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Center For Academic Excellence

Placement Testing

Instructions for new incoming students

The purpose of placement testing is to ensure new incoming students enroll in coursework for which they are prepared. Pace uses several factors, including AP credit, transfer credit, final High School transcripts, and placement tests administered prior to Orientation to make sure you take appropriate classes. For more information, see First Semester course schedules for Incoming Students.

Please note that placement test results will not be part of a permanent academic record and will only be used for purposes of placement.

Read carefully below to see which of our online placement tests you should take.  Consult with an advisor if you still have questions about which tests you need to take.  Placement tests are now open for new students and should be taken within 10 days of receiving your Orientation email.  Make sure to take the placement tests for the campus you will be attending.

Please note: Previous academic record is factored into first semester course placement along with the placement test results. See First Semester course schedules for Incoming Students. 


Incoming first-year students must take the English placement test. This test requires students to write an essay.

New York City Transfer Students: If you are required to take a placement test, you will be notified by the Office of Undergraduate Admission.  

Westchester Transfer Students: If you are not receiving Pace credit for an English class from another institution, you will need to take the English placement test. Consult with your Academic Advisor to determine if an English class taken at another institution will determine your placement.

All students will be evaluated on their ability to organize and develop ideas, to sustain an argument, and to use correct spelling and grammar. Students may place out of ENG 110, which starts the core course of study, after evaluation of appropriate transfer credit or AP credit, writing sample, and verbal SAT scores by the English department on each campus.


Incoming first-year students will take the mathematics placement test to determine the appropriate mathematics course to take in their first semester. Questions range from word problems to trigonometry and pre-calculus. Students may use calculators.

Even if you have pending AP credit or college transfer credits, please take the test. Mathematics placement will be reevaluated upon receipt of official AP scores or appropriate college transcripts.

New York City Transfer Students: If you are required to take a placement test, you will be notified by the Office of Undergraduate Admission.  

Westchester Transfer Students: Please contact your Advisor for information. If your Advisor has told you to take the Mathematics placement test, please take the test.

The NYC sample Mathematics placement review questions and answers can be found at the links below:

Modern Languages

All students with two or more years of high school study in Chinese, French, Italian, Russian, or Spanish who plan to continue their study of the same language in their first semester must take the online placement test prior to Orientation to determine the appropriate level of college study. The test may only be taken once. Test scores remain valid for one year.

Students with less than two years of high school study in a language will automatically be placed in the 101-level course in their chosen language and don't need to take the placement test.

Students who demonstrate proficiency in a second language by taking the SAT II exam prior to enrollment will be exempt from having to take a foreign language course as part of their Core Curriculum requirement. Students who qualify for this exemption will not be granted college credit.

International students who have graduated from a high school where English is not the language of instruction are exempt from the second language requirement.

If you have questions, please contact the Center for Academic Excellence at (212) 346-1386 for the NYC campus or (914) 773-3510 for the Pleasantville campus.

Accommodated Placement Testing

If you have a disability that requires accommodations, please contact the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) on the campus you will be attending prior to your Orientation. SAS recommends contacting the office as soon as you register for Orientation.

  • New York City Campus Student Accessibility Services: (212) 346-1526
  • Westchester Campus Student Accessibility Services: (914) 773-3710

College Credit And Advanced Placement (AP) Course Equivalency

If you have taken college courses for credit or have participated in a dual enrollment or Bridge program, please be sure to have all official college transcripts forwarded to the Office of Undergraduate Admission for evaluation. Prior credit will only be evaluated once your official transcript has been received. A minimum score of 4 is required on all AP exams with the exception of the Computer Science A and Computer Science AB exams, a score of 3 or above is acceptable for these.