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ACM Placement Testing

blue arrowWho needs to take the placement test?
blue arrowAbout ACCUPLACER
blue arrowPreparing for Accuplacer
blue arrowAnatomy and Physiology Placement for pre-health career students 
blue arrowRequesting special accommodations? 
blue arrowTaking the placement test somewhere else - Remote Testing
blue arrowSchedule a placement test/Testing hours
blue arrowWhat should you bring? 
blue arrowWhen are the scores available? 
blue arrowTransfer of placement testing scores 
blue arrowRetesting policy 


Who needs to take the placement test?

All students who do not have appropriate SAT, ACT, PARCC or COMPASS scores or previous college experience must take Accuplacer.

    • If a student scored 480 or higher on the Writing and Language section or 530 or higher on the Math section of the SAT or 21 or higher on any part of the ACT, or a PARCC English 11 score of Level 4 or 5 or Algebra II score of level 4 or 5 the student may waive taking that section of the placement test.
    • If a student's SAT or ACT scores were high enough, only schedule the appropriate section of the test.
    • The student must have an official record of your SAT/ACT and PARCC scores sent to the Allegany College of Maryland Admissions/ Registration Office.
  • COMPASS or Accuplacer scores from another college
    • Completed a COMPASS or Accuplacer placement test at another college, the scores may be recognized by ACM.
    • An official copy of the scores must be provided by the Student Success Center Testing Lab.
  • Previous College Experience 
    • 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 section of the test.  
    • 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 section of the test.

    • 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 section 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 test. 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.

  • Previous applied to Allegany College of Maryland
    • Students that took ACM's placement test in previous years may still have a valid score. Mathematics scores are only valid for two years.


Your Success is very important to us. To help guide you toward success, we want to be assured that we start you in courses that you have the skills to be successful. If you need to improve your academic skills to achieve success, we want to work with you to improve your skills.

Accuplacer, a comprehensive, computerized, adaptive assessment system from College Board, is used to place 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. Test results suggest appropriate placement in developmental courses (English 90 or 93; Reading 90 or 93; Math 90, 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.

Since Accuplacer is adaptive, each answer to a question determines the next test question. This helps to provide a more accurate measure of student's academic skills. 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.


Preparing for Accuplacer

Preparing for Accuplacer is similar to preparing to take the SAT or ACT.  The more time you spend preparing, the more accurate your placement will be. To help you prepare, we are suggesting the following resources:

  • blue arrowThe Official Web-Based Study App features practice tests in Arithmetic, Elementary Algebra, College-Level Math, Reading Comprehension, and Sentence Skills.

  • For more information about the Accuplacer Test and the types of questions, please check out the Accuplacer Testing Booklet or visit their website

  • An expanded preparation for the mathematics section is available online.

  • How to use the Casio fx 115 ES Plus calculator. 
  • Many websites including YouTube offer advice for preparing to take Accuplacer. A web search will offer a multitude of sites.

Anatomy and Physiology Placement Test for health career programs

Students who plan to take anatomy and physiology courses have two possible pathways. One, the more common and recommended path, is to successfully complete Biological Science 100 or 101. Students who place into developmental reading or Math 90 are recommended to take Biological Science 93. The second pathway is to take the Anatomy and Physiology Placement Test.

The Anatomy and Physiology Placement Test is designed for students with unique educational qualifications. The test 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.

This test, which is available at all campuses, is more complex to schedule. Students must:

  • Schedule an appointment at least three business days in advance.
  • Have applied and been accepted to ACM.
  • Have an active Blackboard account.
  • Must have placed out of, or successfully completed, with a grade of "C" or better Reading 93 and Math 90.
  • Come prepared having studied basic college biology and chemistry.

The anatomy and physiology placement test evaluates student background knowledge in college-level first semester general biology and chemistry concepts of critical importance. This test is not a "get out of biology" exam. It is designed to gauge knowledge in key concepts needed to ensure the student has the foundational materials needed for an anatomy and physiology course.

The anatomy and physiology placement test must be planned in advance. Students should not take this test without studying a college level general biology text or a high school chemistry text. A practice exam is not available. Only students who score between 55% and 65% may take the test a second time, so students are reminded to devote time to studying.

