Placement Testing

Wilson Community College uses the North Carolina Diagnostic and Placement (NC DAP) placement administered via computer. All sections, except the essay portion, are untimed. Students are allotted two hours to complete the essay portion.

  • The purpose of placement testing is to place students in the correct course levels in English and math.
  • Tests cover basic skills in reading, correct written English grammar and writing style, general math, and algebra.
  • The NC DAP may take 4-6 hours or more to complete and should be scheduled as two separate sessions (Session 1 for the reading/English sections and Session 2 for the math sections).


  • The test is offered one or more times most weekdays.

**Wilson Community College is closed on Friday’s during the summer semester.


  • Schedule an Appointment: Call (252) 246-1282 or (252) 246-1281. If accommodations for disability services are required, please allow up to two weeks for arrangements.
  • Testing is free. There is no fee for the tests and all materials are provided.
  • Bring a photo I.D. such as a driver’s license.
  • Report to Student Development, room F-100, 10 minutes prior to your appointment and tell a staff member you are here for placement testing.
  • Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment at least two days in advance; the Application for Admission and official transcripts must be on file with Student Development prior to scheduling the placement test(s).



  • Reading requires you to answer questions related to short passages. Answers are chosen from a suggested answer list (50 multiple choice questions)
  • English (writing) requires you to correctly edit sentences for grammar and punctuation (30 multiple choice questions) as well as write a 300 – 600 word essay on a given topic to assess course readiness.  The essay will be typed using a computer keyboard.
  • Math presents varying math problems ranging from pre-algebra to intermediate algebra. (72 multiple choice questions)

Additional Information

Curriculum students will be placed in English, reading,and mathematics courses on the basis of results of the placement test scores or transferred credit. This enables the student to enroll in these subjects at a point that is aligned with the student’s achievement level as indicated by the assessment results. Placement Test Scores and corresponding course placement schedules are available in Student Development (F-100). Certain course prerequisites may make it necessary for the student to enroll in developmental courses which are identified by a numerical “0” prefix (i.e., DRE 096, DMA 010, etc.). Developmental courses may increase the cost and length of studies to complete a degree/diploma; therefore all applicants are encouraged to take placement testing seriously. Algebra placement test scores will only be considered for those students who place out of developmental math. Students who need a class from each of the developmental areas can register for a maximum of 13 credit hours of instruction per semester. Registration should consist of one course from each developmental area and an ACA course.

Students who place into the Learning Center (below developmental level courses) must complete 50 hours of study in each designated subject area, then present a signed statement from the Learning Center staff before being allowed to retest and subsequently being accepted into a curriculum program.

Applicants desiring to retake any portion of the placement test (reading, writing, math, or algebra) must wait at least three (3) months unless one of the following conditions applies:

  1. An applicant who has been referred to the Learning Center for developmental work must present a statement signed by a member of the Learning Center staff certifying the completion of 50 hours of study in that particular subject area.
  2. When the testing environment/health of the tester was, in the view of Student Development staff, clearly a limiting factor in the applicant’s performance.

An applicant may test in math, English, and reading only two (2) times within a twelve (12) month period, REGARDLESS of whether the test is taken at another test site or for purposes of attempting to qualify for admission to any curriculum program.

The test results of applicants who do not follow these procedures will be invalid and will not be used to place admitted applicants into programs.

Wilson Community College Placement Test Study Guides

Free ACCUPLACER Web-Based Study App for the NC-DAP (strongly suggested)

Note: this will take you to an ordering page; there is no fee to order the web app, nor will you have to provide payment information. Simply add the app to the cart and checkout. It will ask you for a billing address but this is simply entering contact information to reference for future logins.

ACCUPLACER NC-DAP Sample Questions

Video Tutorials (Math, Reading, and English)


Test Preparation Strategies

  • Take the review material seriously. Review the videos and apply the knowledge when practicing on sample questions
  • Find a quiet place to study, undistracted and with technology unassociated with studying turned off.
  • Study in 20-minute intervals separated by 5-7 minute breaks.
  • Seek out help from others who can help you work through practice problems.
  • Make sure you have a full night of rest the night before testing. Set your alarm and your backup alarm.
  • Have a healthy meal before the test (not too heavy or you may get groggy).

Test Day Strategies

  • Bring your photo ID with you and arrive 10-15 minutes prior to your scheduled testing session.
  • Use the restroom and turn off your phone/mobile device before walking into the testing session.
  • Remain relaxed throughout the entire session. If you feel nervous or stressed take a few deep breaths.
  • To focus your attention when reading passages, always read the questions (but not the answers) first, then read the passage.
  • Always read the whole question and all of the answers before responding. Don’t make assumptions about what the question might be.
  • Instead of making educated guesses use logic and reasoning to choose the best answer.
  • Identify key words, phrases, and numbers when solving problems.
  • Only change an answer if you are sure the first one you chose is wrong.
  • It is alright if others finish before you; this isn’t a race. Take your time and focus on the test in front of you.
  • Keep a positive attitude and do your very best!

Exemptions from Placement Testing

Multiple Measures

Students who enroll at Wilson Community College may be exempt from English, reading, and math placement testing if all of the following are true:

  • The applicant is admitted and registers for classes within five (5) years from the high school graduation date (accredited high school).
  • The applicant has an unweighted high school GPA of 2.6 or higher.
  • The applicant has successfully completed four (4) high school math courses including Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and at least one higher level math course as recognized by North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
  • Placement for students who apply before they graduate from high school will be based on their high school GPA at the end of the fall semester of their senior year. Transcripts from students who graduated from a regionally accredited high school located outside of North Carolina but who enroll at the College within five years of high school graduation will be evaluated based on the same standard as NC graduates.

SAT/ACT Scores

Students who enroll at Wilson Community College may be exempt from English, reading, and/or math placement testing if the following SAT or ACT scores are met. The test scores are valid only when the applicant is admitted and enrolls into a curriculum program within five (5) years from the test date:

  • SAT Scores:
    • Math: 500
    • English: 500 or Reading: 500
  • ACT Scores:
    • Math: 22
    • English: 18 or Reading: 20

Previous Placement Testing

Accuplacer, Asset, NCDAP and Compass placement test scores from other recognized institutions may be accepted. Test score information must be received directly from the test site. Placement test scores are valid for five (5) years from the time of the assessment until the time of enrolling in the designated course and are not used to exempt curriculum level courses.

Previous/Transfer Credit

Applicants who have earned college level credit from a regionally accredited institution for math and English courses may be exempted from corresponding sections of placement testing if the course(s) are transferable and, in some cases, are no more than five (5) years old. Transferability and time limits are subject to review by the Registrar, the Associate Dean, and the instructor(s).

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