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Placement Testing

Administration of the Placement Test
The placement test is administered through the Admissions office by the Admissions Director or his/her designee. Personnel administering the placement test receive training in test administration, monitoring, security and post-test orientation.

Placement Testing
All applicants are required to undergo placement testing unless documentation of the following can be provided:

  • Satisfactory grades in a program-level English and math courses from a regionally accredited post-secondary institution
  • SAT scores of no less than 430 SATR and 400 SATM (440 SATM for programs requiring algebra.) Degree program entrance scores are 480 SATR and 440 SATM.
  • ACT English and Reading scores of no less than 18 and math score of 16 for diploma and certificate programs. English and Reading scores of 22 and math score of 21 for degree programs
  • English/Language Arts (ELA) portion of the Georgia High School Graduation Test score of 235 or higher may be used to exempt Reading and Writing portions of the COMPASS; placement testing required only for math.
  • Acceptable ASSET or COMPASS scores from another institution
  • Scores from placement testing completed within the last 60 months

Applicants must show a U.S. federal or state-issued government photo I.D. to gain entrance to the testing session. Students who do not possess a photo I.D. may notify the Admissions Office in advance of testing and make arrangements to prove identification through a combination of birth certificate, social security card, credit cards, and other forms of identification. An applicant who does not posses photo identification at the time of testing and who has not made prior arrangements will not be allowed to test.

The Placement Tests
The official placement tests used by Okefenokee Technical College (OTC) and sanctioned by the Technical College System of Georgia are the COMPASS and ASSET, published by ACT, Inc.

The COMPASS test is a computer-based test designed to measure an individual’s skill level in basic writing, reading, numeric, and algebraic skills. The COMPASS test is not timed and takes approximately 1.5 to 3 hours to complete. Scores attained are used for academic placement in programs.

The ASSET is a placement test which is administered in a pencil-and-paper format. As used by OTC, it consists of four sections; writing, reading, numerical, and elementary algebraic skills, with each section having a 25 minute time limit.

Retesting Procedures
Applicants will be allowed to re-test at no charge if one of the following conditions is met:

  • Completion of high school diploma or GED since initial testing
  • Completion of the required remedial courses
  • Prior test scores are no longer valid

Applicants not meeting the above condition will be charged a $15 fee per retest.

Ability to Benefit Policy
OTC recognizes that some individuals seeking training do not posses a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED). Experience indicates that many of these persons can demonstrate the ability to benefit from the instructional programs offered by OTC. Therefore, OTC has established the Ability to Benefit (ATB) policy and developed procedures to implement this policy.

OTC agrees to apply the ATB policy and procedures in a uniform manner, provide counseling, and recommendation as needed. OTC also maintains accurate and complete records of students admitted on the basis of ATB, and evaluates the effectiveness of the procedures used to identify students who are capable of benefiting from training offered.

Specifically, the ATB requirements are:

  1. ATB applicants must meet the same requirements as all other students who apply to OTC, not withstanding the requirement of attainment of a high school diploma or GED
  2. Persons applying on the basis of “ability to benefit” must complete the COMPASS test
  3. Minimum satisfactory ATB scores are shown below
Subject Area   COMPASS
Writing/English   32
Reading   62
Numerical   25

After testing, students will be referred to a counselor for advisement. Students who do not achieve a satisfactory score on the ATB test will be counseled into the appropriate Learning Support course(s), where areas of low performance can be strengthened. Students who do not score achieve a satisfactory score on the ATB test will be ineligible for Federal financial aid benefits. Counseling services will be provided to each ATB student who enters OTC to encourage each student to develop positive study habits, positive job attitudes, and positive work ethics. ATB students who withdraw from school must schedule an appointment with an advisor before being readmitted to the college.

Institutional Exemption Testing
A student may receive credit for courses by passing an exemption examination. Exemption examinations are given each Wednesday of the last full week of the term.

The following conditions govern credit by exemption exam:

  • Student may not be currently enrolled in the class for which exemption is attempted
  • An exemption exam may not be attempted during the same term for which student withdrew from the course he/she is attempting to exempt
  • Credit by exam is prohibited for any course in which a grade of “D” or “F” has been earned by the student
  • An exemption exam can be taken only once
  • No more than 23 semester credit hours may be earned by institutional credit exam
  • Payment of applicable exemption exam fee must be made prior to taking the exemption exam. Charges for the exam are nonrefundable and are not covered by financial aid
  • No fee shall be charged to students taking an exam to validate competency following completion of required modules in a learning support class

Credit by exam is recorded as “EX” on the transcript and is not included in the calculation of grade point average. Successful completion is defined as 70% or above.

Institutional exemption exams are available for:

  • ALHS 1011
  • ALHS 1040*
  • ALHS 1090
  • BUSN 1100
  • BUSN 1440**
  • CIST 1001
  • CIST 1130
  • ENGL 1010
  • MATH 1011
  • MATH 1012
  • MATH 1013
  • PHLT 1050***
  • COMP 1000

* ALHS 1040 - must provide proof of current American Heart Association Adult Provider (BLS/AED) Certification prior to registration for this test.

** Requires successful completion of BUSN 1100 course or exemption test.

*** See test administrator for qualifications and restrictions prior to registering for this test.

NOTE: Additional examinations may be developed. Direct inquiries regarding examinations for other courses to the Admissions Director at 912-338-5251.


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