New Student Advising And Placement - Garrett College
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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 appointment to complete the final steps to becoming enrolled; including Placement Testing, if required (see details below).

During New Student Advising, 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 appointments, unless noted, include, retrieval of student username and password, general welcome information, placement testing (if required), advising and course registration, parent information, and visits to the college business office and financial aid. Tours of our residence halls are also available.

Students requiring placement testing may wish to take advantage of low-cost our refresher options. See detailed information in drop-down below.

Students are encouraged to bring a parent/guardian with them to their New Student Advising appointment. Students requiring placement testing and advising should plan to be on-campus for approximately three hours.

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

Summer & Fall New Student Advising Dates will be announced in the coming weeks.

Limited New Student Advising appointments available, call to schedule.

Placement testing is an assessment process used to determine each student’s most appropriate math and English course upon entering the college. Garrett College utilizes ACCUPLACER Next Generation placement testing platform, a computer-delivered assessment suite, to determine proper course placement. Students requiring testing (see next area for exemptions) will take 2-3 untimed individual tests during the testing session: Writing, Quantitative Reasoning Algebra and Statistics (QAS), and possibly Reading. There are between 20-25 multiple-choice questions on each test, each question adapted to the student’s demonstrated skill level from the previous question.

Students with lower scores on the placement test may be required to take as many as two developmental math classes and one developmental English before taking some college classes. While developmental courses help acquire the skills needed to succeed academically, they do not count toward graduation or transfer and cost time and money. For these reasons, it is critical that students take these tests seriously and try their hardest.


Certain ACT or SAT scores may exempt students from placement testing, as illustrated below.

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.

High School GPA

High School Graduates who have achieved a cumulative high school GPA of 2.8 or above (on 4.0 scale) are also exempt from placement testing and are permitted to enroll in gateway college-level courses (ENG 101 and MAT 105 or 210) immediately upon entry. In addition, students that have successfully completed Calculus or Pre-calculus with a B or higher in high school may enroll in the associated course immediately upon entry. Please let an admissions counselor know if you qualify for this 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.

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

Testing during New Student Advising

ACCUPLACER Placement testing is offered as part of New Student Advising. Students must schedule an appointment in advance. Immediately following testing, students will meet with an advisor and register for classes. Please plan to arrive on campus at the designated time and remain for approximately three hours for same-day testing and registration. See information and dates for New Student Advising to schedule.

Testing at another time

ACCUPLACER Placement testing is also available to new students outside of New Student Advising, generally Monday through Friday between the hours of 9am and 2pm. Students that test outside of New Student Advising will not register for classes that day; please plan to schedule a separate date for advising and registration.

Schedule by calling 866-554-2773, extension 3715 or email 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.

Testing at another location

ACCUPLACER Remote Placement testing is available at numerous testing locations around the country. If you would like to arrange remote testing at a location near you, please call 866-554-2773, extension 3715 or email We may be able to help you locate an ACCUPLACER test site that is more convenient for you. Fees may apply.

Students that have taken the Accuplacer placement test at another institution may submit those scores for evaluation and possible placement. In order for scores to be considered, the following must apply:

  • Placement Test Score Transfer Form and Accuplacer Score Report must be faxed to the Advising & Academic Success Center (fax number 301-387-3189) directly from the school at which the student tested
  • Test(s) taken must be part of the Accuplacer Next Generation platform; Accuplacer Classic scores will not be accepted
  • At a minimum, student must have completed the Writing and Quantitative Reasoning Algebra and Statistics (QAS) assessments
  • Scores must be less than 2 years old

For questions, contact the Advising & Academic Success Center by phone at 866-554-2773, extension 3715 or email at

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 two types of Refresher Courses – face-to-face and online. Courses are designed to help students improve on math, writing, and reading skills and course placements before the student’s first semester.

Face-to-Face Refresher Courses

Low-cost, one-day Refresher Courses are offered at Garrett College’s McHenry Campus through the summer months. Courses provide five hours of content instruction, lunch, and placement testing.

New students may use a refresher course to brush-up on basic skills prior to taking the placement test or after an unsatisfactory testing attempt. Students may opt to utilize this resource if they feel they will not perform well, are facing test anxiety, feel they can do better with help up-front, or as an intervention after a test attempt.

Summer 2020 Refresher Course Dates will be announced soon.

Refresher Courses take place between 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at a cost of $15 per course. Overnight accommodations in the Residence Halls are available for refresher enrollees (and one adult guest) for an additional $20 per person per night.

ONLINE Refresher Courses

Free, ONLINE, self-paced Refresher Courses are offered by Garrett College. These courses offer the benefit of a Refresher Course in a convenient and flexible online format ideal for students that are unable to attend a face-to-face Refresher Course. Students may access and complete an Online Refresher Course from any device with internet connectivity. The courses provide an overview of math and writing/reading with detailed examples and videos to help brush up skills and prepare for placement testing.

Once a student has completed an Online Refresher Course, he or she may contact the Advising & Academic Success Center by phone at 866-554-2773, extension 3715 or email at testingcenter@garrettcollege.eduto schedule placement testing.

Students that are not satisfied with placement testing results on the first attempt may consider re-testing. Re-testing is only permitted if the student is able to demonstrate that he or she has completed a method of academic intervention following the first test attempt. The easiest methods of intervention are:

  • Face-to-face Refresher Course (re-testing included with the course)
  • Online Refresher Course (re-testing scheduled with AASC following completion of the online course)

Other interventions (self-study, personal tutor, other web-based resource) will be examined on a case-by-case basis to determine re-testing eligibility. Students are not permitted to re-test without any form of intervention.