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Massachusetts State Policy: Mandatory Assessment and Planned Course Placement

Academic Assessment Policies

Academic Assessment at NECC is defined as a test of a student’s abilities in reading, writing, math, and English as a Second Language (ESL).

The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education mandates that all students entering state colleges must complete an assessment in order to determine basic skills levels for course placement. Based on assessment results, a student may be required to initially enroll in one or more developmental or ESL courses in order to prepare for college level course work.
Assessment and planned course placement are required for students who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Students enrolling in a degree or certificate program (matriculated students).
  • Students enrolling in the following courses: English Composition I; college level math; developmental reading, writing, and math; ESL; all courses with numbers beginning with zero; and all other courses with entrance level skills requirements. Please refer to the course description to determine if an assessment is required for a particular course.
  • Non matriculated students will be allowed to register for up to two courses(*), prior to assessment (with the exception of those courses listed above.)

Expiration of Accuplacer Assessment Results

All developmental reading, writing, math and ESL course placements are valid for one year from the date of assessment.

College level placements in reading, writing and math are valid for three years from the date of assessment.

Assessment Waivers

At Northern Essex Community College, the following multiple measures may exempt you from the full or partial ACCUPLACER College Placement Test (CPT).

Math Placement GPA

In accordance with the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education’s Task Force on Transforming Developmental Math Education recommendations, all 2014 high school graduates and beyond will be eligible for a math placement based on their high school GPA or Accuplacer.

  • All students planning to enroll in Spring, 2015 classes or beyond should submit their final high school transcript to Enrollment Express Services as part of the application process.
  • Students whose overall GPA is 2.7 or higher and meet the necessary reading prerequisite may register for an entry level college level math course, regardless of a developmental math placement with the Accuplacer test.
  • High School GPAs will be accepted for 3 years from the date of graduation.
  • The Accuplacer test can place students at a higher level than the GPA placement. Therefore, it is in a students best interest to take the math assessment test.
  • Only transcripts that are calculated on a scale of 4.0 will be used. All others will be required to take Accuplacer.
  • Anyone who falls outside of the 2014 graduation criteria, does not have a GPA noted on the transcript or does not provide a transcript will be required to take the Accuplacer math test for placement.

*Some programs may require the math test prior to entry.  Please check with your advisor or the program coordinator.

English Placement GPA

In accordance with the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and the English Subcommittee of the Co-requisite Scale Initiative, all 2017 graduates and beyond will be eligible for an English placement based on their high school GPA.

In accordance with the state’s recommendations, all high school graduates will be eligible for placement into English Composition 1 based on their high school GPA as one of the assessment measures in English.

  • All students planning to enroll in Spring 2019 classes or beyond should submit their final high school transcript to Enrollment Express Services as part of the application process.
  • Students whose overall GPA is 2.7 or higher may register for English Composition I (*excludes Honors Comp.)
  • High School GPA’s will be accepted for 10 years after the student high school graduation date.  Eligibility begins with a high school graduation date of 2009.
  • Beginning with 2019 graduates, High School GPA 2.7 grants a writing and reading waiver.
  • Placement will not be retroactive for any students who are currently enrolled.
  • Calculations will be based on the standard 4.0 scale only, regardless if the High School is on a 5.0 scale. All others will be required to take Accuplacer.
  • Anyone who falls outside the above stated criteria, does not have a GPA noted on the transcript or does not provide a transcript will be required to take Accuplacer.

SAT waivers

If you have SAT scores, you may be waived from the reading and writing assessment. There are no math SAT waivers. Submit your SAT scores to Enrollment Express Services or the Academic Placement & Testing Center.

  • SAT CRITICAL READING – Old SAT scores
  • Verbal SAT 500 plus waives student from reading assessment
  • Verbal SAT 600 plus waives student from both reading and writing assessment
  • SAT READING TEST – New SAT scores
  • SAT 27 plus waives student from reading assessment
  • SAT 32 plus waives student from both reading and writing

High School Equivalency (HSE) College Ready Waivers

  • If you have GED College Ready score levels of 165-174, you may be waived from the reading, writing and math assessment. 
  • If you have HiSET College and Career Readiness scores of 15 out of 20 on the subtests and at least a 4 on the essay, you may be waived from the reading, writing and math assessment.
  • The Accuplacer test can place students at a higher level than the HSE placement. Therefore, it is in a students best interest to take the math assessment test.

ACCUPLACER Test Scores

  • If a student has completed Accuplacer at another institution, the Academic Placement & Testing Center will accept the official Accuplacer Individual Score Report (ISR) and waive the student from assessment, if applicable. 
  • Student should submit their Accuplacer ISR to the Academic Placement & Testing Center.
  • Scores are accepted and must be dated withn the expiration date. Developmental placements expire in 1 year and College Level placements expire in 3 years.

