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New Student Advising & Placement Testing

New Student Advising & Placement Testing

Advisors at Garrett College understand that academic advising is the key component to helping students achieve their educational goals. New students, transfer students, and students returning to Garrett College after an extended break must attend a New Student Advising day to complete the final steps to becoming enrolled; including Placement Testing, if required (see details below).

During New Student Advising day, advisors are available to assist students regarding:

  • Accuplacer/placement assessment interpretation
  • Degree or major selection
  • Course selection and sequence
  • Academic support resources
  • Career and transfer guidance
  • Graduation requirements

All New Student Advising days, unless noted, include check-in, picture for student photo ID, retrieval of student username and password, general welcome session, placement testing (if required), advising and course registration, parent sessions, and visits to the college business office and financial aid. Tours of our residence halls are also available.

Students are encouraged to bring a parent/guardian with them to their New Student Advising day. Students requiring placement testing and advising should plan to be on-campus from approximately 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. All advising days begin at 10 a.m.

All new and transfer students must schedule a New Student Advising appointment through the Admissions Office by calling 301-387-3044.

Students returning to Garrett College following an extended break should also contact the Admissions Office by calling 301-387-3044. Students returning following a break of fewer than four semesters may contact the Advising & Academic Success Center directly at 866-554-2773, extension 3715 to inquire about returning.

Upcoming Dates
  • January 5
  • January 12
  • January 19

Limited New Student Advising appointments available, call to schedule.

Garrett College utilizes ACCUPLACER placement testing platform, a computer-delivered testing suite, to determine student eligibility for college-level coursework. Students requiring testing (see next area for exemptions) will take three individual tests during the testing session: Reading Comprehension, Sentence Skills, and Elementary Algebra (Arithmetic and College-Level Math) .

The numbers of questions on the tests range from 12-20; mostly multiple choice. Each test is designed using adaptive techniques, meaning the greater your demonstrated skill level, the more challenging the questions that will be presented to you.

Students with lower scores on the placement test may be required to take as many as two developmental math classes and one developmental English class before taking college classes. While developmental courses help you acquire the skills you need to succeed academically, they do not count toward graduation or transfer and cost you time and money.

Certain ACT or SAT scores may exempt students from placement testing, as illustrated below. Applicants who have taken AP, honors, or merit English and math also may be placed into college courses without testing, depending on their grade point average. Please let an admissions counselor know if you have taken AP, honors, or merit courses and have your official high school transcript sent to Garrett College right away.

If you are a transfer student seeking exemption from placement, official college transcripts must be on file in the Garrett College Office of Admissions BEFORE ADVISING AND REGISTRATION can take place.

ACT/SAT Score   Course Placement
ACT English of 21 or higher or SAT Critical Reading of 480 and higher English and reading placement tests not required English 101 with no additional reading requirement
ACT math of 21 or higher or SAT math of 530 and higher Math placement test not required MAT105 or MAT210 Students seeking a higher math placement must take ACCUPLACER to determine exact course placement.

Those exempt from placement should call an admissions counselor at 301-387-3044 to confirm exemption and schedule an advising and registration session.

ACCUPLACER Placement testing is offered as part of New Student Advising Days during the Summer and Winter sessions. Students must schedule to attend in advance. Immediately following testing, students will meet with an advisor and register for classes. Please plan to arrive on campus by 9:30am and to remain until approximately 3:30pm for same-day testing and registration.

Placement Testing Dates for Winter 2017-18 New Student Advising: TBD

Placement testing is also available to new students outside of New Student Advising Days. Students that test outside of New Student Advising Days will not register for classes that day; please plan to schedule a separate date for advising and registration.

Students wishing to attend Garrett College in the Spring 2018 semester may schedule placement testing as early as November 2017.

How do I schedule a placement date?

If you are not exempt from placement, please schedule by calling 866-554-2773, extension 3715. Please schedule 48 hours in advance and do not attend without making an appointment. Unfortunately, those who arrive late for testing may need to reschedule.

If you would like to arrange remote testing at a location near you, please call calling 866-554-2773, extension 3715 or email testingcenter@garrettcollege.edu. We may be able to help you locate an ACCUPLACER test site that is more convenient for you.

It is highly recommended that students prepare in advance for placement. Review with a friend, relative, former teacher, or visit one of the many free online resources available:

  • Accuplacer FREE Web-Based Study App - The app will allow users to review and take practice tests in the areas of reading comprehension, sentence skills, elementary algebra, arithmetic, and college level math.

    Visit Accuplacer Site or view a PDF of Sample Questions

  • Common Core State Standards App – A great reference for students; quickly find standards by subject. App includes Math standards K-12 and Language Arts standards K-12, with the Corresponding College and Career Readiness Standards. Available for both Apple and Android devices. FREE

    Download from the iTunes Store
    Download from the Android Market

  • Khan Academy is a free, not-for-profit organization, providing world-class education to anyone, anywhere. Resources include practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard.

Garrett College offers low-cost, non-credit Refresher Courses for students wishing to brush up in the areas of math, English, and reading. Students may take advantage of these courses before Placement Testing or as an alternative for Re-testing.

Face-to-face courses run from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., and include 5 hours of instruction, lunch, and testing. Students may sign-up for a refresher course without ever having taken the placement test, however they MUST enroll in either an online or in-person refresher course in order to be eligible to re-test (see below).

  • MATH REFRESHER – Dates: TBD for Winter 2017-18. To register, contact the Advising & Academic Success Center at 301-387-3715 or christine.upole@garrettcollege.edu.

    Cost: FREE (grant-funded opportunity).

  • ENGLISH/READING REFRESHER – Dates: TBD for Winter 2017-18. To register, contact Continuing Education and Workforce Development of Garrett College at 301-387-3069. Cost: $50.

Online Refresher Courses are available for students unable to attend a face-to-face refresher. These sites provide an overview of math and English/reading with detailed examples and videos to help brush up skills and prepare for placement testing.


Refresher for Re-Testing - for students that have taken the placement test but are not satisfied with the results, ‘re-testing’ is an option; however, a refresher intervention must first be completed. Students may select either the face-to-face refresher or the online option. If selecting the online option, the student must obtain an 80% on the online quiz in the subject matter he or she wishes to re-test in.