Assessment Center and Course Placement

What is Course Placement?

Course Placement is an assessment test designed to identify your skills in math, reading and writing. You and your Counselor/Advisor will review your results when selecting an appropriate course load and proper starting point for your math and English classes.

You cannot fail Course Placement. Whatever your results are, there is a starting point for you. If your results show a need for assistance in meeting academic requirements, we offer developmental classes in math, reading and English as well as free tutoring through our Learning Lab and Assisted Learning Services office.

Why do I have to take the Course Placement test?

As a new student, you are required to take Course Placement before you can register for classes. Research has shown that taking the proper sequence of math and English courses has a very positive carry-over effect on all classes you take from that time forward. Math is a discipline that exercises your thinking and reasoning skills, while English addresses comprehension as well as writing skills.

Students who are improperly placed in courses may find themselves confused, frustrated, bored or unable to enjoy success. Some mistakenly decide college is not for them. This is why Course Placement is so important: if you start out learning at the appropriate level for your skills and abilities, you are likely to stay on to complete your educational goals.

Hours of Operation and Location

Fall and Winter testing hours are:

Monday – Thursday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Friday - 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Please note, HFCC Summer business hours change to Monday-Thursday (Closed on Fridays) from May - August.

Monday – Thursday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The Assessement Center is located on the first floor of the Welcome Center.

In order to test, please review items below:

  • A valid photo ID is mandatory for all students testing.
  • Allow TWO HOURS to complete the process.
  • No appointment is necessary.
  • All mobile devices must be turned off before entering testing area.
  • Get a good night sleep before you test!

What is the Course Placement Exam Like?

Henry Ford Community College offers two different kinds of placement tests; one is administered on the computer (COMPASS) and the other is administered by paper and pencil (ASSET). Both versions cover mathematics, reading and writing skills and take approximately two hours to complete. You are not required to take all three sections of the exam in one sitting.

Below are descriptions of the ASSET and COMPASS tests, which will help you to determine which test is most appropriate for you:


The ASSET test is a tool only used by students who have a documented Learning Disability. Arrangements to take this test must be made through our Assisted Learning Department at 313-317-4112.

  • The ASSET Test is timed; each section takes 25 minutes to complete.
  • Students take this test using a booklet, scantron sheet and pencil.
  • Students may not use a calculator on the Mathematics test, nor any other study aids on any section.
  • The ASSET test is not appropriate for students wishing to place into Math 115 (College Algebra) or higher. Students who wish to enroll in Math 115 (College Algebra) or higher must select the COMPASS test.
  • All questions are multiple choice.


To ensure accurate placement, HFCC requires that all students take the COMPASS test. Below is more information about the test and helpful hints for to help you before you test.

  • The test is not timed.
  • The COMPASS test is a computerized multiple choice test and will require you to know how to click on a mouse to enter your answers.
  • The testing lab will lend you a graphing calculator. You may not use your own calculator during the math portion of the test.
  • You may not use any study aids on any section.
  • Students who wish to enroll in Math 115 (College Algebra), Math 121 (Mathematics for Elementary Teachers), Math 153 (Essentials of Calculus for Business and Economics) or Math 180 (Calculus I) must select the COMPASS test.
  • All questions are multiple choice.

Scores from placement tests taken at HFCC will only be forwarded to other institutions for past or currently enrolled students. You may request your test scores by submitting an Authorization to Release Compass Test Score Form to the Assessment office. Incomplete forms will not be processed.


If you wish to retake the Course Placement exam, you must wait 90 days. All retests are done using the COMPASS test ONLY. You may discuss waiving the 90-day wait with a counselor.

ACT Policies

Have you taken the ACT?

HFCC will only review official ACT scores in order to consider waiving course placements through ACT scores.

Official ACT scores are:

  • Sent directly from ACT to HFCC (
  • Sent directly from your high school to HFCC via fax or snail mail (Scores hand-delivered are not official). For tips on how to submit your transcript with scores click on the following link:

Waiving Course Placement With ACT Scores

Your ACT score may allow you to waive taking the Course Placement in English and math.

The requirements to place into English 131 depend on whether the ACT exam you took included the Writing Test. 

ACT Writing Test

  • Minimum English score of 18 and Minimum ACT Writing Test score of 6

If you took the ACT without the ACT Writing Test before 2009

  • Minimum English score of 21.

The requirements to place into MATH112, MATH 115, MATH 121, MATH 150 are:

A minimum score of 22 or higher on the Mathematics portion of the ACT exam.

You may send a copy of your scores to:

ACT Scores

Assessment Office

Henry Ford Community College

Dearborn, MI 48128

You tested, what’s next?

After you complete the COMPASS test, we recommend that you meet with an academic advisor to plan your schedule.

For additional information on the steps to enroll, visit

If you feel your scores can be improved, you may take advantage of the following resources:

On Campus Resources

Online Resources

Online for Math


Online for Reading - Select “Create an Account.” Select “Create a Student Account.” Complete the requested information, selecting HFCC as the school. Select “Create Account.” (Note: Start around Grade 6)

Online for Writing