• College Placement Test (CPT)

  • At Mt. Hood Community College, we are committed to your success. The College Placement Test (CPT) is an important part of that commitment. The following information answers many common questions about the CPT. If you need more information about the test, please visit MHCC Testing Services, or call (503) 491-7592.

    Who should take the CPT?

    All degree-seeking students must take the CPT. The test is also required if you wish to enroll in courses that have reading, writing and/or math prerequisites. Prerequisite requirements for each course can be found on the MHCC website within the course description in the College Catalog or in the class schedule at https://my.mhcc.edu/ICS/Resources/MyMHCC_Portal_Documentation_for_Students.jnz?portlet=AddDrop_Courses.

    Do I need to apply for admission to MHCC before I take the CPT?

    Yes, you must apply for admission and have an MHCC ID# before you can test. Please visit www.mhcc.edu/admissions to submit an Online Admission Application. This should be done at least 48-hours before you plan on taking the test to allow time for processing.

    What if I am transferring from another college or university?

    You may not be required to take the CPT if you have already attended college. Take your transcript(s) to the Academic Advising & Transfer Center, located in Student Services, room 2253, or fax to 503-491-7388.

    What if I've taken a placement test at another school?

    Mt. Hood Community College uses Accuplacer as our placement test. If you took this test at another school, or if you took a COMPASS test within the last five years, you may bring in a copy of your scores to Testing Services. Scores can be also faxed to 503-491-7594 or emailed to testing@mhcc.edu. Once we have verified the scores with the issuing school, we may be able to convert your reading, writing and math scores for use at MHCC. The report must include your full name, the date of the test, the name of the test and subtests, the name of the school and your test scores. Please note: MHCC is unable to utilize ALEKS scores for math placement.

    How long are my scores valid?

    Your CPT results will remain valid for five years.

    What kinds of questions appear on the CPT?

    The CPT measures READING COMPREHENSION, your knowledge of ENGLISH GRAMMAR and your skills in MATHEMATICS. All of the questions are multiple choice.

    View Sample Questions

    When can I take the CPT?

    The CPT is administered throughout the year. Specific times may change each term.

    CPT Schedule

    How long will it take?

    The CPT is not timed. You may take as much time as you need. It usually takes about 90 minutes to complete the CPT. You may complete the test over multiple days within a 2-week period, if you wish.

    How can I prepare myself for the CPT?

    • Take some time to prepare and review before you take the test. Even a little bit of mathematics review, for example, can make a substantial difference in your course placement which will save you both time and money! Click the Prepare Here link below for resources
    • Relax! The CPT is designed to help you to be successful in school. This is not a pass or fail test! Your scores help us to determine which courses are most appropriate for your current level of knowledge and skills.
    • You will be better able to concentrate if you get plenty of rest and eat properly prior to the test.
    • Be sure you understand the directions for each test before you begin each section. Ask questions if you need to.
    • Pace yourself. Remember this test is not timed. Allow yourself plenty of time – do not put yourself in a situation where you must rush through the test.
    • You are allowed to take breaks during the test. If you feel that you need to get up and stretch or take a walk to get some fresh air, you are more than welcome to do so. You may also complete the test on multiple days within a 2-week period.

    Prepare Here

    What if I've never used a computer?

    You do not need experience with a computer to take the test. Testing staff will explain how to enter your answers, and the test provides clear instructions. Testing staff will be available to answer questions throughout your test.

    What if English is not my first language?

    If English is not your first language, the computer will administer a series of tests (ESL-Reading Skills, ESL-Sentence Meaning and ESL-Language Use) to determine your English proficiency. If your test results indicate that you have strong reading and writing skills, the computer will then "branch" you into the College Placement Test for possible placement into college courses.

    To view the ESL practice tests, please visit Accuplacer’s official web site.

    What happens next?

    You will receive a copy of your CPT scores immediately following your test. If you have any questions, you may visit the Orientation Center on a walk in basis. Because of the confidential nature of your scores, CPT results will not be mailed or given to you by phone.

    What if I think my scores are "wrong?"

    Sometimes circumstances prevent students from doing their best on a test. If you believe that your CPT results do not accurately reflect your skills, you will be allowed to take one retest per subject per year. You will be provided with retest guidelines upon completion of the CPT. We strongly encourage you to speak with an academic adviser before you retest.

    What if I live out of the area?

    If you live more than two hours from Gresham, you may make alternate test arrangements by following the procedure below:

    1. Go to the nearest community college or high school and ask a staff member (preferably from the testing center or counseling office) if they will agree to proctor MHCC's placement test over the internet.
    2. Once a proctor has been located, have him/her email confirmation to testing@mhcc.edu. The email must come from an education institution and include the name and title of your proctor. We will not approve requests from personal email addresses.
    3. Make an appointment to take the CPT with your exam proctor. He/she will be provided with instructions and a password that will grant you access to the CPT.
    4. Your exam proctor will be instructed to notify MHCC Testing Services when you have completed the CPT. Your scores will then be retrieved and recorded into your MHCC student record.

    Note: The following limitations exist when completing the CPT from a distance:

    • You will be unable to place directly into Math 65 (Beginning Algebra II).
    • You will be unable to retest in mathematics.

    What classes do my scores place me in to?

    Scores on the Reading, Sentence Skills, Arithmetic and College-Level Math tests are out of a possible 120 points. The Basic Algebra test is out of a possible 23 points. Click on the button below for information about what classes each score will place you in to.

    Score Information