As part of the admissions process at CUNY, students are required to demonstrate their competence in Reading, Writing and Mathematics by means of the CAT (CUNY Assessment Test). Results of these tests are used to determine whether the student can enroll in a full load of credit bearing courses or if, at first, non-credit courses in Reading, Writing, Math, or ESL are needed.
See CUNY’s criteria for exemptions from the CUNY Assessment Tests here. Students who do not meet these must take the Basic Skills tests in Math, Reading and Writing.
CUNY Assessment Test in Reading
The CUNY Assessment Test in Reading is un-timed, multiple choice and computer based. It measures studentsâ€™ ability to understand what they read, to identify main ideas, and to make inferences.
A Reading Test score of 55 or higher is required. Check out the Reading Practice Questions.
CUNY Assessment Test in Writing
The CUNY Assessment Test in Writing is a 90 minute pen and paper examination. Students will compose a response to a short reading selection and a prompt. The use of a non-electronic dictionary is permitted for this examination.
The passing score for the CAT in Writing is 56.
Student Handbook, prepared by CUNY faculty, takes you to a sample of the writing assignment (along with the scoring guide and sample papers for each score point) and some tips on taking the CAT in Writing.
NB: To be eligible to register for the first college-level composition course, students must be proficient in both Reading and Writing.
CUNY Assessment Test in Mathematics (Math 5 & Math 6)
The CUNY Assessment Test in Mathematics is an un-timed, multiple choice, computer based examination in two sections: Elementary Algebra (Math 5), used to satisfy CUNY’s college readiness requirement, and College Level Mathematics (Math 6), used for placement into advanced college-level classes.
The passing score in Math 5 is 57; there is no required score for Math 6
Students who, on the basis of their SAT, NYS Regents or other testing criteria, have an exemption from taking the mathematics skill assessment, must still take this examination to determine placement into higher level mathematics courses (e.g., Precalculus, Calculus).
Please note that reference materials are not permitted to be used during these examinations.
Study materials are available on the CUNY Test Preparation Resources page.