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, 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, 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.

Other guidelines for placement assessment:

  • Please allow 2 hours and 40 minutes for testing.
  • A photo ID is required to complete testing. All state IDs must be current.
  • For everyone’s safety, children are not permitted in the testing lab, and the College does not provide childcare for this purpose.
  • No food or drink is permitted in the testing labs.
  • Testing materials such as pencils and scrap paper are provided by the Testing Center. An online calculator will appear for appropriate math questions; personal calculators are not allowed.
  • Applicants will be asked to store other items in their vehicles or in a small locker provided by the Testing Center. The College and its staff will not be held responsible for any items.
  • Each applicant may complete placement assessment only once, unless an academic advisor recommends retesting. There is no fee for the first testing.
  • Sample questions for the Accuplacer assessment and other guides to test preparation are available in the Placement Test section of the College website.

Placement Test Waiver Request

Students with transfer credit from a regionally accredited institution in college-level English composition and algebra, with a grade of C or higher, may not need to complete the entire placement assessment. To qualify for the waiver, students must:

  • Request an official copy of the college/university transcript(s) that is sent from the institution where credit was earned to the Cincinnati State Office of Admission.
  • Submit an online Placement Test Waiver Form.

ACT or SAT in Lieu of Accuplacer Assessment

Applicants who have taken the ACT® or SAT® within the past two years may be exempted from taking the Accuplacer assessment.

Students who did not previously authorize ACT or SAT to send scores to Cincinnati State may request that the scores be sent by contacting the appropriate service:

Separate charges may apply. Scores must be received directly from ACT or SAT.

After receiving the ACT or SAT scores, appropriate placement and/or need for additional assessment will be determined.

  • ACT English/Reading: 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 assessment is waived.)
  • ACT Math: Applicants with ACT Math scores lower than 22 must complete the Math portion of the Accuplacer assessment.
  • SAT English/Reading: 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 assessment is waived.)
  • SAT Evidence Based Reading/Writing: Applicants who score 479 or lower on SAT Evidence Based Reading and Writing must complete the Reading and Writing portion of the ACCUPLACER assessment.
  • SAT Math: Applicants with SAT Math scores lower than 520 must complete the Math portion of the Accuplacer assessment.

COMPASS in Lieu of Accuplacer Placement Testing

Applicants who have taken the COMPASS® test within the past two years may be exempted from taking the Accuplacer assessment.

  • Applicants may submit a copy of COMPASS scores via postal mail, fax, or email, or information may be hand-delivered to the Office of Admission. 

Placement Testing Accommodations

Prospective students who have a permanent disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 may wish to seek an accommodation or waiver of part or the entire placement test.
Students making such a request must submit proper documentation of their disability for review. Students should contact the Office of Disability Services at (513) 569-1775 or email disabilities@cincinnatistate.edu for more information.