Placement tests are skills tests. The results of your placement tests will be used to determine if you’re prepared to tackle the major you’ve selected and to place you into the first semester courses that match your skill levels. There are two test areas: math and English.


Every major requires one or more math courses. The math placement test series is designed to place you into the highest math placement your skill level will allow.

Math test details

There are three parts of the math test.

  1. Pre-algebra/elementary algebra - measures ability to perform basic operations and to solve problems that involve pre-algebra and elementary algebraic skills and concepts.
    • 45 minutes
    • 58 questions
  2. Intermediate algebra - measures ability to perform basic algebraic operations and to solve problems that involve intermediate algebraic skills and geometry concepts.
    • 30 minutes
    • 26 questions
  3. Functions and graphs - measures ability to perform operations and to solve problems that involve functions and graphs. Readiness for calculus is determined through use of algebraic, trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic functions.
    • 45 minutes
    • 37 questions


All majors require writing assignments.  The English essay is used to determine if you are ready for college-level writing.

English test details

For the English placement test you will be given a choice between two topics and asked to write an essay exploring a central or controlling idea; it is important that you use details, examples, and specifics to provide strong support for your ideas.

Your essay will be evaluated with the following skills in mind:

  • organization
  • idea development
  • sentence structure
  • grammar
  • word choice
  • spelling and punctuation
  • 30 minutes

Test Scheduling

Go to your applicant dashboard to schedule placement testing.

International Students

  • Testing off campus is recommended and may be more convenient.
  • Extra time (1.5 times the usual allotted time) is given to complete testing.
  • Placement requirements must be met before an offer of acceptance will be made.

If you are unable to complete placement testing on your scheduled test date, contact College Transitions & First Year Initiatives at to cancel. After receiving a cancellation confirmation by email, go to your applicant dashboard to register for a new test date.

Alternate testing dates are available if you have a disability and require testing accommodations.

Both on-campus and off-campus accommodated testing dates are available if you have a disability and require testing accommodations.

Examples of testing accommodations may include extended time, limited distraction test site, and test reader. A more complete list of accommodations is available on the Disability Services website.

Go to your applicant dashboard to register for an accommodated testing date. Accommodations need to be approved prior to testing. Placement testing accommodations can be arranged based on a verbal history of the testing accommodations you received during high school. However, documentation of your disability is required for accommodations as an enrolled student.

Preparing for Test Day

1. Complete the Math Information Form.

Along with your placement test results, the information that you provide on the Math Information Form will be used to determine your level of math proficiency.

Complete this form prior to your test day:

  1. Log on to the Student Information System (SIS).
  2. Select “Admissions Information” on the left.
  3. Select “Placement Testing,” which will take you directly to the form.
  4. Answer all questions carefully before submitting. Once you have submitted the form, you will not be able to return to it.
2. Take sample tests and review sample questions.

The sample information will give you a good idea of what to expect on the tests and allow you to gauge how your current knowledge matches with concepts represented in the test questions.

  • Math – The math sample test is available on our online course system, P.L.A.T.O. You will receive your results automatically upon completion of the test. Go to the math sample test registration page; there, you will submit your first and last name, and then a username and password will be provided.
  • English – A sample essay with reviewer response is provided to help you understand how your essay will be evaluated.

What to Bring for On-Campus Testing

All test materials, including pencils, will be provided.

Please bring: 

  • Photo identification (such as a driver's license or passport) to present at check-in
  • Calculator (optional)
    • For all parts of the math test, calculators are optional. If you are not comfortable using a calculator, it is best not to use one. The math tests can be completed using pencil and paper. Struggling with a calculator while testing will cost you time. If you choose to use a calculator, bring a four-function scientific or graphing calculator, such as the TI-84 Plus.

Contact information

Pennsylvania College of Technology
DIF 119

One College Avenue
Williamsport, PA 17701