Prepare for Placement Testing

  • Carroll uses Accuplacer, a College Board product, to test for English, reading and math skills. Preview Accuplacer's sample questions and practice SAT sample questions for reading, English and math. College Board provides a free smartphone app that students have reported as being very helpful in refreshing skills and understanding the kinds of questions on the tests. 

  • Reading

    The Accuplacer reading placement test is an untimed reading comprehension test. The test may indicate a need for improving reading comprehension or vocabulary building skills.

    Students whose placement test indicates a need for remediation complete a diagnostic test to assess their remediation needs. These students complete some or all of the following courses, as indicated by the tests:

    • Reading Tutoring (below 36 on the reading component of the Accuplacer placement test) Call Jennifer Gertz  at 410-386-8223 for details.

    • READ MODA-F, Critical Reading Skills for College, provides individualized instruction for students whose scores fall between 36 and 78 on the reading component of the Accuplacer placement test and whose scores fall below 10 on any of the five reading competencies evaluated in the Accuplacer Reading Diagnostic Test (Modules B - F). 

      READ MODA provides an orientation to the modules and introduces reading and learning strategies. This module is required for any student who places into the modules. Students who require more than one term to complete the Reading modules, register for READ-MODA2, at no additional charge, each term.

      Students utilize My Foundations Lab, a new online teaching tool, which dovetails with the diagnostic test to supply the necessary pieces of the curriculum that are individualized to each student's needs. Completing the appropriate modules completes the reading curriculum.

      Successful completion of the required modules satisfies the reading pre-requisites for credit level classes (four lecture, no credit, two to six billable hours).

    All General Education courses require students to complete the modules or be exempt from reading. Most non-General Education courses require students to complete the reading courses or score 79 or higher on the placement test, which indicates that reading remediation is not necessary. See the college catalog or an adviser for details.

    The best preparation for the placement test is a history of reading. For practice with reading and vocabulary, register as a student at Carroll Community College with instructor M Vandal at Townsend Press.  


    The English placement is based on the Accuplacer sentence skill score and reading ability. If the sentence skills test results are not decisive, students will need to provide a writing sample.

    For the sample, students are allowed unlimited time to write the essay based on a choice of prompts.

    English professors review the essay and determine course placement based on the grammar, punctuation, organization and idea development. 

    For English practice, including sentence structure, grammar and punctuation, visit Bedford/St. Martin's; from the home page, go to register. Its diagnostic test can help in determining what to study. Based on the provided results, students can work on the topic they need to practice from the Exercises tab. 


    Placement into math courses is determined by the score received on the untimed, computer-adapted math test. The questions begin with algebra and become harder as the student enters correct answers and easier if the student enters wrong answers.

    The Math department faculty recommends the following prior to taking the math placement test:

    • Study algebra and college math level skills independently with commercially sold review texts.
    • Visit the Library's math research guide; and review  PurplemathWorld of Math or Khan Academy.
    • Arrive refreshed and use the break offered between tests.
    • Think through and take time during testing so placement results are accurate.

    Taking the Tests

    Students fulfill the following:

    • Submit the Enrollment Application to the Admissions office (A101), and obtain a seven digit student ID number prior to placement testing.
    • Provide a driver's license or other official government-issued ID on the testing day; staff must verify student identity.
    • Arrive on time for testing.

    Placement testing is available on a walk-in basis during the following times: 

    Monday - Thursday 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.  
    Friday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.  
    Saturday 9  - 11 a.m. 

    Testing supplies including pencils and scratch paper are provided by the college.  Students are not permitted to use their personal calculators, but will be provided one embedded within the Accuplacer tests.