Placement Testing

Students taking online placement testing must have a personal computer and internet access. Students may not use a mobile device for placement testing. Please reserve a space now. A confirmation email from will be sent with further details and questions. Please respond back to the email at the latest, the day before your scheduled test date to secure your space for testing.

New test dates will be added weekly. Spots are limited.

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All new students should carefully review the placement information below.

New Student Placement Testing

Placement into college-level and developmental education courses at Durham Tech is primarily based on high school performance. Specifically, Durham Tech accepts students’ college transcripts, unweighted high school GPA, ACT, SAT, GED, HiSET, NCDAP, COMPASS, ASSET, and ACCUPLACER scores for college placement.

Students who have completed associate degrees or higher from an accredited college or university are college-ready and can take any gateway 100-level course on their plan of study.

Students who do not already hold an associate degree or higher must use their unweighted high school GPA for placement if they graduated from an accredited high school in the United States. ACT, SAT, NCDAP, COMPASS, ASSET, and ACCUPLACER scores can be used for placement within ten years from the date taken.

If high school records are not available or test scores are older than ten years, students must (re)take the placement test unless they have been continuously enrolled in classes. Continuously enrolled is defined as not missing more than two consecutive semesters of enrollment in classes. After being out of classes two consecutive semesters (not including summer term), students must reapply to the college and retest if scores are older than ten years.

Durham Tech will use the placement measure that gives students the highest placement into college coursework. For example, if a student’s unweighted US high school GPA does not place the student into college-level English, but the student’s SAT score does, then Durham Tech will use the student’s SAT score for English placement.

Students who lack the appropriate high school GPA and who have ACT, SAT, GED, HiSET, NCDAP, COMPASS, ASSET, and ACCUPLACER scores that do not place them into college-level courses will be required to take the RISE Placement Test for placement into appropriate courses.

Specifically, only the following students are allowed to take the RISE placement tests:

  • Students whose US high school GPA is not unweighted

  • Students whose unweighted high school GPA is not from a US high school

  • Students whose ACT, SAT, GED, HiSET, NCDAP, COMPASS, ASSET, and/or ACCUPLACER scores from the last 10 years do not place them into college-level courses (with or without coreq support course

  • Students who are referred by the English for Academic Purposes department

  • Career and College Promise (CCP) students who lack qualifying high school GPA or test scores for college-level coursework

Durham Tech administers the RISE placement tests to eligible students. The RISE placement tests include two RISE English tests and three RISE Math tests. All RISE placement tests are multiple choice, administered by computer and untimed. Most students need 45-60 minutes to complete each of the RISE tests.

There are two RISE English tests. You must pass the first RISE English test with a score of 70 percent or higher to qualify to take the second RISE English test.

There are three RISE Math tests. You must pass the first RISE Math test with a score of 70 percent or higher to qualify to take the second RISE Math test. You must pass the second RISE Math test with a score of 70 percent or higher to take the third RISE Math test.

There is no fee to take any portion of the test. Your scores will be shared with your academic advisor, who will assist you with academic planning and course selection.

It is critical that you take time to prepare for the placement test. Studying for the test will allow you to achieve your best score as well as save time and money with the highest possible course placement.

Students are only allowed to retake the RISE placement test only one time ever. Students cannot retest on the same day.

If special accommodations are required due to functional limitations from a disability, contact Disability Services at 919-536-7208, ext. 1409 or visit the Wynn Student Center (Building 10), room 1209 for more information.

Please note the following guidelines prior to your arrival at the Testing Center:

  • All students must apply to the college and receive a student ID number before taking the placement test.

  • All students must bring a photo ID and their Durham Tech student ID number in order to take the test.

  • Food and drinks are not allowed in the Testing Center.

  • All cell phones and pagers must be turned off during testing.

  • Children are not permitted in the Testing Center.

  • All testing is on a first-come, first-served basis. Seating is limited and early arrival is advised.

  • Please arrive no more than 10 minutes after the start time listed in the schedule.

Additional Testing Information

Students who did not graduate from a US high school or who do not speak US English as their first language will first take the Accuplacer ESL test in reading, language use, sentence meaning, and listening in order to assess cultural and linguistic components of their skill levels. After this test, they will meet with the director of Academic EFL or an EFL instructor and will be placed in the appropriate class or will be directed to take the NCDAP test in reading/writing/math. For additional information about the testing procedure, you can email Paula Wilder, the Director of Academic English.

Placement Test Schedules

View Placement Test Schedules for Main Campus and Orange County Campus.