Placement Testing

Placement Testing/Assessment

All students seeking a degree or certificate must participate in placement assessment for mathematics, reading, writing, and keyboarding. Prior to June 2016, Cincinnati State used the COMPASS® test. Currently, Cincinnati State uses the Accuplacer® test.

Prerequisites are enforced. Students may be required to enroll in an Academic Foundations class identified through placement assessment before they can enroll in college-level courses.

On the Clifton campus, placement assessment is conducted in the Testing Center, Room 176 Main Building.

Check-in hours for placement assessment are:

  • Monday and Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • Wednesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • First Saturday of each month (except September), 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Visit the Placement Test section of the College website for additional information, or call (513) 861-7700. The Testing Center is closed on holidays and other days the College is closed.

On the Middletown campus, placement assessment is conducted in Room 126.  Check-in hours are:

  • Tuesday, 9 a.m. to noon
  • Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
  • Thursday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • First Saturday of each month (except September), 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. 

Visit the Placement Test section of the College website for additional information, or call (513) 299-8339. The Testing Center is closed on holidays and other days the College is closed.

  • Other guidelines for placement assessment:

  • Your Cincinnati State Application for Admission is required prior to placement assessment.
  • There is no charge for first-time assessment.
  • Plan on at least 2 1/2 hours for testing.
  • When you check in for testing, a photo ID is required. All state IDs must be current.
    • The WritePlacer (and WritePlacer ESL) portion of the assessment is a timed 60-minute essay.
    • The reading, math, and keyboarding portions are not timed.
    • Personal calculators and Windows system calculators are not allowed. An online calculator will appear for appropriate math questions.
    • Pencil and paper will be provided.
  • Group testing must be pre-arranged; please call (513) 569-1569 for details.
  • Sample questions for the Accuplacer assessment and other guides to test preparation are available in the Placement Test section of the College website.

Exemptions from Placement Assessment

Applicants who have taken (within the past two years) the ACT® or SAT® test, or the COMPASS® assessment, may be exempted from taking the Accuplacer placement assessment.

Students with transfer credit in college-level English composition and algebra, from a regionally accredited college or university, may not need to complete the entire placement assessment.

Waiver based on ACT Test Scores

  • Scores can be no more than two years older than the date of the application to Cincinnati State.
  • Submit a copy of your ACT scores to the Office of Admission via www.ACTstudent.org. (ACT School Code: 5570)
  • Applicants who score 17 or lower on ACT English and also score 20 or lower on ACT Reading must complete the Reading and Writing portion of the Accuplacer assessment. (If one of these two scores is above the minimum, the Accuplacer is waived.)
  • Applicants with ACT Math scores lower than 22 must complete the Math portion of the Accuplacer assessment.

Waiver based on SAT Test Scores

  • Scores can be no more than two years older than the date of the application to Cincinnati State.
  • Submit a copy of your SAT scores to the Office of Admission via collegeboard.org. (SAT School Code: 1984)
  • Applicants with SAT Math scores lower than 520 must complete the Math portion of the Accuplacer assessment.
  • Applicants who score 429 or lower on SAT English and also score 449 or lower on SAT Reading must complete the Reading and Writing portion of the Accuplacer assessment. (If one of these two scores is above the minimum, the Accuplacer is waived.)
  • Applicants who score 479 or lower on SAT Evidence Based Reading and Writing must complete the Reading and Writing portion of the Accuplacer assessment.

Waiver based on COMPASS Assessment Scores

  • Scores can be no more than two years older than the date of the application to Cincinnati State.
  • Submit a copy of COMPASS scores via mail, fax, email, or scores may be hand-carried to the Cincinnati State Office of Admission.

Waiver based on Transfer Courses

  • If you successfully completed college-level courses in College Algebra (or higher-level math course) and/or English at a regionally accredited institution, you may submit a test waiver request to be considered for the waiver.
    • Some programs may have specific requirements that are not met via waiver.
  • Make sure that an official copy of your transcript of the courses you completed is submitted (by postal mail only) to the Cincinnati State Office of Admission.
  • If you need more time to obtain your transcript, you may submit a request for extended time to transfer courses from other colleges or universities.
    • You must submit a separate form for each institution where you took classes.
    • Your transcript must be received at Cincinnati State in order to waive the placement assessment.

Placement Testing Accommodations

If you are a student who has disabilities or believe you have disabilities, we encourage you to contact the Cincinnati State Office of Disability Services at (513) 569-1775 prior to testing.