Why do you need placement testing?
Piedmont’s assessment program helps new students entering the college succeed in their educational goals. The results will help with your placement into appropriate courses so that you will be successful in the coursework you choose to take at PTC. You will learn about your skills and how they compare with the skills you will need as you pursue your chosen major courses.
Placement instruments are not used for admission to the college, although they may be used to determine certain prerequisites required for certain programs.
To Schedule a Test
Testing or exemption from testing is required prior to advisement and registration for classes. Plan to complete testing requirements in advance of registration to avoid any delay in your enrollment. For details, please call the Admissions Office at the Greenwood Campus at (864) 941-8369 or one of the County Campuses.
ASSET and COMPASS are scheduled regularly at all campuses.
To schedule an appointment for a placement test on the Greenwood Campus contact the Admissions Office at (864) 941-8369.
To schedule a placement test at a county campus, call your county campus to learn about appointment times.
Students Needing Special Assistance
If you need special assistance because of a physical limitation or a disability, please contact Brenda Dailey, Student Disability Services Counselor, in the Career Planning and Counseling Center at (864) 941-8356. Click here for information about PTC's Student Disability Services.
Need to know information:
Testing usually takes approximately three hours. On the day of your assessment, you should plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before the testing hour.
Bring a picture identification (a driver’s license, a work ID or a passport) with you. Also, you should know your social security number.
Placement Test Exemptions
Students in the following categories may not need to take the placement test:
Some non-degree and non-diploma seeking applicants.
Applicants who have completed college level English composition and math with a grade of "C" or higher. Portions of the test may be waived according to courses taken.
Applicants who hold an associate's or bachelor's degree or higher.
Applicants who have completed the college placement test within the past five years.
Applicants who have earned a composite SAT score of at least 960 with a minimum of 480 on Verbal (or Critical Reading after Mar. 2005) and 480 on Math, or a composite ACT score of at least 20.
Some applicants for Career Development status (non-degree seekers who take individual courses for personal or career enrichment.)
Applicants for transient status (students at other colleges who have approval from the home institution to take a course at Piedmont Technical College for credit toward degrees at the home institution.)
Placement Testing Tips
Have a positive attitude!
Placement tests are not Pass/Fail.
Review before testing will improve your scores.
Try to do your best so that you will be properly placed.
You can take courses to brush up on areas where you need help.
Placement Test Choices
Piedmont offers two choices for placement testing, either ASSET or COMPASS, depending on both your schedule and the assessment schedule.
ASSET is a traditional timed paper and pencil placement test measuring skills in reading, English and mathematics. For ASSET, each of the four parts is 25 minutes.
COMPASS is a computer-adaptive placement test measuring skills in reading, English and mathematics. This test is not timed. The computer selects questions for you on the basis of your answers to previous questions. COMPASS is “user friendly,” requiring no experience with computers.
Are Calculators Permitted?
You may use a calculator on upper-level math tests (elementary algebra and intermediate algebra) of the ASSET but NOT on the basic numerical skills test. You may use a calculator on all of the COMPASS mathematics tests. Calculator use is not required; all problems on the upper-level math tests can be solved without using a calculator. Calculators are not provided; you must bring your own and may not share.
The following types of calculators are allowed, but only if they are used as noted:
Models with paper tapes
The paper must be removed.
Models that make noise
The sound function must be turned off.
Models that transfer data wirelessly with other calculators
Opaque material, such as masking tape, must be placed over the infrared data port.
Models with a power cord
The power cord must be removed and the calculators must use battery power.
The following types of calculators are not allowed:
Handheld or laptop computers
Electronic writing pads or pen-input devices (note: The Sharp EL 9600 is allowed.)
Models with QWERTY (typewriter=-style) keyboards
CFX-9970G, Casio Algebra fx 2.0, TI-89 and TI-92
Can you Study for the Test?
You should not try to learn new skills before taking the test, but if you have been out of school for a year or more, a review of the subjects may prove to be helpful. You may find materials to help you in public libraries and local bookstores.
The writing portion consists of choosing whether a passage is written correctly or should be rewritten according to an alternative paragraph or sentence. The reading portion consists of passages to read and questions to answer about the content. The math portion includes addition, subtraction, division, multiplication of fractions, decimals, whole numbers and integers, word problems and basic algebra.
You may choose to review on your own by working the sample exercises at the links below:
When do You Receive the Results?
After taking COMPASS, your results will be discussed with you immediately. ASSET results will also be given immediately at the Greenwood Campus; however, if you take ASSET at a county center, the results will be available in three or four days. You will receive an advising report that summarizes the information of the Educational Planning Form and recommends courses for you.