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Placement Test Study Guide

Prep for the Test to do your Best!

Interested in PLA?

Send In Your Transcripts!

You may be able to skip the reading, writing, and math placement tests!  There are many ways to determine college and career readiness at FCC.

To secure placement testing exemptions, incoming students must submit the following to the FCC Welcome Center in Jefferson Hall or via email to

  • High School Transcript and previous College Transcripts
  • Transfer credits from another institution can fulfill necessary requirements.
  • College Entrance Exam Scores from SAT and/or ACT
  • Advanced Placement (AP) test scores and International Baccalaureate (IB) test scores
  • CLEP, DSST and other credit by examination program scores in college level math, reading, and writing

Temporary COVID-19 Exemptions

Temporary exemptions listed in these charts are colored red. These exemptions are under review and will allow for course registration through Fall 2024. 

How Can I Be Exempt From Placement Testing?

You may have documentation that qualifies you for an exemption in one or all areas of placement tests. allowing you to skip the placement test and begin registering for classes. 

Individuals who have completed their junior year, seniors, and/or graduates of Maryland Public High Schools and present a transcript that verifies a cumulative, unweighted high school GPA of 3.0 or better will be exempt from reading, writing, and mathematics placement testing. This measure does not apply to grades earned in English as a Second or Other Language (ESL/ESOL) courses. This GPA exemption will be valid for five years after the date of the individual’s high school graduation.

To be exempt from the ACCUPLACER placement tests, students would need to have the following scores (Acceptable if within five years from the date the test is taken):


Reading: Evidence-Based Reading & Writing: 480 Composite/Average score of: 21
Writing: [Not Required]
Mathematics: 530 21

Other Exemptions (only one needs to be met in each subject, valid 2 years post-graduation [test date for GED scores]):

(Reading & Writing)
  • Earning a 3 or better on the AP English Language & Comp, English Literature Exam;
  • Earning a score of 4 or higher on the IB Language A: Literature SL, Language A: Language & Literature SL, Language A: Literature HL or  Language A: Language & Literature HL Test;
  • Earning a GED English score of 165 or higher;
  • Earning a score of 3 or 4 on the English MCAP test; 2 or 3 on English Early MCAP
  • Successful Completion of the FCPS English 12 transition Experience
  • READING EXEMPTION ONLY - Transferring twelve (12) credits or more from an accredited U.S. institution with 2.00 cumulative GPA if at least six (6) credits are general education courses. Writing placement testing required with this exemption.
  • Successfully completed a college-level English course or earned FCC-accepted equivalent credit-by-exam*.
  • Earning a 3 or better on the AP Calculus or Statistics Exam;
  • Earning a score of 4 or higher on the IB Mathematical Studies, Mathematics SL, Mathematics HL, or the Further Math Tests
  • Earning an A or B in Algebra II or higher from an FCPS high school within the past two years;
  • Earning a GED Mathematical Reasoning score of 165 or higher;
  • Earning a score of 3 or 4 on the Algebra II or Geometry MCAP test; 2 or 3 on the Algebra II or Geometry Early MCAP;
  • Successful completion of the FCPS Math transition experience;
  • Successfully completed a college-level math course or earned FCC-accepted equivalent credit-by-exam**.

*Reading and Writing exemption may be granted to students who earn equivalent credit for ENGL101 English Composition or the first college-level English composition course at an accredited U.S. institution or credit through DANTES Subject Standard Tests (DSST) or College-Level Examination Program (CLEP).

**Math exemption may be granted to students who earn equivalent credit in a general education math course, at the college level, at an accredited U.S. institution or credit through DSST or CLEP. 

Credits earned through DSST or CLEP expire after 20 years. Find more information about DSST and CLEP through Prior Learning Assessment and make an appointment to take your DSST or CLEP exam for credit at the Testing Center.



Freshman Year for Free - Modern States

You can earn college credit in as little as 25 hours of study; saving up to 25% of the cost of a college degree!  Register at Modern States to take free classes that will help you prepare for a number of different CLEP tests. Modern States will also provide you with a test voucher for a free CLEP exam and reimburse your $30 testing fee that you pay to take the CLEP test at the FCC Testing Center!

Visit the Testing Center webpage under "Test Prep" for more information about Modern States and CLEP testing!

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