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CCC Placement Tests

All new students are required to complete placement tests in the areas of English and math before registering for classes. Students are encouraged to take the placement test(s) as soon as possible because the placement scores determine which course(s) the student is eligible to register for that academic term.  

Students will need their CCC ID and student portal credentials to take the placement exams. Access to both the English and math placement exams is found on the CCC student portal  

If you have previously applied to City Colleges of Chicago, took your placement exams but never enrolled in classes, you are required to take your placement exams again if it has been more than a year since your placement exam date. 

How to Prepare

Students are strongly encouraged to review placement test preparation materials for the English Read-to-Write​ and the ALEKS math exams

Taking the English Placement Exam

For the English placement exam, a student can log in directly to BrightSpace at or on the CCC student portal main page, click the Quick Access tile (bottom left) then click on the Brightspace icon.  

On the Brightspace main page, students must find and select a course titled “English Placement Exam”. Clicking on this class will provide instructions on what to expect and how to navigate the exam.  

The following components are found on the English placement exam:  

  • Background information – provide information regarding previous schooling, academic goals, and languages spoken.
  • Reading comprehension – review a passage and answer five multiple choice questions.
  • Essay – write an essay in response to the provided topic. Tip: The essay should be approximately five paragraphs long in order to receive accurate placement into English courses.
  • Self-placement section – prompts the student to write a short essay expressing which English course level they feel is most suitable for themselves based upon their own strengths and weaknesses with reading and writing.

Scores will be available within approximately 3-5 business days. Please allow approximately 2.5 hours to take the English placement exam.  

Taking the ALEKS Math Placement Exam​

To take the ALEKS math placement exam, students must log in to their CCC student portal, and click on Academic Records. On the following page, the student must first locate a tab called “Placement Testing” on the left-hand side of the screen, then select the hyperlink in the center of the screen "Complete CCC Math Placement Test". The link will redirect the student to a website called ALEKS.  

The ALEKS math placement exam consists of approximately 30 questions. Students are not allowed to use calculators however an onscreen calculator will appear for some questions for students to use. The ALEKS math placement exam is scores instantly once completed. 

If students are not satisfied with their math score, they may retake the exam up to four more times. Prior to retaking the exam, students must complete three hours of the Prep and Learning Modules that begin after the first assessment has been taken. The Prep and Learning Modules are math tutorials designed to assist students in improving their math skills so that they will demonstrate growth in their score the next time they take the Placement Test. 

Placement Waivers / Exceptions

The following students may be eligible to be exempt from taking one or both of the placement exams.   

·       A transfer student who has earned a grade of “C” or better in college-level English and/or math or if a student that has previously earned an Associate’s Degree or higher from an accredited college or university. Students with credits from another college must submit official transcripts to

·       A student who has completed an Advanced Placement (AP), College-Level Examination (CLEP), or International Baccalaureate credit (IB) examination with results that would grant credit for college-level English and/or math. You must submit an official record of your test score to For more information visit the CCC websites for APCLEP, or IB credits.  

·       A Chicago Pubic School senior who have successfully completed an approved transitional math or transitional English course earning a C or better – or pass. This student will receive automatic placement to a college credit mathematics or English course within 18 months of completing the course. Students must submit final high school transcript  

·       A high school graduate with an English SAT minimum score of 540, a minimum Math SAT of 530 or with a minimum ACT score of 21. For placement, SAT and ACT scores are valid for a period of four (4) years. Students must submit full score report from ACT or SAT to  For more information about downloading your full score report, please contact SAT at (866) 756-7346 or ACT directly at (319) 337-1000.   

Students can contact the Harold Washington College Testing Center staff via email or via the Virtual Student Services. The Testing Center Zoom is or by entering meeting ID: 739 744 130 






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(312) 553-3195
30 E. Lake St.
Room 402
Chicago, IL 60601
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