Who has to take the Exams?

Frequently Asked Questions for the CAT Exam

Students who do not achieve the required scores on SAT I or Regents Exams must satisfy basic skills requirements by passing the CUNY/ACT Basic Skills Tests in Reading, Writing and Mathematics.


The COMPASS Reading Test measures reading comprehension.  The test is an adaptive, untimed, multiple-choice, and computer-based exam.  A scaled score of 70 or more is required to pass the exam.


Please refer to the new CAT Writing FAQ's


The COMPASS Mathematics test is designed to measure your knowledge of a number of topics in mathematics.  The test is organized into four sections: Numerical Skills/Pre-Algebra, Algebra, College Algebra, and Trigonometry.  Scaled scores of 45 in Pre-Algebra and 45 in Algebra or more on both the Numerical Skills/Pre-Algebra and Algebra sections are required.  The College Algebra and Trigonometry scores are used for placement purposes.

Please contact the Testing Center for more information on practice materials or preparation workshops on the Skills Assessment exams.

Exam Results

Students cannot enter York College unless they have passed all three tests, or have met the SAT or Regents criteria.

Results of the tests will be used to determine students’ readiness for college-level courses, initial course placements and readiness to exit from remedial, developmental programs, and English as a Second Language (ESL) course sequence.

If you are not able to pass one or more of the three Skills Assessment Tests, York College provides the following choices:

  • Enroll in the Success to the Third Power (S3), Academic Core Building, Room 1C17

  • Enroll in the CUNY Language Immersion Program for English as a Second Language (ESL) students, Room AC-3C08

Please visit or call our Testing Center if you have any further questions or would like to attend our Preparation Workshops prior to taking the Skills Assessments Tests.  Some  practice materials for the exams are available on this web site.   Practice materials are also available at our Center.