Questions About Placement Testing

Q: How do I make a testing appointment?

A: Your testing appointment will depend upon your current educational status.

  • If you are a student who lacks a high school diploma or a High School Equvalency (HSE, formerly GED), contact the Office of Academic Services or register for days and times of testing given throughout the year.
  • If you are you intending to be a full-time student and have either a high school diploma or a High School Equvalency (HSE, formerly GED), the Admissions Office will schedule you for a testing appointment after receiving your application.
  • If you are intending to be a part-time student who wants to register for introductory English, Mathematics and/or Anatomy and Physiology courses, a printed schedule of "walk-in" testing sessions is available in the Registrar's Office ( (845) 431-8010 ) and the Office of Academic Services ( (845) 431-8090 ). Each office will also provide information over the phone.
  • If English is your second language, contact the Office of Academic Services for English as a Second Language (ESL) testing.

Q: What do I need to bring to testing?

A: You will need to bring:

  1. Photo identification such as a driver's license.
  2. Your social security number.
  3. A Test Referral sheet which you obtain at the Admissions Office, if you are a full time student or at the Registrar's Office, if you are a part time student.

Q: Why do I have to take this test?

A: A test of Basic Skills, either COMPASS or ASSET is required for all full-time students and for students who wish to matriculate at DCC. This is testing used to determine proper placement.

Q: What is the cost of the test?

A: For DCC students there is no fee for testing services.

A: The test's goal is to assess your skills in reading, writing and mathematics. A review of mathematics helps refresh those skills. You should ask about the test format, timing and the types of questions asked. By understanding and being familiar with the test format your anxiety level will be reduced. Click "How do I prepare ..." for more information.

Q: Can I retake the placement test?

A: As a general rule, no, you may not retake the placement test, since the placement tests are designed to determine your level of placement in first semester courses. It is extremely important that you arrive on time, healthy and well rested for the tests. Applicants who feel that their performance would improve at a later date should contact the Admissions Office to reschedule their initial appointment. Applicants who did not score as well as they would have liked, have the opportunity to retest after completing an academic preparation program (hyperlink). Contact the Office of Academic Services and Testing at (845) 431-8090 for more information.

Q: Why do I have to be tested in Reading and Writing?

A: Reading and writing skills are essential for college success. You must read well enough to understand college textbooks and write well enough to write essays and prepare term papers.

Q: Why do I have to take a math test?

A: Certain quantitative skills and mathematical concepts are necessary for success in many college courses. These are the skills and concepts that the test measures.

Q: When will I get the results?

A: COMPASS, ESL, Science Placement and Spanish Online test results are available at the time the test is completed. ASSET test results are scanned and either available at the time of registration or sent directly to your home.

Q: Can I fail the COMPASS or ASSET placement tests?

A: No. If, by the time you enroll in DCC, you have, or will have, a high school diploma or a High School Equivalency (HSE, formerly GED), you are automatically accepted. The placement test determines the proper courses for you to take during your first semester, and whether you are required to enroll in noncredit preparatory classes.

If you do not have a high school diploma or a High School Equivalency (HSE, formerly GED) and do not make certain "cut scores" on ASSET or COMPASS, you will not be able to enroll at the college or receive financial aid.

Q: What is the English Course Placement Appeal?

A: The English Course Placement appeal is available to students who place in a certain range on the Writing portion of COMPASS or ASSET. Students are given the opportunity to come in during some "walk-in" testing times to write an essay which is then evaluated by a professor from the English department to determine final course placement. Those students qualifying for the English Course Placement appeal will be notified with their test scores. Call the Office of Academic of Services for a current testing schedule.