Placement Testing

Placement Testing

All students seeking a degree or certificate must participate in placement testing 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 testing before they can enroll in college-level courses.

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

Check-in hours for testing are:

  • Monday and Tuesday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
  • Wednesday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. 
  • First Saturday of each month, 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.
  • Go to on the College website for additional Saturday hours.

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

  • Tuesday, 9 a.m. – noon
  • Wednesday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. 
  • Thursday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. 
  • First Saturday of each month, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. 

The Testing Center is closed on all federal holidays and other days the College is closed. Please call (513) 861-7700 for a complete schedule.

Please allow 2 hours and 40 minutes for testing. For everyone’s safety, children are not permitted in the testing lab, and the College does not provide childcare for this purpose. A photo ID is required to complete testing. All state IDs must be current. 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 testing only once, unless an academic advisor recommends retesting. There is no fee for the first testing.

Any questions regarding the placement testing should be directed to the Testing Center staff at (513) 861-7700.

Sample test questions for the Accuplacer placement test are available online at

Placement Test Waiver Request

Students with transfer credit from a regionally accredited institution in college-level English composition and algebra may not need to complete the entire placement test. Interested students should submit (by mail only) an official copy of their college/university transcript(s) to the Office of Admission, along with submitting an online Placement Test Waiver Form available at

ACT or SAT in Lieu of Accuplacer or COMPASS Placement Testing

Applicants who have taken the ACT® or SAT® within the past two years may be exempted from taking the college Placement Test (currently Accuplacer®, previously COMPASS®). Students who did not previously authorize ACT or SAT to send scores to Cincinnati State may request that the scores be sent by contacting or, as applicable. Separate charges may apply. Scores must be received directly from ACT or SAT.

After receiving the ACT or SAT scores, English and Reading scores will be used to determine appropriate English placement. Math scores lower than 22 will require the applicant to take the math portion of the COMPASS® test. If math scores are lower than 22 on the ACT or lower than 520 on the SAT, the applicant will be required to take the math portion of the Accuplacer test. Applicants with math scores at or above these numbers will be referred to an academic advisor for math placement.

COMPASS in Lieu of Accuplacer Placement Testing

Applicants who have taken the COMPASS® test may be exempted from taking the current Accuplacer placement test.  COMPASS scores can be no more than five years older than the applicant's current date of testing. Applicants may submit a copy of COMPASS scores via mail, fax, email, or they may be hand-carried to the Office of Admission. 

For more information, call (513) 861-7700.

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 for more information. 

For more information please visit the College website at