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2024-25 Catalog 
    May 29, 2024  
2024-25 Catalog

Basic Skills Assessment

How We Place You in Courses

We want you to be successful in achieving your educational goals. Therefore, you must have strong skills in reading, writing and/or math to succeed in college-level courses (courses at the 100 or 200 level). These skills are often listed as prerequisites (PRQ) or corequisites (CORQ) for college-level classes.

The PCC Basic Skills Policy is based upon these policies:

  • Colorado Department of Higher Education’s Statewide remedial education policy.
  • Colorado Community College System Developmental Education Taskforce’s 2013 redesign recommendations.
  • Colorado Community College State Board policy BP 9-41.

Students attending PCC must adhere to the Basic Skills Policy and may need to take a placement test in mathematics, reading and writing before their first semester of enrollment. PCC uses this test to place students in appropriate college or basic skills courses. The test is not timed and is not pass/fail; it simply helps us establish which courses will be most appropriate for you.

Colorado’s Remedial Education policy, which is based on Title 23 - Postsecondary Education, State Universities and Colleges, Article 1 - Colorado Commission on Higher Education, § 23-1-113.3. Commission directive - basic skills courses, requires the use of multiple measures in placing students into English and Math classes.  Under this policy, the primary evaluation determines whether a student is college ready in English and mathematics and if the student will need remedial support or reassessment. Colorado accepts six assessment instruments for placement; institutions may choose to use any or all approved primary assessments, but must accept ACT or SAT. Accepted assessments include: ACT, SAT, Accuplacer, COMPASS, PARCC and Smarter Balanced.  The secondary evaluation is institution-specific and incorporates the review of multiple measures to determine college readiness and course eligibility.  The policy allows for institutional flexibility in determining the secondary evaluation. Under this policy, students’ performance on standardized tests, high school achievement measures, advisor review and recommendation, and non-cognitive measures and essays are accepted as evidence of placement into college-level courses.

For the most up-to-date information about the Accuplacer Test, as well as prep materials, placement scores and fees, please visit the Testing Center’s website.

Important Information Regarding Your Test Scores:

If you test into any basic skills courses, you must complete those courses within your first 30 credit hours of enrollment and meet with an academic advisor. If you do not register for basic skills courses within your first 30 hours, you will not be able to register for more classes until you meet with an academic advisor.

  • If you have to take the Accuplacer, PCC requires that the test be completed before you meet with an academic advisor. All first-time undergraduate students must take the basic skills test or be exempt from assessment if they are seeking a degree (or are converting to degree-seeking status) or graduated from high school during the previous academic year.
  • For certificate students, basic skills requirements will be identified in the college catalog.
  • Students whose assessment scores do not meet college-level standards will need to meet with an advisor prior to registering in courses for the first time.
  • Students who successfully complete the highest level of basic skills classes or college-level courses in math or English at a regionally accredited college or university are exempt from assessment in these subject areas only. Successful completion means a satisfactory “S” or a letter grade of “C” or better.
  • High school students are exempt from assessment except when the scores are required as prerequisites for PCC or through specific agreements with districts/high schools.
  • Students who have taken the ACT or SAT within the last five years may be exempt from the Accuplacer if their scores provide evidence of college readiness. Reading and English scores are valid for five years; math scores are valid for two years. Students should contact an academic advisor for required scores.

How to Take the Accuplacer

  1. Students are encourage to schedule an appointment to take the Accuplacer. To make an appointment, contact your local campus Testing Center:
Location Address Phone Number
Pueblo Campus 900 W. Orman Ave., AB 134 719.549.3091
Fremont Campus 51320 W. Hwy. 50, L101 719.296.6116
Durango Site 701 Camino del Rio, Ste 319 970.385.2020
Southwest Mancos Campus 33057 Hwy. 160 970.564.6273
  • The cost of the Accuplacer is a $10 no matter how many sections you are being tested on.
  • Testing is permitted twice a semester. If you wish to take the Accuplacer more than twice, you must seek written permission from the Chief Academic Officer or designee and show proof of progress in an approved tutorial program.

How to Prepare for the Accuplacer

Practice and Get Prepared for Test Day
The Official Web-Based Study App

The ACCUPLACER web-based study app features practice tests in each test subject. It is accessible from most devices with internet access, and will help you become familiar with the content and format of the ACCUPLACER test questions.

