Graduated from a high school legally authorized to operate in North Carolina within five years prior to enrolling in courses at SCC
  • Unweighted GPA is 2.6 or higher and the official transcript shows a course of study that included four high school math courses including three Core Mathematics Courses* and at least one higher level math course as recognized by the NC Department of Public Instruction.
  • Placement for students who apply before graduation from high school will be based on their high school GPA at the end of their 1st term of 12th grade or ACT/SAT test scores.
  • Meet the Multiple Measures GPA criteria and are enrolled in an approved 4th math course (see below) at the end of their 1st term of 12th grade.

*Core Mathematics Courses include Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II OR Common Core Math I, II and III OR Integrated Math I, II and III PLUS, a fourth mathematics course from the list below:

  • Advanced Functions and Modeling
  • AP Calculus
  • AP Statistics
  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Essentials for College Math (SREB Math Ready)
  • Integrated Mathematics IV
  • International Baccalaureate Mathematics
  • International Baccalaureate Computer Science
  • Mindset
  • Pre-Calculus
  • Probability & Statistics (Years including and prior to 2014-2015)
  • Analytical Geometry (Years including and prior to 2013-2014)
  • Calculus (Years including and prior to 2013-2014)
  • Trigonometry (Years including and prior to 2013-2014)

*Community College 4th Math Courses (taken in Career & College Promise Pathways):

  • MAT 143 Quantitative Literacy
  • MAT 151 Statistics I
  • MAT 152 Statistical Methods I
  • MAT 155 Statistical Analysis
  • MAT 161 College Algebra
  • MAT 162 College Trigonometry
  • MAT 165 Finite Mathematics
  • MAT 167 Discrete Mathematics
  • MAT 171 Pre-Calculus Algebra
  • MAT 172 Pre Calculus Trigonometry
  • MAT 175 Pre-Calculus
  • MAT 200 or above

Graduated Outside North Carolina

Applicants who graduated from out-of-state institutions may be considered college-ready based on the following criteria:

  • Graduation from high school within five years prior to enrolling in courses at SCC
  • Unweighted GPA is 2.6 or higher and the official transcript shows a course of study that included Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and a fourth math class beyond/above high school Algebra II
  • Unweighted GPA is 2.6 or higher and the official transcript includes four units of English

Retest Policy

If a student has made an initial attempt at taking the placement test and has not begun developmental courses/modules, the College allows students to repeat Placement Testing one time within a semester. There is a two-week minimum waiting period between the initial attempt and any scheduled retest. The waiting period may be waived at the discretion of the Director of Admissions if extenuating circumstances warrant a retest. The following conditions apply to retesting: Students may elect to retake the entire test or individual sections (reading, writing, or math) where college-level placement was not achieved. If the retest is for two sections, i.e. reading and math only, both tests must be completed during the same session. Only one attempt is allowed for each subject area. The highest scores earned in each section from the initial test and the retest will be used for placement. No second retest will be granted unless a documented technical failure such as a power outage interferes with the testing process. Students who have not been enrolled in any college classes for five years or more may request to retake the placement test.


Improve your academic skills by taking advantage of the learning tools that ACCUPLACER offers. To ensure that test scores accurately represent your skill levels, you may wish to review basic concepts in reading, grammar, arithmetic, trigonometry and algebra before taking ACCUPLACER, especially if you have been away from school for more than a year. ACCUPLACER sample questions are available for students in a downloadable PDF document that provides you with a few examples of the types of questions you will see on your ACCUPLACER assessment. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of the Free Web-based Study App!


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