CUNY Scoring

CUNY Assessment Tests offer an alternative for those who have to apply to CUNY colleges and have not appeared for any of SAT, ACT and NYS Regents test. This evaluation alternative opens the doors to different career options for you. In order to make full use of this evaluation alternative, you need to comprehend what CUNY Assessment Tests’ scores mean and what aims you should set for yourself.

Passing Scores
The minimum scores required to apply to most colleges are

  • A scaled score of 70 in reading
  • A total score of 7 in writing

The Writing test is checked by two readers. They are trained in checking essays and scoring them as per predefined scoring standards. The essay is judged for appropriateness, organization, use of English in terms of sentence structure and grammar.  The scores range from 1 to 6, each holding a predefined interpretation. A score less than 3 shows incompetence and shall not earn you any credit. The sum of the scores given by both the readers is considered for admission.
The scores in the Mathematics Assessment test are divided into two categories. The two subsections Numerical Skills/Pre-algebra and Algebra are taken as Math 1 and the subsections Algebra, College Algebra and Trigonometry are taken together as Math 2. One needs a scaled score of 30 or above to demonstrate a proficiency in the subject that is required for admission purposes. The scaled score in Math 2 depends on individual colleges and they determine their limits for placement into advanced courses in Mathematics.

Comparison among Different Tests
Reading and Writing Scores:
A Reading test score of 70 or a Writing score of 7 is equivalent to

  • A score of 480 or more in SAT I Verbal or in SAT I Critical Reading
  • A score of 20 or higher in ACT English
  • A score of 75 or higher in NYS English Regents

Mathematics Score:
A score of 30 in Mathematics is equivalent to

  • SAT Math score of 480
  • ACT Math score of 20
  • NYS Regents score on Math A, B, Sequential II or III exam of 75

A score of 35 in Mathematics is equivalent to

  • SAT Math score of 500
  • ACT Math score of 21
  • NYS Regents score on Math A, B, Sequential II or III exam of 75

A score of 45 in Mathematics is equivalent to

  • SAT Math score of 510
  • ACT Math score of 21
  • NYS Regents score on Math A, B, Sequential II or III exam of 75

How the Assessment Test Scores are Used

  • Each college uses the CUNY Assessment Test scores as per its own requirements and procedures for recruiting students. While some colleges require that this test be taken before you apply for admission, others require that you take the test after you apply for admission and have been accepted by the college.
  • Some colleges require the Math Assessment Test scores of all new students for placement into related courses irrespective of whether they have taken other assessment tests or not.
    • In case you fail to meet the minimum standards set by a college you could be asked to take remedial courses for skill enhancement. Thereafter, you could be required to reappear for the tests to demonstrate how you have improved through the remedial courses.
  • Students who have transferred from another college to a CUNY college are also required to take the CUNY Assessment Tests. These requirements are also determined by individual colleges.

How to Score Better 
Understanding the requirements of your college is the first step you should take in this direction. Contact the respective Testing Office for this information. You need to be aware of the retesting options available at the college as well. Some colleges might require you to take a few remedial classes before you are allowed to retest.
Thereafter, obtain any preparation material distributed by your college. There should also be some preparation course being run by your college. For instance, Borough Manhattan Community College (BMCC) offers free workshops for preparation as well as online resources for preparation.
Access the information given about the test pattern and the sample questions available at Accordingly prepare such that you can obtain the maximum possible score with the least wastage of effort and time.

Reading Test: Preparation for taking the test on a computer shall be required. You need not bother about the time you take to answer the questions as the test is not timed. Hence, you can completely concentrate on improving your comprehension skills for this section. Devote time to answering each question and there are little chances of a low score in this section.

Writing Test: Essay writing can be challenging and this test has to be completed within an hour. The essay is judged for its content, presentation and language used. Each of these aspects is equally important and holistic scores are reported. You shall require practice for the specific types of essay questions put up in this section. Practicing and getting your essays reviewed shall be helpful.

Mathematics Test: Since this test is not bound by time, you should endeavor to answer the questions correctly, rather than hurriedly completing the test. Recheck each response before moving on to another one. The test is administered on a computer and you shall have to practice for this aspect.

A Point to Note
Even though scores of the different standardized exams are comparable, one cannot be certain of obtaining admission on the basis of any test. The relative importance that colleges give to these evaluation tests is not known. When it comes to comparing students, some colleges might give preference to one exam over the other. Hence, you need to outshine others by putting up a very good performance in CUNY Assessment Tests in case you suffer from the handicap of not having appeared for other tests.