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, writing, 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 a skills inventory 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 in addition to active military and students who entered a Florida public high school in 2003-4 or later and graduated from a Florida public high school with a standard high school diploma.
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 College Algebra, 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:
||Critical Reading 440
||262 Level 4/5
||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 where scores are evaluated and registration recommendations are made. Students must complete Orientation after submitting an application.
College developmental courses in writing, reading, and mathematics are required for students who score below the College's posted standards and are not in an exempt category. 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 from a Florida public school 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, is not required to enroll in developmental education instruction. However, students may opt to be assessed and to enroll in developmental education instruction should they choose. All students new to college are encouraged to take a placement test to assist in the registration and course selection process. Polk State College provides a comprehensive orientation, advising, and self-evaluation so students can make informed choices relating to college-level English and mathematics options.