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Reading/Essay: FAQ

Important Information

Why am I being tested?

The purpose of taking placement tests is to identify students’ academic strengths and needs so that they can plan an appropriate schedule of course work.

The Ramapo College Reading/Essay Placement Test will give students information about their skills in writing/reading and will tell students at what level they need to begin their college studies. Staff will be on hand to explain results and answer questions.

What score would exempt me from taking this Placement Test?

  1. SAT: 620 or higher Reading/Writing  
  2. ACT: Composite Score 26 or higher
  3. Scores falling below those cut-offs will require Reading/Essay placement testing.

When is the Reading/Essay Placement Test offered?

The Reading/Essay Placement Test is offered daily unless otherwise noted on our testing appointment request form.

Should I take my Reading/Essay Placement Test before Orientation?

  1. Yes, you should take the Reading/Essay Placement Test at least one week prior to your scheduled orientation date. 
  2. If you already attended Orientation but did not take your placement test:
    • Sign up for the placement test(s) you need.
    • After completion, go to the Center for Student Success (D-207) and meet with an academic advisor.
    • Rearrange class schedule based on new score or as necessary.

How long is the exam?

  • The exam is at your own place for the Reading portion. 
  • You will have a total of 40 minutes for the Essay portion.
  • We have found that students typically take 1 ½ hours for the Reading/Essay Placement Test. 

What is the cost of the Reading/Essay Placement Test?

  • First time: $40.00 (non-refundable) paid via credit card at time of registration.
  • Re-test: $10.00 (non-refundable) paid via credit card at time of registration.

*Please note, while we are doing remote testing all charges will be added to the student’s fall 2020 tuition. Please do not mail cash or a check. We will add the fee to the student’s account*

What happens if I do not pass the test?

Everyone passes the test. Students who place into developmental courses based upon the results of the placement test should plan to register for and complete these courses before or during their first semester of enrollment at Ramapo College.

Am I eligible to re-test?

On the Reading/Essay Placement Test, the range for re-test is an essay score of 1-6. If your essay score falls within this range, you are eligible to re-test.

Please note, re-testing will always be the combination of the Reading and Essay portion of the test. The test automatically starts with the Essay submission and then moves on to the Reading portion. We cannot separate sections and only re-test one piece of the test. 

How could I receive accommodations for the Reading/Essay Placement Test?

  1. All accommodations must be approved through the Office of Specialized Services. 
  2. If you were affiliated in High School and wish to be affiliated in college please contact the Office of Specialized Services (OSS) located in C205.
  3. Current RCNJ students can fill out the form online or visit the OSS office in C205.
  4. To contact the Office of Specialized Services you can email them at or call at (201) 684-7514.

I am a transfer student, do I need to do the Reading/Essay Placement test?

  1. Students with an Associates Degree that are waived from the general education requirements do not need placement testing.
  2. Transfer students without an Associates Degree may need testing depending on incoming college credits.

Can I take my placement tests at another institution?

  • Yes, if you live more that 75 miles from campus you can take your placement tests at your local institution.
  • You must first request permission by emailing
  • We will send you a voucher form to fill out and then you will need to make an appointment at your local institution that offers Next Generation Accuplacer testing.