  • “Learn as you go” tests provide you with explanation of the correct or incorrect responses.
  • Sample tests are similar to the real thing, so you’ll know ahead of time what your experience will be like on test day.
  • You can save your work at any time, and come back when it’s convenient for you.
  • You can review your score history to see what you’re already doing well and what skills you should focus on improving.


Developmental Support Courses: Supplemental Academic Instruction (SAI)

PCC is committed to helping students with basic skills in reading, English and math. To ensure student success, the iGrad program provides students the ability to work on their basic skills by offering courses that are paired with 100-level courses.

PCC will provide written notice to all students whose Accuplacer scores do not meet the basic skills standards. This notice will include the state colleges offering basic skills courses, the course cost and the availability of the courses, including any online course. The official results of the tests are kept by the PCC Testing Center (Accuplacer, ACT, SAT and others) are valid for five years.

Please speak with an advisor if you have any questions about the basic skills test.

Course Placement Based on Assessment Test Scores or Exemption

  • English 11 or higher English course within 2 years of completion with a grade of A/B & high school GPA of 3.0
ENG 0090  
Accuplacer - Sentence Skills <50 placement
ENG 0094  or ENG 1021  
Accuplacer - Sentence Skills 70-94 placement
ENG 1021 - English Composition I: GT-CO1  
  • Accuplacer - Sentence Skills ≥95 placement
  • ACT - English 18 placement or SAT - Writing 460 placement
  • AP - Language and Composition 3 exemption or IB-HL4 exemption
  • Placement in Career/Technical Math (MAT 1140 , MAT 1120 , MAT 1150  or MAT 1160 )
    • 3.0 un-weighted high school GPA & A or B in Geometry & course within 18 months
  • Placement in Career/Technical Math or Qualitative Math (MAT 1240  or MAT 1260 )
    • 3.0 un-weighted high school GPA & A or B in Algebra II & course within 18 months
  • Placement in Math 121
    • 3.0 un-weighted high school GPA & A or B in Pre-calculus & course within 18 months
MAT 0250 - Quantitative Literacy  
  • Accuplacer – Arithmetic ≥40 OR 30-60 Elementary Algebra placement
MAT 0300 - Algebraic Literacy  
  • Accuplacer - Elementary Algebra 60-84 placement
MAT 1140 - Career Math  or MAT 1120 - Math for Clinical Calculations  or  MAT 1150 - Technical Mathematics  or MAT 1160 - Financial Mathematics  
  • Accuplacer - Elementary Algebra ≥61 placement
  • ACT - Math 19 placement or SAT - Math 500 placement
MAT 1240 - Mathematics for the Liberal Arts: GT-MA1  
  • Accuplacer - Elementary Algebra ≥ 61 placement
  • ACT - Math 19 placement or SAT - Math 500 placement
  • IB - HL4 exemption
MAT 1260 - Introduction to Statistics: GT-MA1  
  • Accuplacer - Elementary Algebra ≥61 placement
  • ACT - Math 21 placement or SAT - Math 550 placement
  • AP - 4 or 5 exemption
MAT 1340 - College Algebra: GT-MA1  
  • Accuplacer - Elementary Algebra ≥85 placement
  • ACT - Math 23 placement or SAT - Math 570 placement
  • IB - HL4 exemption
MAT 1420 - College Trigonometry: GT-MA1  
  • Accuplacer - CLM ≥63 placement
  • ACT – Math 24 placement or SAT - Math 590 placement
MAT 1400 - Survey of Calculus: GT-MA1  
  • Accuplacer - CLM ≥63 placement
  • ACT - Math 25 placement or SAT - Math 590 placement
  • AP - 4 or 5 exemption
MAT 1220 - Integrated Math I: GT-MA1 / MAT 1230 - Integrated Math II: MA1  
  • Accuplacer - Elementary Algebra ≥61 placement
  • ACT - Math 19 placement or SAT - Math 500 placement
MAT 2410 - Calculus I: GT-MA1  
  • Accuplacer - CLM ≥103 placement
  • ACT - Math 28 placement or SAT - Math 630 placement