Placement Testing

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.

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.

COMPASS is scheduled regularly at all campuses.


Although appointments aren't required, please check our testing hours online. When you've picked a time, call Admissions at (864) 941-8369 or email us at to let us know when you're coming, and stop by our office in Room 103B on the Greenwood Campus when you arrive to check in.

County Campuses

To schedule a placement test at a county campus, call your county campus to learn about testing 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) 941-8378. Click here for information about PTC's Student Disability Services.

Need to know information:

  1. 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.
  2. Bring a picture identification (a driver’s license 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 minimum SAT score of 480 on Verbal (or Critical Reading after Mar. 2005) and 480 on Math before March 2016. After March 2016, a score of 520 on Critical Reading and 520 on Math.
  • Applicants who have earned a minimum ACT score of 20 on English and Reading and a score of 19 on Math.
  • 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.


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:

  • Pocket organizers
  • 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:

See What's New... 
Sample Questions for ASSET & COMPASS!


When do You Receive the Results?

After taking the placement test, you will be given a report with your scores and a sheet about Placement Test Score Guidelines as they relate to the required English and mathematics course or courses required for your program of study. Your scores will be reviewed in detail when you meet with a New Student Advisor after you complete your final admission steps to the college. If you wish to meet with someone immediately after the test to review your scores, contact the New Student Advising Center on the Greenwood Campus or any County Campus Advisor.