Click to download .pdf Anatomy and Physiology Study Guide (323KB)


The timed test (40 minutes) of 49 questions is based on a test bank of questions, so no two tests are alike. Scores are evaluated and students are placed accordingly:

65% or greater Students may take Bio 121, Bio 201, or Bio 207
45-65% Students may take Bio 100 or Bio 101
45% or less
Students should take Bio 93

Only students scoring between 55% and 65% may take the test a second time but must wait at least two days to reschedule the test.

Requesting special accommodations

Students who have been approved to receive testing accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act are requested to notify the Testing Lab personnel of their needs before arriving for the session. To become eligible to receive special accommodations and services, students must provide appropriate documentation of a disability to the Academic Disability Resources Office. Online information is available or by contacting Wilma Kerns, the Access and Resources Coordinator at 301-784-5234 or

Remote Testing  

The opportunity to take the ACM placement test is available to students who live outside the four-state area (MD, PA, VA, WV) or for students with extenuating circumstances. In these cases the student may wish to take the test closer to home. The ACM Accuplacer and science placement tests may be taken at a high school, a local college, or a certified test site.   

  • If you are eligible to take the test off-campus, you need to locate and make initial contact with the test proctoring site beforehand to schedule an appointment.  Please note you will not be able to walk-in at a testing proctoring site and take the ACM placement test without making prior arrangements.

  •   Please be aware that many institutions charge a proctoring fee and will require photo ID.

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.    



How do you schedule a placement test?

Before scheduling your test, you must apply to the College.

Which campus do you plan to attend?
  • Placement tests are given at all campuses of Allegany College of Maryland. Students should select the campus that is closest to their home.
  • Students should call and schedule at least one day prior to testing. Walk-ins are accepted. Please note that due to computer and hardware upgrades and malfunctions and classroom testing schedules, placement testing may not be conducted on certain days.
  • Testing times may be scheduled by phone or electronically scheduled with the Cumberland Campus.

    Bedford County Campus

    Amy Barkman | 814-652-9528, ext. 6226
    Student Services Office | 18 North River Lane | Everett, PA 15537


    Cumberland Campus

    Student Success Center | 301-784-5554
    Humanities Building | Room 58
    | 12401 Willowbrook Road | Cumberland, MD 21502

      Office Hours

What should you bring?

  • Students must present valid photo identification.
  • Copies of SAT or ACT or PARCC score reports.
  • No cell phones or other electronic devices permitted in Testing Lab.
  • Pencils, paper, and a basic calculator will be provided by the Testing Lab. 

For a complete list of Testing Lab Procedures please see the Student Handbook.


When are the scores available?

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


Transfer of Placement Testing Scores

Please note any student wishing to have their scores transferred or released to another college needs to request their placement test scores by completing the ACM Student Test Score Release Form. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact the Testing Lab via email or call 301-784-5551 because it is an official process.

  • ACM Placement Test Score Release Form
    • You may complete this form and turn it in to the ACM Testing Lab and present a valid picture ID at time of drop off.
    • You may scan and email a copy or fax to 301-784-5060 along with a legible copy of your valid picture ID.

Retesting Policy

Students may retest once after a minimum state-mandated waiting period of one business day between tests. Students who are interested in retesting will need to complete some form of review before retesting. Please bring a copy of your scores on the Accuplacer Study App or the Accuplacer Testing Booklet.


Preparation for Retesting  

  1. INTERNET:  Students who have internet access will acquire the web-based Accuplacer Study App, which is available FREE for a computer, tablet, or smartphone. While downloading the app, students will use their email address and create a password. Students will need to practice in the appropriate subject areas, complete the practice test and print the History report. Students must bring the print-out with them on the retest date. The app will be available for six months. 

    This method of preparation is recommended since it provides a tutorial and feedback on your progress. No minimum practice score is required on any of these test preparation options, but students must show evidence that they spent time preparing before retesting.

  2. NO INTERNET OR SMARTPHONE:  Students with limited or no internet access will receive a practice placement test for the appropriate subject(s) and will be asked to complete and return it to the Student Success Center(SSC) before retesting. SSC staff will verify that the student attempted the practice test questions. This option is available to any student who prefers the hard-copy of practice tests for math, reading, and/or sentence skills.   

If you have any questions or would like more information please contact the
Student Success Center at 301-784-5551.