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Course Placement

Rio Salado offers four placement options for English, Math, and Reading courses:

  • Placement using the GPA on your high school transcript
  • Placement with an ACT score
  • Placement with a GED score
  • Placement Testing

The following criteria can be used to better understand placement through high school transcripts, ACT and GED scores:

High School GPA
At least 2 years
of HS No more than 10 years
out of HS
Valid for 5 years
Placement based on individual
subject area test scores

Taken on or after 2014
English Math Reading
3.0 or above* 22 or above 175-200 ENG 101 MAT15X or 187 CRE101
2.6 – 2.99 18-21 165-174 ENG 101 MAT14X or 12X RDG100
Below 2.6 Below 18 Below 165 Take
Students who wish to place into a higher level may take the ACCUPLACER as a secondary measure. *Presidents’ Honors Scholarship Eligibility: Completion of a secondary education program in Maricopa County (including NCA-accredited, charter, private, religious high schools, homeschool),
with a final, unweighted, GPA of 3.25 or higher.

Placement with GPA on a High School Transcript

If you have attended high school within the past 10 years and have completed at least two years of high school, you can submit your official high school transcripts for evaluation. Here is how to submit your transcript:

By Mail

   Rio Salado College
   Admissions, Records and Registration
   2323 West 14th Street
    Tempe, AZ 85281


   2323 West 14th Street
   The Tower Building
   Tempe, AZ 85281


  • Placement based on individual subject area test scores.
  • Scores are valid for 5 years.
  • Request your ACT Scores be sent to Rio Salado College, College Code 0103.


  • GED taken on or after 2014
  • Scores are valid for placement for 5 years
  • Request your GED scores

Placement with a Placement Test

The Accuplacer is a placement test used at colleges and universities to identify a student’s skill level in English, Reading and Math. It is an untimed, computer-based, adaptive placement test.

You will need to take a placement test before registering for classes if:

  • You are currently a high school freshman/sophomore
  • Your high school GPA is below 2.6
  • Your high school transcripts are older than 10 years
  • You obtained a GED before 2014 or earned a score below 165.
  • You wish to place into a higher level of English, Math, or Reading
  • Your high school transcripts are from outside the United States

Prepare for your Test

Take your Test

You can take your test at any of the nine Rio Salado Testing Centers located throughout Maricopa County.

Testing Locations

Students living outside Maricopa County may request to have their exams proctored at an approved proctor site.

Proctor Process

Test Scores

After testing, you will receive a printout with your test scores. Your test scores are also available in your Student Center at and in RioCompass.

What do my scores mean?

MCCCD Placement Chart

Retaking a Test

Students are permitted one re-test in English, reading or math after a 24-hour waiting period. An additional re-test is permitted no sooner than three months from the oldest valid score date.

For more information, contact the Tempe Testing Center at 480-517-8560 or 866-517-8560, or by e-mail at

The CELSA (Combined English language Skills Assessment) is a computerized test used for course placement into the English as a Second language program for both English and Reading. More information about CELSA

Placement Testing