Course Placement Testing

Taking the Placement Test through Madison Area Technical College:

Madison College is dedicated to providing an effective, streamlined, and barrier-free experience for course placement and student enrollment. As a result, Madison College has temporarily expanded course placement options, including Multiple Measures for course placement and enrollment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students have three Multiple Measures options for meeting placement requirements for course enrollment:

1. ACT scores as the primary placement tool (highest score; up to 5 years), OR

2. ACCUPLACER NextGen scores (highest score; up to 5 years), OR

3. High School GPA (up to 5 years; specific GPA ranges required for course enrollment)

Due to COVID-19, we encourage current and prospective students to access virtual testing appointments. Internet, audio and video capabilities are needed for all session types. To request a test session, please email with the information listed below. A proctor will contact you to discuss virtual proctoring options and schedule your session.

  • Name
  • Student ID number
  • Telephone number
  • Program of study
  • Test subjects needed (Reading, Writing, Math)
  • Equipment you have available for use during the exam (Computer, Laptop, Tablet +Smart Phone)
  • Best day of the week and time to take the Course Placement exam

Self-scheduling: Scheduling for virtual sessions is now available.


Our web calendar offers limited virtual and in-person sessions. You may register for the session of your choice by clicking the link below. Please note: registration closes 48 hours prior to session start time. For students, without internet, audio and video access, choose an in-person testing session. If unable to find a session option, follow the email instructions above and a proctor will contact you to schedule your appointment.


Register for a Placement Test

The Madison College placement test is a computerized, un-timed placement tool that assesses your reading, math and English skills. Your scores will impact your educational planning, so we encourage you to prepare for the test.

  • A valid photo ID is required at all test sessions.
  • Placement test scores are valid for two years from date of the exam.
  • During the COVID-19 closure, Madison College will accept ACT, Accuplacer Next Gen, Classic Accuplacer, and COMPASS scores for up to 5 years. Additionally, students will be able to use their high school GPA (within 5 years) in lieu of placement testing.
  • Placement testing is required for all students, with a few exceptions (see below)
  • Exam sessions last 1.5 to 3 hours. You will work at your own pace.

If you need your test scores sent to another institution, complete the Test Score Request form. 

Smart Start sessions are held at the South Campus for students needing help with the college's program application and financial processes.

Exam Components

The Course Placement exam measures academic skills of:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Mathematics

Placement testing may not be necessary if you have:

  • ACT scores less than two years old. Must be submitted by ACT to Madison College Admissions.
    • If you scored a 17 on the English component and an 19 on the Reading component of the ACT, additional placement testing will not be necessary. If your ACT is below that level you will be asked to take a College Prep course or you may take the placement test to raise your placement.
    • A score of 20 on ACT Math will place you into a transfer level math course. Additional testing may be required depending on your area of study.
  • A score of 165 on the Reading Through Language Arts section of the GED (this will waive the Reading and Writing sections of the ACCUPLACER placement test). Scores must be less than two years old.
  • Prior college credit fulfilling the desired course prerequisites. Submit official transcripts to Madison College Enrollment Services, 1701 Wright Street, Madison WI 53704-2599.
  • Test scores less than two years old from another college. Official Score Reports need to be submitted by the initial testing center to Madison College Testing Center, 1701 Wright Street, Madison, WI 53704. Transcripts and Test Score Reports become the property of Madison College.

We encourage you to prepare for the exam. Preparing for the exam affects your course placement, which could result in saving you time and money!

A number of preparation resources are available on the CollegeBoard website.

Here are some additional resources:

The Madison College Student Achievement Center offers in-person study help and is available at all campuses except Madison West and Madison Commercial Avenue. You will need to have a Madison College student ID number to receive tutoring services. 

The Madison College library provides study resources including Brainfuse online tutoring, SkillSurfer, and LearningExpress library to help you prepare for the placement test.

Testing Fees
  • Fees will be billed to your Madison College account.
  • The cost is $5 for each component, which includes up to three sections of the exam series (Reading, Writing and Math).
  • Retests are $5 for each component and allowed only once within two years. Subsequent retests must be approved by an academic advisor.
  • Students are encouraged to make payments as soon as possible after testing to avoid class registration and financial aid delays. Payment is accepted at all campuses except the Commercial Avenue site. Fees may also be paid online.
  • For financial hardship cases, contact the Testing Center to inquire about a test fee waiver. Limited waivers are available with required qualifying documentation.

How do I submit test scores from another institution?

Test scores must be sent directly from the testing agency or external institution, or delivered in a sealed envelope to Madison College to be considered official. Madison College does not accept faxes, emailed, scanned, advising copies, campus use only, web produced transcripts or copies of student score reports or scores listed on high school transcripts. Test scores submitted to Madison College become the property of the college and cannot be returned to you. Test scores submitted to Madison College are electronically imaged and kept on file for three years.

What if I cannot travel to Madison College to take the exam? 

We understand that traveling to one of the Madison College campuses for your Course Placement test may not be possible. For information about additional testing center options, please call our office. In most cases, you may be able to utilize an alternate Test Center that is more conveniently located for you. Please note, Test Center Fees, which can vary, in addition to the $5 per component fee will apply.

What if I am taking the course placement test for another college?

Please notify the test proctor prior to testing. An invoice for the $5 per component fee will be mailed to you.

How do I request a copy of my course placement scores?

Students must not have an outstanding financial obligation to Madison College or score transcripts will not be processed until the hold is released by Madison College. You must submit a completed Test Score Record Request form (PDF) to the Testing & Assessment Center either in-person, by mail or fax.