The Accuplacer test results determine course placements based on your current skill level in the areas of reading, English and mathematics. The Accuplacer ESL test assesses the English language skills of students who have learned English as an additional language.

The Accuplacer test is computer-based, except for the ESL writing assessment that is paper/pencil. No prior computer experience is necessary. All test questions are multiple choice with approximately 15-22 questions on each test. The test is untimed. On average, it takes 2 hours to complete. Personal calculators are not allowed, however, a pop-up calculator is provided on specific test questions. Scratch paper and pencils are provided.

It is important to prepare for the test. Doing so may save you time and money! Study the sample test questions and come prepared. The test scores determine your course placements at orientation.

Students can retest once per semester for a fee of $10.


  1. Complete the admission process and a placement test waiver request if you are eligible.
  2. Schedule an appointment online through your admission acceptance email or by calling the Testing Center at 763-424-0928.
  3. Check-in at the Testing Center 20 minutes prior to the scheduled test.Testing begins on schedule. Students who arrive late must wait for the proctor to admit them into the testing room. Picture identification is required. Students without a valid picture ID have to reschedule.
  4. Following the test session, meet with the post assessment advisor to discuss your test results. ESL writing essay results are sent to you within one week.
  5. Complete online orientation, and schedule a registration session.

Test Scores are Valid:

  • 3 years for reading, English (sentence skills or ESL essay), ESL reading, listening, and sentence meaning.
  • 2 years for math

Transfer Student Information

Transfer students who have completed college level algebra or a higher course, or a college-level English composition course with a grade of C- or better, might be eligible for a placement test waiver in one or both areas.

Transfer students who have completed a minimum of six college level credits with a grade of C- or better and an overall minimum GPA of 2.0 from a regionally accredited institution will be exempt from the placement test in reading with the exception of international credits; or coursework in Studio Art, Studio Music, Theatre Practicum, activity based courses that do not involve college level reading, foreign language and American Sign Language courses.

  • Submit official transcripts for evaluation as soon as possible. A placement test waiver request is not needed if official transcripts are provided.
  • Unofficial transcripts can be attached to the placement test waiver request and submitted to the Testing Center for evaluation.

Returning Student Information

Returning NHCC students may be required to take a placement test if test scores have expired or if required as a course prerequisite.