Why Do I Need a Test?

Course Placement Chart

Placement testing may be required for new students who do not meet the GPA requirement. Test results are used to place new students into appropriate math, English, reading and ESL classes.

Students choosing to enroll will register for the courses indicated by their English, mathematic or reading course placement tests. Initial course placement should be discussed with an academic advisor or counselor who is skilled in assessing the student's needs and factors that affect student success.

College Course Placement Using High School GPA

Students who satisfy the following high school GPA requirements are encouraged to use their overall, unweighted high school GPA instead of ACCUPLACER (including WritePlacer) placement exams.  Unofficial transcripts, hand carried, can be used for course placement.

Unweighted GPA’s for students who attended high school within the past ten (10) years, will now be taken into consideration for course placement, as long as the unweighted GPA is 2.6 or higher.  Students may be eligible to place directly into college level English, Reading and Math courses without taking the ACCUPLACER exams.   Please talk to Testing Center Staff, Enrollment Services Staff or an Academic Advisor for more details.  This change went into effect October 4, 2018 for Spring Semester 2019 enrollment.

Please refer to the new and updated Course Placement Chart  for updated information, placement testing options, course sequencing and the Initial and Retest Policy.  Always ask questions if you are unsure or need assistance.

ACCUPLACER Placement Testing

Unweighted High School GPA, less than ten years old, is now the primary method used for course placement.  ACCUPLACER placement testing will be the secondary method, if high school attendance is less than two years ago, more than ten years ago or the unweighted GPA is less than 2.6. 

If the High School GPA (either too old or less than 2.6) cannot be used for course placement, then ACCUPLACER placement tests will be used.  Maricopa Colleges currently uses the ‘Next Generation’ version of ACCUPLACER. (WritePlacer, Reading Comprehension Next Generation, Arithmetic Next Generation, Quantitative Reasoning Next Generation and Advanced Algebra Next Generation).

Unweighted High School GPA cannot be used for ‘Reading Exempt’ or any math course higher than MAT187.  

Note: Being exempt from taking a course placement test does not exempt the student from fulfilling the minimum graduation requirements.

Understanding the Retest Policy

You can only have three (3) non-expired test scores in the system within a 2-year time period.  For example, if you took a placement test today, you could retest again tomorrow.  But for the third test, you would need to wait for at least three months from the first placement test date. Placement test scores are then valid for two years.  Placement test scores need to be valid on the first day of class.

New-to-college students should have their MMGPA (High School GPA) entered into their Student Center or plan on taking their ACCUPLACER placement tests prior to meeting with an Academic Advisor.  Ask the advisors about our ‘Guided Pathways for Success-GPS’, ‘Fields of Interest’, ‘Career and Technical Certificates and Degrees’ and our ‘University Transfer Programs’.  MCC Advisors will help you find the shortest pathway to your educational and career goals.   But always, enjoy your journey.

There is no charge to take a placement test if you are attending the Maricopa Colleges.  There is a $25. proctor fee if you are testing for a college outside of the Maricopa District.  It is also an option to set up a remote/virtual test voucher for students planning to attend Mesa College but live out of the local area.

Make this request via our department email address:  testing@mesacc.edu