• College Placement Testing (CPT) and Determining Course Placement

  • Determining Course Placement

    At Mt. Hood Community College, we are committed to your success. Appropriate course placement is an important part of that commitment. All students who wish to take courses that have a reading, writing, and/or math prerequisite must have their placement levels evaluated. Prerequisite requirements for each course can be found on the MHCC website within the College Catalog at www.mhcc.edu/catalog or in the class schedule at https://my.mhcc.edu/ICS/schedule.

    What are the different ways that my course placement can be determined?

    College Placement Testing (CPT)

    Most students will take the Accuplacer College Placement Test (CPT) to determine Reading, Writing and Mathematics course placement and prerequisite levels. The test is a computer-based, multiple-choice test that is administered year round.

    What kinds of questions can I expect on the CPT?

    View Sample Questions
    MHCC uses the Reading Comprehension, Sentence Skills, Arithmetic and College-Level Math tests.

    How long are my scores valid?

    Your CPT results will remain valid for five years.

    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 select 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 Student Services Hub 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?

    There are several options for placement testing if you live out of the area (an hour or more from either MHCC campus). Please contact Testing Services to determine which option is best for you. We can be reached at 503-491-7591 or by email at testing@mhcc.edu.

    What classes do my scores place me in to?

    Scores range from 200 to 300 - Click here for cut score information.

    Smarter Balanced Assessment

    If you took the Smarter Balanced Assessment at your high school in 2016 or 2017 and scored at a Level 3 or 4 on the English and/or Mathematics tests, we may be able to waive all or part of your placement test.

    How do I transfer my Smarter Balanced scores to MHCC?

    Please contact your high school counseling office to request that your scores be sent to Testing Services. You may also fax, email or bring in a copy of your high school transcript with your Smarter Balanced scores to Testing Services

    Where will my Smarter Balanced scores place me?
    Smarter Balanced
    Name Test Score Course Placement
    English Language Arts 3 RD 117 & WR 115
    4 RD 117 & WR 121
    Mathematics 3 MTH 111
    4 MTH 111 w/option to take another test for MTH 251

    Transfer coursework from another college

    If you completed college-level Writing and/or Mathematics at another school and earned a grade of “C” or higher, you may not be required to take the CPT. Take your transcript to the Academic Advising and Transfer Center or fax it to 503-491-7388 for evaluation.

    GED Scores

    If you earned your GED in 2014 or later and scored at Honors-Level (165 or higher) on the Language Arts and/or Math tests, we may be able to waive all of part of your placement test.

    How do I transfer my GED scores to MHCC?

    Please login to your GED.com account and print a copy of your transcript. You may fax, email or bring in a copy of your transcript to Testing Services.

    Where will my GED scores place me?
    Name Test Score Course Placement
    Language Arts 165 – 200 RD 117 & WR 121
    Mathematics 165 – 200 MTH 105 or 111

    Placement Test scores from another school

    Mt. Hood Community College uses Classic 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 email, fax or bring in a copy of your score report to Testing Services. The report must include your full name, the date of the test, the name of the test and subtests. After we have verified the scores with the issuing school, we may be able to convert your reading, writing and math scores to use at MHCC.

    Please note: MHCC is unable to utilize ALEKS or Writeplacer scores for placement.