AP Scores

The College Board Advanced Placement program (AP) provides participating high schools the opportunity to offer college-level coursework to students in a variety of subject areas. AP scores range from 1 to 5 points. AP scores of 3, 4, 5 are commonly acceptable as the equivalent of college-level course work. Please view the Advanced Placement (AP) Credit Policy at NECC.

Prior Coursework

If you have previously attended another college/university, NECC will evaluate successfully completed courses to see if you are exempt from testing. Submit your transcript to Enrollment Express Services.

Accuplacer Fax/Email Information for Scores

There is a $25.00 ACCUPLACER Fax/Email Fee for anyone who has taken the ACCUPLACER at NECC and is requesting that scores be faxed, emailed or mailed to another institution.

Registration Steps (1-2)

  1. Complete the required Request to have ACCUPLACER Scores Released form.
  2. Submit a non-refundable NECC Fee of $25.00. There are 3 options: Online, Walk-in or Mail-in.

Use One of These Three Methods to Make Your Payment

Online

Online

Click Register through our FlexReg scheduling system to pay your fee by credit card. You must sign in or create an account for FlexReg. If you are a current student, your username is your NECC ID and your password is your Self-Service password. If you do not remember your password, contact the Service Desk and they will reset your password to your date of birth and you will then be able to reset it. The registration cycle is January-December of each year. During each registration cycle, first time requests select Accuplacer Fax/Email Request Fee-Test One. If you have made a previous request at NECC, select Accuplacer Fax/Email Request Fee – Test Two, Test Three.

When using FlexReg Pop-Up Blockers must be disabled to enable registration and payment using FlexReg. Users must have the Adobe Flash Player installed on their computer. When using FlexReg for your online payment, do NOT X out of the windows until you have completed the entire process. Once you register and the payment process is complete, you can then Sign Out.

Do not close any windows throughout the FlexReg process. Leave your FlexReg window open and your TouchNet Payment window open until you have completed the payment process.

You will receive two (2) emails upon completion of your FlexReg process; one for your Course Registration and the second one for your TouchNet Payment confirmation. Do NOT close any windows until you receive these two (2) emails. Once you receive the two (2) emails, you can Sign Out. Do NOT X out.

Walk-In

Walk-In

Come to the Academic Placement & Testing Center. You can make your payment for your registration fees by credit card, money order or check at the time you walk-in.

Mail-In

Mail-In

Mail in a money order only, made payable to NECC, for $25.00 to Northern Essex Community College, Academic Placement & Testing Center, 100 Elliott St., Haverhill, MA  01830.

Your request will be processed when your registration form and payment is received and authorized.

Accepting Accuplacer Faxed Scores

NECC will accept an Accuplacer Individual Score Report (ISR) raw scores only. We do not accept placements. You can walk-in to the Academic Placement & Testing Center with your official ISR or have your institution fax the ISR to NECC, please have the institution fax your ACCUPLACER scores to: Northern Essex Community College, Academic Placement & Testing Center, Fax number 978-556-3169 or testing@necc.mass.edu.

Accuplacer Prohibited Item Guidelines

Must be stored away where the item is not accessible or visible while taking the test

  • Any device capable of recording audio, photographic, or video content, or capable of viewing or playing back such content
  • Unauthorized testing aids
  • Calculators (unless for a prescribed accommodation)
  • Test taker provided keyboard, computer, or laptop, unless there is a documented disabling condition that requires the use of a very specific device
  • Cellular phones, tablets, pagers, smartphones, walkie-talkies, PDAs, or wireless communication devices
  • Dictionaries (standard and/or bilingual), books, pamphlets, or other reference materials
  • Digital cameras
  • Digital watches, smartwatches, or wristwatch cameras
  • Flash/thumb drives or any other portable electronic device
  • Food, beverages, or tobacco products
  • Listening devices such as radios, media players (with or without headphones), or recorders
  • Nonmedical electronic devices
  • Paper of any kind (scratch paper must be provided and destroyed by the test center proctor; test takers cannot use or discard their own scratch paper)
  • Slide rules, protractors, compasses, or rulers
  • Weapons, firearms, or other items prohibited by law or test center/campus safety and security policies

If the tester does not adhere to the prohibited item guidelines, the proctor will inform the test taker to collect their personal belongings, including the prohibited item and to leave the testing lab. The testers test results will not be valid.

More Information

For more information on policies and regulations, email testing@necc.mass.edu.

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