Placement Assessment

Placement Assessment Information and Test Descriptions

One of the first things you will need to do after you've applied to SCC is submit your placement assessment scores. Every student must complete the ALEKS (math) and the Writeplacer module (writing sample) in Next Generation Accuplacer, even if you've taken the ACT or SAT. We'll also need placement scores for English and reading, so if you've taken the ACT or SAT, please submit those.

All students are required to provide scores that are less than two years old in order to determine placement in appropriate classes.

The placement assessment schedule can be found here at the placement calendars page. The Next Generation Accuplacer and ALEKS are given free of charge.

Call to schedule your appointment:
Keokuk: (319) 313-1943
Mt. Pleasant: (319) 385-8012
West Burlington: (319) 208-5155

Below is information you may find helpful about each of our placement assessments. The most important thing to keep in mind is to stay stress-free when you take the test. We want to make sure we place you in the class that fits you best!

Download the SCC Writing Scores & Course Placement Chart and the SCC Math Course Placement Chart.


The Next-Generation ACCUPLACER website has practice tests that help you prepare before you visit the Student Support Center for your testing needs.

Here is a brief description of the Next-Generation ACCUPLACER placement assessment:


Next-Generation Reading assesses the test-taker's ability to derive meaning from a range of texts and to determine the meaning of words and phrases in short and extended contexts. Passages on the test cover a range of content areas, writing modes, and complexities. Both single and paired passages are included. Four broad knowledge and skills categories are assessed:

    • Information and Ideas
    • Rhetoric
    • Synthesis
    • Vocabulary


Next-Generation Writing evaluates a test-taker's ability to revise and edit multi-paragraph text. Questions cover two broad knowledge and skills categories, each containing three subcategories:

Expression of Ideas
    • Development
    • Organization
    • Effective Language Use
Standard English Conventions
    • Sentence Structure
    • Usage
    • Punctuation

ALEKS (Math)

There isn't a study guide available for the math portion of the placement assessment. We suggest that you go to Khan Academy (or any other math based instructional tool) in order to prepare for the placement assessment in Math. You are not allowed to use a calculator on some of the questions within the test, so brushing up on the proper formulas/processes is usually a good starting point. With that said, after the first time that you take the ALEKS placement assessment, there are learning modules available that you can utilize at home through the ALEKS website.

Brief Description of ALEKS: Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces is a Web-based, artificial intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn't know in a course. ALEKS then instructs the student on the topics she is most ready to learn. As a student works through a course, ALEKS periodically reassesses the student to ensure that topics learned are also retained. ALEKS courses are very complete in their topic coverage and ALEKS avoids multiple-choice questions. A student who shows a high level of mastery of an ALEKS course will be successful in the actual course she is taking.