The Computerized Placement Test (CPT) is used to determined where first-time college students stand academically. Consisting of math, reading and English questions, the CPT evaluates whether or not students are ready to begin college-level courses. Students who do not receive passing scores on one or more of these sections are required to begin college with college-preparatory courses rather than being allowed to take college courses. The CPT is taken in a proctored setting on a college campus. It is not timed and your scores are given to you immediately after you have completed your test.

Reading Your Sentence Skills Scores

Locate the section of your CPT test results for your Sentence Skills.

Read your Sentence Skills score, which is a number between 20 and 120.

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Determine which category applies to your Sentence Skills score. Your score will fall into one of the following four categories: 20-57: You must take two semesters of college-prep composition classes prior to taking regular college composition classes. 58-82: You must take one semester of college-prep composition classes prior to taking regular credit-hour college composition classes. 83-120: You are not required to take any college-prep composition classes. 112-120: You are qualified to take honors composition courses, if you choose.

Reading Your Reading Scores

Locate the Reading section of your CPT test results.

Read your Reading scores, which will fall between 20 and 120.

Determine which category applies to your score. Your score will fall into one of the following four categories: 20-53: You must take two semesters of college-prep reading classes. 54-82: You must take one semester of college-prep reading classes. 83-120: You do not have to take any college-prep courses and you qualify for a Critical Thinking course, REA 1205, which is not available to all students. 95-120: You are not required to take any college-prep courses but you do qualify for the Critical Thinking course and the IDS Program, which is a Ph.D. program for world-class scholars.

Reading your Arithmetic, Elementary Algebra and College Math Scores

Locate the Arithmetic section of your CPT results.

Read your Arithmetic scores, which will fall between 20 and 120.

Choose which category applies to your score. Your score will fall into one of the following two categories: 20-64: You must take two semesters of college-prep math classes. 65-120: You must take one semester of college-prep math.

The only way to avoid taking any college-prep math classes is to score a 72 or higher on the Elementary Algebra section of your CPT. Arithmetic scores are not taken into consideration should you score well on the Elementary Algebra section.

Search for your Elementary Algebra score on your test results page. If you scored 20-71, refer to your Arithmetic scores for your math course placement. If your score is between 72-120, you will forgo taking the Elementary Algebra course and start with Intermediate Algebra.

Find your College Math score. If it is between 20-40, refer to your Elementary Algebra scores to determine your college math placement. Scores 41-61 allow you to forgo any algebra courses and start with Calculus, Mathematics for Liberal Arts and/or Statistics. Scores 62-120 qualify you for the same courses as scores 41-61 as well as higher courses, if they are available at your academic institution or as determined by your academic adviser.

About the Author

Tiffany Raiford has several years of experience writing freelance. Her writing focuses primarily on articles relating to parenting, pregnancy and travel. Raiford is a graduate of Saint Petersburg College in Florida.