Reading Placement Test

Enrollment in any English course (ENG prefix) and many general education courses, such as Psychology, History, Sociology, etc., is based upon demonstration of college-ready reading and writing skills. To demonstrate college-ready reading skills, students must take the ECC Reading Placement Test or meet one of the following criteria:

  1. 18 or higher on the Reading portion of the ACT; 450 on SAT verbal, or 530 on New SAT3 reading and writing; or
  2. 4 or higher on the PARCC reading and writing assessment; or
  3. Successful completion of RDG091 or LTC099 at ECC; or
  4. Attain the specified level on the ECC Reading Placement Test.

How does the test work?

Using a computer, you will read several texts then respond to multiple choice questions using what you have read. The test is untimed. There are 30 question on the College Success reading placement test. Keep in mind you can return to re-read the passage at any time. Most questions fall into one of two categories: referring and reasoning. Referring items pose questions about material explicitly stated in the text. Reasoning items assess how well you make appropriate inferences, understand the text, and determine the specific meanings of difficult or unfamiliar words.

The questions will focus on tasks like:

  • Recognize the purpose of a passage.
  • Find important details and examples that support the author’s point of view (stated and implied).
  • Recognize significant details that answer the questions who, what, when, why, where, and how.
  • Compare two or more ideas.
  • Identity unstated causes, effects, reasons, or opinions.
  • Comprehend details and distinguish different points of view.
  • Define vocabulary used in a passage.

Reading Placement Test Preparation


Research shows students who practice taking computerized tests and brush up on their reading comprehension skills PRIOR to taking the ECC Reading Placement Test tend to have scores that more accurately reflect their abilities. Below are some online resources that provide reading comprehension practice or reading instruction that will help you prepare:

How is my test scored?

All tests are automatically scored by the computer. Students will receive a printout of their score results when leaving the Testing Center along with explanation guide to understand how scores relate to course placement. ACT, SAT, Compass, and College Success Reading placement test scores are valid for five years from the date the test was taken.

Supplemental Resource Guide

If you scored below 31 on the Compass Reading or below 60 on the College Success Reading test, we were unable to determine your Reading course placement. You will need to re-test. Prior to re-testing, review the supplemental resource guide for available retesting support/preparation.