Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the Question to reveal the Answer.

Can I fail the test?

NO. The placement test does not determine whether you can attend Wake Tech; it lets us know your skill levels. The test determines whether you will start with college-level credit courses or be required to complete developmental course(s) before starting college-level credit courses.

Can I take my placement test at another college or university?

Testing at another college or university may be possible.  Prospective students interested in testing remotely may contact the Testing Center by emailing [email protected]. All requests must be in writing and received at least one week prior to testing.  For questions you may call 919-866-5461.


Can I take the placement test if I am admitted to Wake Tech based on Test Exemptions?

In this case testing is not required; however, if you are a new student who has not yet enrolled in courses, you may elect to take the placement test. If you are an enrolled student with concerns in your course placement, please see an advisor to discuss your options.

Can I take the test more than once?

Retesting is permitted only when there is evidence of extenuating circumstances during initial testing, or when the scores do not seem indicative of the student’s current skill level. Students wishing to retest must get permission to retest from an advisor, and pay a $10 retesting fee to the cashiers office before taking the retest. Bring your receipt from the cashier to the testing center on the day of your retest.

Do I need an appointment to take the test?

YES. Please schedule a test appointment. The online reservations system will save time and allow you to review testing times and locations. You may also call the Testing Center at 919-866-5461 to schedule an appointment to take the test.  A reservation secures a computer for your test.  Testing staff will review with you which sections of the ACCUPLACER you will need.


Do I need to take the test?

Placement testing is required of all students who do not meet one of the following criteria:

  • Graduate of High School within 5 years with GPA and Coursework required for waiver.  Check the Guide for High School GPA and Coursework Test Waiver.
  • College level English and Math coursework with a grade of "C" or better from a regionally or nationally accredited college.
  • COMPASS, ASSET, or ACCUPLACER placement test scores may be considered from another college that are less than five (5) years old.
  • SAT scores of 500 or higher in Critical Reading or Writing will waive English placement test. SAT of 500 or higher in Math will waive math placement test.
  • ACT scores of 22 or higher in Reading or a 18 or higher in English will waive English placement test.  ACT math scores of 22 will waive math placement test.
  • All scores must be less than five (5) years old.

Do my placement test scores really matter?

YES. While placement tests do not determine whether you will be admitted to Wake Tech, they do determine whether or not you can take college-level courses or must complete preparatory (pre-curriculum) review courses before you can take college-level courses. Preparing yourself for the placement test, by reviewing and taking practice tests, can save you lots of time and money.

ESL placement test - Should I take it ?

The English as a Foreign Language department at Wake Tech recommends that all students for whom English is not a native language take the ESL placement test.

ESL placement test -- What is it?

The ACCUPLACER ESL placement test is a computer-based, untimed test that measures multiple levels of English proficiency. Students are tested in Language Use and Reading Skills. The test is used to appropriately place students in EFL (English as a Foreign Language) courses.

How can I prepare to take the test?

A variety of websites offer sample tests and help you prepare. View the List of Resources.


How long will the test take?

The WritePlacer Essay has a two hour time limit, and the remainder of the test is untimed. The average time to complete the entire test is 3 hours and 20 minutes. You are allowed four hours to complete the test. If you do not complete the test you will be able to schedule an additional appointment to return and complete the test.

Is there a fee to take the placement test?

There is no charge for a student’s first placement test. All retests cost $10. (Students are not allowed to test more than 2 times in one year.)

May I use a calculator for the Math section of the placement test?

NO. A calculator is built into the test and will appear when appropriate. We will supply you with scratch paper and pencils.

What do I need to bring with me on the day of the test?

You will need a picture ID, and a test permit to take the placement test. You can pick up a test permit on the day you test, at the following locations (by campus):

  • Southern Wake (Main) Campus: Student Services Building, Welcome Center
  • Northern Wake Campus: Administrative Building - Building C - NC 234
  • Perry Health Sciences Campus: HS2 Building, front desk
  • Western Wake Campus: room 255

What is on the placement test?

The ACCUPLACER placement test consists of four areas: WritePlacer essay, Reading, Revising/Editing, and Math.

When will I get the results of my test?

The test proctor will print your test results for you as soon as you have finished the test.