Main Content

Placement Assessment

To assist students to succeed in college and to complete their degrees, Allegany College of Maryland administers a placement assessment known as Accuplacer to new students on all three campuses. The results of the assessment help advisors select courses, which are appropriate to the students' skills in reading, English and mathematics. Accuplacer assesses sentence skills, reading comprehension, elementary algebra, and arithmetic or college level mathematics skills in order to place students in the proper introductory or developmental courses. The goal is to start students in courses that will lead to their success in college.




How can you prepare for the Accuplacer?

Do you need to take the Science Placement?

When do you plan to begin classes at ACM? 

Do you need special accommodations? 

Can I take a placement test somewhere else?

How do you schedule a placement assessment?

What should you bring?

When are the scores available?




Accuplacer, a comprehensive, computerized, adaptive assessment system from College Board, places students in appropriate courses. Students are assessed to determine their areas of strength and areas needing improvement in any of the basic skills areas. These areas include tests for proficiency in English, reading, and mathematics. Assessment results suggest appropriate placement in developmental courses (English 90 or 93; Reading 90 or 93; math 83, 90, 91, 93, or 96) or introductory-level college courses. Any combination of these courses is possible depending on the strengths or improvement needs of the individual student.

Accuplacer is adaptive, which means that if students answer easy questions correctly, they will be given harder ones. The answers given by the students determine the number of questions. Since there is no time limit, students can complete the test at their own pace, and each test will differ from other students. The length of time that it will take to complete the entire exam will vary, but for most students, it will take about an hour to an hour and a half.


How can you prepare for the Accuplacer?

Many websites including offer advice for preparing to take Accuplacer. A web search will offer a multitude of sites. For more information about the Accuplacer Exam and the types of questions, please check out the Accuplacer Testing Booklet. An expanded preparation for the mathematics section is available at


Do you need to take the Science Placement?

The Science Placement or Anatomy and Physiology Placement Assessment is a Blackboard-based test and is not a part of Accuplacer. Students wishing to take anatomy and physiology-based courses such as Biological Science 121, 201, or 207, but who have not taken Biological Science 100, 101, or 109 must pass the Anatomy and Physiology Placement Examination. Students must schedule an appointment at least three business days in advance and have applied and been accepted to ACM. Students must have active Blackboard accounts. The examination is administered at all three campuses.

The science placement assessment is not required for students planning to take introductory biology courses such Biological Science 100, 101, 103 or 109.


When do you plan to begin classes at ACM?

If a student plans to attend ACM for the first time either in the summer or fall, the student is recommended to schedule the placement assessment between February and early April. It is to the student's advantage to take the assessment before the first day for early registration for classes (usually the first week of April). The ACM Testing Labs offers the assessment throughout the summer.

If a student plans to begin college in the spring semester, the student is recommended to take the assessment between October and mid-January. Please note that the college is closed for two weeks during the holiday season. Early registration for the spring semester usually begins in early November.



Do you need special accommodations?

Students who require special assistance are requested to notify testing lab personnel before arriving for the session. Contact Dr. June Bracken, Director of Learning Support and Disability Services ( or 301-784-5112 to discuss accommodation needs.


How do you schedule a placement assessment?

Before scheduling your assessment, please answer the following questions:

1) Have you taken the SAT or ACT?

  • If a student scored 550 or higher on any part of the SAT or 21 or higher on any portion of the ACT, the student will not need to take that portion of the assessment.
    • If a student's SAT or ACT scores were high enough, only schedule the appropriate portion of the assessment.
    • The student must have an official record of your SAT/ACT scores sent to the Allegany College of Maryland Admissions/ Registration Office.


2) Have you attended college previously?

  • If a student...
    • Attended ACM in previous years, the placement score may still be valid.
    • Completed a COMPASS or Accuplacer placement assessment at another college, the scores may be recognized by ACM.
    • Attended a regionally accredited college and completed a college-level composition course with a C or higher, the student will not need to take the English portion of the assessment.
    • Attended a regionally accredited college and completed a college-level algebra course with a C or higher, the student will not need to take the mathematics portion of the assessment.
    • Attended a regionally accredited college and completed 12 or more credits of college-level general education courses (for example: history, speech, sociology, science, and art) with a C or higher, the student will not need to take the reading portion of the assessment. If a student does not know how many general education credits have completed, he or she should contact the ACM Admissions/Registration Office at 301-784-5203.
    • Has AP credit (score of 3 or higher) in English, mathematics, and other general education, the student may not need to take the entire placement assessment.  Contact the ACM Admissions/ Registration Office at 301-784-5203 to confirm your AP credits.
  • The college must have an official transcript from all of your previous colleges.

3) Which campus do you plan to attend?

  • Placement assessments are given at all three campuses of Allegany College of Maryland. Students should select the campus that is closest to their home.

Bedford County (Pennsylvania)

Call 814-652-9528, ext. 6224 or email  to schedule a placement assessment.

Student Services Office
18 North River Lane Everett, PA  15537

Cumberland (Maryland)

Click here to electronically schedule a placement assessment


Humanities Building
Room 58
12401 Willowbrook Road
Cumberland, MD 21502

Somerset County (Pennsylvania)

Call 814-445-9848, ext. 6135 or email  to schedule a placement assessment

Student Services Office
Founders’ Hall
6022 Glades Pike
Somerset, PA 15501


Remote Testing


If a student lives a considerable distance from any of our campuses, the student may wish to take the assessment closer to home. The ACM placement assessment may be taken at a high school, a local college, or a certified test site.

High school guidance counselor or a testing coordinator at a local college may agree to proctor an assessment. The student must select a date and time, and the proctor must completed the remote proctoring form. A minimum notice of three business days is required for setting up a remote site.

Follow this link ( for information about taking the assessment at a remote site. Please note that some colleges and test sites may charge a proctoring fee.

The Science Placement Assessment is not available at remote testing sites.



What should you bring?

  • Students must present valid photo identification.
  • Copies of SAT or ACT score reports
  • No calculators (Accuplacer provides a pop-up calculator when appropriate.)
  • No cell phones or other electronic devices



When are the scores available?

Placement results for the computerized assessment (ACCUPLACER) are available immediately.  An advisor will discuss the scores and placements.

Results for the paper/pencil assessment (COMPANION) are available within five business days from the assessment.