Placement Testing FAQs

What if I have taken the ACT, SAT or COMPASS test within the last two years?
Sinclair also utilizes certain sub scores from the ACT, SAT, and COMPASS tests to determine placement. You will be exempt from taking the test in any section that you have met the minimum score guideline. If you have not sent your ACT or SAT scores to Sinclair electronically, you will need to obtain them through the ACT or SAT official websites ( or and bring them to campus. If you took the COMPASS test, you will need to contact the college where you took the COMPASS test and request that your scores be faxed to the Sinclair Testing Center at 937-512-2121. Contact the New Student Enrollment Center at 937-512-3334 for score guidelines.
Do I need an appointment to take the placement test?
At most Sinclair locations, the test is given individually on a first come, first served basis (walk-in testing). Please see Testing Hours and Locations for more information. Arrive at least three hours before closing time to complete the entire test.
How long does it take to complete the placement test?
Allow approximately two hours to complete the entire test. Remember, the placement test is not timed, so individuals may work at their own pace and are encouraged to take their time. Breaks from testing are permitted.
Should I bring anything with me to the test?
A Tartan Card or a state/government issued ID is required for placement testing. You also need to know your Social Security number in case you need to update your application. Use of personal calculators, cellular devices, dictionaries, notes, textbooks, or any other reference/resource materials is not permitted.
Must I show a photo ID to take the placement test?
Yes, a Tartan Card or a state/government issued ID is required for placement testing.
When should I complete my placement test?
As soon as you can. Students must complete placement testing before meeting with their academic advisor and prior to registering for classes. Remember, the earlier in the term you can register, the better selection of classes you will have.
What if I think I will not do well?
Remember that you cannot pass or fail the placement test. Your score reflects placement into a class that will challenge you, but not overwhelm you. Proper placement ensures that you will be successful in your class.
What if I just do not test well in general?
The type of placement test Sinclair uses, which is called ACCUPLACER, is adaptive and works with you as an assessment tool. Prior to testing, make sure you are well rested. Take advantage of the listed test preparation review tips. Most importantly, do not rush—take your time during the test. Good preparation builds your confidence which will ensure your success.
What if I have been out of school for a long time?
Many of our students have been out of school for a number of years. We are prepared to meet your needs with a step-by-step program, as well as assistance along the way.
I have heard that math ACCUPLACER is “adaptive”; what does that mean?
This means that the computer automatically determines which questions are presented to each individual based on their responses to previous questions. This technique selects the right questions to ask without being too easy or too difficult. However, once the answer has been selected and confirmed, there is no going back to that question.
How can I review for the placement test?
The official ACCUPLACER Web-Based Study App is available for free: Helpful websites may include (search for ACCUPLACER): For test review before a retake, Sinclair Community College offers the services of the Academic Resource Center (ARC) where computer based instruction is available for non-registered new students.
What if my computer skills are not very good?
Sinclair’s placement test (ACCUPLACER) is designed for individuals with little or no computer experience. A testing proctor is available to assist you in getting started.
When do I get my results?
Results will be provided upon completion of the test along with information about the next steps required in order to register for classes. You will be asked to keep their placement test results for when you meet with your academic advisor. The academic advisor will explain the test results and make recommendations based on the test scores and selected major.
I scored lower than I thought I would—now what?
If it is your first time testing in the calendar year, you have the option to retest. The most successful re-testers review the types of questions that they were unsure how to answer. If you have taken the test twice and your score was within the same score range, then most likely you are at the correct placement. You should take the recommended class and to develop a solid foundation.
What is the placement test retest policy?
You may retake the placement test for writing and math once per calendar year for a $15.00 fee. If you wish to retest, you must wait 24 hours between the original and the retest. The most recent scores are valid for two years.
What if I live beyond 60 miles of Sinclair and cannot come to campus to take the placement test?
Keep in mind that any of Sinclair’s locations can accommodate placement testing; however, for students that live further than 60 miles from the Dayton campus, there is an option to secure a distance proctor. Please follow steps on the Proctored Placement Test page to learn how.
Who should take the placement test?
All new degree seeking and certificate students, transfer or visiting students who do not have transfer credits in English or math from their previous school(s), and any student who has not tested in the past two years or transferred college level courses. If you are unsure if you need to test, please contact our office at 937-512-3334.
What if I have already taken the placement test at Sinclair?
If you have tested within the last two years, you most likely will not need to retest. In order to determine this, you should first meet with an academic advisor.
Are my children permitted to wait in the lobby while I take the placement test?
In keeping with campus policy, children are not permitted in the Testing Center nor are they permitted to be left unattended in the lobby.