Skills Assessments, Placement & Waivers

As part of the admissions process, all students entering Cecil College are evaluated for placement purposes. The evaluation may require or waive the academic skills assessments. The purpose of the skills assessments is to place students at a level where they will succeed. The assessments measure academic skills in mathematics, reading, and writing. Students may need to take all of the assessments or specific sections of the assessments. Once taken, students receive the results, meet with their advisor, and register for the appropriate courses.

Skills assessments do not determine eligibility for admission to Cecil College. No student is denied admission to the College as a result of performance on the skills assessments; however, students whose scores indicate a need for skill development are required to successfully complete developmental courses before enrolling in college level courses. Students have better success at Cecil College if their basic skills are strong enough to meet the rigors of college-level coursework.

Any student (full- or part-time) who has not earned a high school diploma or GED (General Educational Development) diploma must take all the skills assessments.

Skills assessments are administered in the Testing Center, Engineering and Math Building, Room 310, North East Campus. Click here for the Testing Center hours.  Sample questions available here.

Student performance is closely monitored in the first sessions of developmental classes, and faculty may initiate a change in student placement. Students are encouraged to complete developmental courses early in their educational pathway to facilitate the timely completion of a degree or certificate.

Some courses are exempt from the skills assessment requirement. Students may enroll in these courses without taking the skills assessments. Students in these classes are expected to read and write at the college level.


Skills Assessment Waivers

Under certain circumstances, students may qualify for a skills assessment exemption. Official documentation must be provided for skills assessment waivers to be applied. Exemptions may be granted when:

  • a student has earned an associate's, bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree from an accredited institution.
  • a student provides documentation of acceptable scores on the SAT and/or ACT assessments (See required scores chart).
  • a student has successfully completed parallel coursework at another accredited institution of higher education.
  • a student has documented work and/or academic experiences that confirm the ability to do college-level work, as approved by a department chair of Cecil College.
SAT/ACT Required Scores for Skills Assessment Waivers
SAT Assessment(s) Waived Score Required
Critical Reading Reading 500 or better
Math Math 500 or better
Writing Reading, Writing 500 or better
ACT Assessment(s) Waived Score Required
English Reading, Writing 21 or better
Math Math 21 or better