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BCC Testing FAQs

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What is the purpose of the CUNY proficiency requirements?

The City University of New York requires that students demonstrate minimum level of proficiency in reading, writing and mathematics before having the opportunity to enroll in college-level courses.

What tests do I need to take before I can register for classes?

Reading, writing and mathematics. You may be exempt from taking exams based on transfer credits, Regents or SAT exams.

Detailed CUNY proficiency requirements can be found at http://www.cuny.edu/academics/testing/cuny-assessment-tests/faqs.html#1

What are the CUNY Assessment Tests?

Reading – The CAT in Reading is an un-timed, multiple-choice, computer-based test of reading.

Writing – The CAT in Writing (CATW) is a 90 minute written essay in which students are asked to respond to a reading passage that they see for the first time when they sit for the test.

Mathematics – The CAT in Mathematics is an untimed, multiple-choice, computer-based test composed of four sections: numerical skills/pre-algebra, algebra, college algebra and trigonometry.

Where and when do I take the tests?

You will receive and invitation to sit for the exam.


Test Preparation

Do I need to prepare for the tests?

Yes, you should prepare. Preparing for the tests will give you more accurate course placements

How do I prepare for the test from home?

You can view practice exercises online in all three skill areas using links below.




Can I receive in-person help preparing for the exams at the BCC?

Yes. During the months of January, June, July and August, in-person help is available.

Reading Lab Colston Hall 404, 718.289.5625

  • This Lab has two interactive computer programs: ConnectRead nad Reading Express. It also offers tutoring services by trained tutors to help you prepare to pass the ACT reading or the CAT-R.

Writing Center Philosophy Hall Lower Level, 718.289.3995

  • This Center has a substantial staff of writing tutors who can help you pass the CUNY ACT. In addition, the Center has many computers which you can use.

Mathematics Tutorial Lab CPH 303, 718.289.3029

  • The Lab has two interactive computer programs: www.myskillstutor.com and Plato which is limited to 25 people per session. In addition, the Lab has copies of the COMPASS Review Books for your use. Staff, including tutors, will be able to help if you have a problem.

I need accommodations to take the placement test, what should I do?

If you are a student with a disability and need accommodations to take the placement test, please call the Disability Office or visit them prior to the test date at Loew Hall, Room 211 718.289.5874. Please note that you will NOT receive accommodations at the Testing Center unless you have first registered with the Office of disability Services.

I am often nervous about taking tests. How can I reduce test anxiety?

  • Remember, you are not alone. Everyone experiences anxiety to some degree.
  • Prepare, prepare, prepare. Use the resources identified above.
  • Arrive early and rested to the testing site. Perhaps locate the testing site the day before so you know exactly where to go.
  • Locate and use the restroom before the exam.
  • Bring a blank piece of note paper with you and a pen. Before the exam begins, write a few comments/sentences about how you’re feeling about taking the exam. This is just for you, write whatever you wish about how you’re feeling at that moment. Put the paper away.
  • Take a deep breath. Breathe in very slowly (through your nose only) for five seconds, breath out very slowly (through your mouth only) for five seconds. Do this a few times.
  • Pace yourself. Read for a few moments before you start answering questions.
  • Ignore others taking the test.
  • Stay focused
  • Take a short break. Close your eyes for one minute. Picture a favorite scene (flowers, beach, food). Breathe deeply.
  • For more insights on test anxiety, go to the Learning Center, Sage Hall 100, for films on the subject. Learning left can be reached at 718.289.5429.

Scoring of Exams

What score is passing or proficient score at Bronx Community College?

Please visit http://www.cuny.edu/academics/testing/cuny-assessment-tests/faqs.html#1

How are tests scored?

Reading and Math exams are multiple-choice and are scored by a computer. The writing test is a written test that is read and scored by two readers.

How do I obtain my test results?

Results for exams are made available to students at time of registration.

Course Placement

How are the tests results used for course placement?

  • For reading and writing, passing results allows students to enroll in credit courses that will count toward your degree.
  • Non-passing scores on one or more tests require students to take non-credit remedial courses and will not count toward your degree. All remedial classes start with a "zero" such as ENG "02" or MTH "05"
  • For math placement, please go to http://fsw01.bcc.cuny.edu/mathdepartment/DocumentLinks/Placement.pdf
  • Your advisor will help you register for the correct classes.

What are the various levels of remedial courses?

Reading RDL 01 (Basic Reading Skills), RDL 02 (Reading/Study Skills)

Writing ENG 01 (Developmental Writing 1), ENG 02 (Developmental Writing 2), ENG 09 (Writer's Workshop ESL), ESL 01 (English as A Second Language Basic Level), ESL 02 (Intermediate Level), ESL 03 (Advanced Level)

Mathematics MTH 01 (Arithmetic and Algebra), MTH 05 (Basic Concepts 1), MTH 06 (Basic Concepts 2)

Do I need to pass the CUNY exams in order to graduate?

Only a passing score on the CUNY Assessment Test in Writing (CATW) is required for graduation. The reading and math exams are used for placement purposes only.

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