Feb 04, 2023  
Catalog/Handbook 2013-14 
Catalog/Handbook 2013-14 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Placement Assessment

Polk State College provides a comprehensive placement assessment program in accordance with Florida law. Students who do not have previous scores or meet the exemption to placement and developmental education per F.S. 1008.30 are required to test free of charge. Students may use scores that are less than two years old from the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and/or American College Testing (ACT) to determine placement in mathematics, reading, and English courses. All students, unless othewise exempt, who do not have recent SAT, ACT, or college placement test scores are tested for proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics. Although frequently referred to as “testing,” a college placement test is not a pass/fail examination, but rather an assessment tool used to determine proper placement of students in college courses. A college placement test does not determine admission eligibility. Transfer and readmitting students with college-level English and mathematics credit with a minimum GPA of 2.00 are exempt from college placement. 

Students who have taken the ACT or SAT may use these scores to determine eligibility for college-level courses as defined by Florida Administrative Code 6A-10.0315 and/or College policy. These exams are used only to determine college-level skills. If scores do not meet the college-level requirements, students must take a college placement test. For placement above the first college-level course (i.e. College Algebra or higher), a student must score within the range for that placement.

Students who have not taken the ACT or SAT may take the Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (P.E.R.T.) at Polk State College on the Winter Haven and Lakeland Campuses or the JD Alexander/Lake Wales Center. The current standards for placement in college-level courses for the SAT, ACT and P.E.R.T. placement exam are:

Subtest/Level ACT SAT  P.E.R.T.  placement F.C.A.T
Reading 18 Critical Reading 440 106 262 Level 4/5
Writing/English 17 N/A 103 N/A
Intermediate Algebra 19 Math 460 114 N/A
College Algebra 21 500 123 437 Level 5


All students who are not exempt who are applying to take credit courses are required to present official scores on the ACT, SAT, or a college placement test prior to course registration. Students are introduced to the registration process at Orientation. Students should register for an Orientation session after submitting an application. Students may call 863- 297-1000 for assistance in registering for an Orientation session.

College developmental courses in English, reading, and mathematics are required for students who score below the College’s posted standards. Students are required to begin enrollment in all required college developmental courses during their first 12 credit hours at Polk State College and must continue enrollment in these courses each subsequent term until all college developmental courses have been satisfactorily completed. Students who place into three college developmental areas are required to take SLS 1101 College Success in their first term at Polk State College. Students who place into two college developmental areas are encouraged to take SLS 1101 in their first term. Students enrolled in college developmental courses may also concurrently take courses in other curriculum areas for which they qualify. College developmental courses do not apply toward graduation requirements.

A student who entered 9th grade in a Florida public school in the 2003-2004 school year, or any year thereafter, and earned a Florida standard high school diploma or a student who is serving as an active duty member of any branch of the United States Armed Services is not  required to take the common placement test and, even if the student decides to take the placement test, shall not be required to enroll in developmental education instruction. However, a student may opt to be assessed and to enroll in developmental education instruction.  Polk State College provides a comprehensive orientation, advising, and self-evaluation so that students can make informed choices relating to college-level English and mathematics options.