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Lehman College

CUNY Assessment Tests

What are the CUNY Assessment Tests?

Photo of Lehman StudentsThe CUNY Skills Assessment Program consists of tests in three important areas: reading, writing, and mathematics. Results of these tests are used in determining students' readiness for college-level work, and also for course placement purposes. Students can demonstrate readiness for college-level work by meeting specific SAT, NYS Regents, and other testing criteria. Students who do not meet these criteria are not exempted from the CUNY Assessment Tests requirement. They may not be able to enter a senior college until they have passed all three basic skills tests.

Who is required to take the CUNY Assessment Tests?

  • Freshman applicants who apply to any senior college in the City University of New York system but who do not meet remediation exemption requirements based on SAT, ACT, or NYS Regents Examination scores are required to take the Skills Assessment Tests. If they pass all CUNY Skills Tests and meet the college's other admissions criteria, they can enter the senior college of their choice.
  • CUNY community college transfer applicants (unless exempted by virtue of SAT, ACT, or Regents scores) are required to pass all skills tests before transferring to a CUNY senior college.
  • Continuing Students who have not yet met the reading, writing, and/or math minimum skills requirement must pass the skills tests to maintain their academic standing.

Preparing for the Tests

  • Math Lab. Students interested in obtaining math tutoring in preparation for the CUNY Mathematics Test should contact the math lab at 718- 960-8878.

Students enrolling in specific programs, such as SEEK, ESL, or the Adult Degree Program, should consult their program for further information about preparing for the skills tests.

Registering for a Test Date

  • Recent applicants who have recently applied for admission to the College will be notified of their test date, time, and location in writing.

For more information, see Preparing for the Tests above, or call the Academic Support Center at 718-960-8175. If you have further questions about test dates, please call the Testing Office at 718- 960-8156.

CUNY Writing Test

The CUNY Writing Test is a standardized writing test that measures your ability to do college-level writing in English and assess your readiness for introductory college courses. In the test, you are required to read, understand, and respond to a passage of 250-300 words. The CATW is designed to test your ability to think and write in English, similar to the way you will be asked to think and write throughout your college career. It consists of a reading passage (the text) and writing instructions. You must read the passage and instructions and then write an essay responding to the passage while following the instructions. You have 90 minutes to complete the exam. You may bring a non-electronic dictionary to the test (a paperback dictionary is recommended), bilingual if preferred.

For further information regarding the CUNY writing test visit the CUNY Web site for the most up-to-date information on testing policies, requirements, and procedures.

CUNY Reading Test

The CUNY Reading Test measures reading comprehension. You will be given several readings that may be practical or drawn from prose fiction, the humanities, social sciences, or natural sciences. Questions about the readings will ask you to refer to what is explicitly stated and to determine the meaning of words through context. They will also ask you to reason to determine implicit meanings, to draw conclusions, and to make comparisons and generalizations. The readings are like those commonly assigned in first-year courses in college. For each passage you will be asked a set of multiple-choice questions.

The CUNY Reading Test is computer-based. At Lehman, the CUNY Reading Test is administered in the computer lab in the APEX Building, Room 238. For more information about the COMPASS Reading Skills Test, click here.

For further information regarding the CUNY reading test visit the CUNY Web site for the most up-to-date information on testing policies, requirements, and procedures.

 CUNY Mathematics Test

The CUNY Skills Math Test is designed to measure students' knowledge of a number of topics in mathematics. The test is organized into four sections: numerical skills/pre-algebra, algebra, college algebra, and trigonometry. Numerical skills/pre-algebra questions range from basic math concepts and skills (integers, fractions, and decimals) to the knowledge and skills that are required in an entry-level algebra course (absolute values, percentages, and exponents). The algebra items are questions from elementary and intermediate algebra (equations, polynomials, formula manipulations, and algebraic expressions). The college algebra section includes questions that measure skills required to perform operations with functions, exponents, matrices, and factorials. The trigonometry section addresses topics such as trigonometric functions and identities, right-triangle trigonometry, and graphs of trigonometric functions. numerical skills/pre-algebra

For further information regarding the CUNY math test visit the CUNY Web site for the most up-to-date information on testing policies, requirements, and procedures.


For Exemptions to the CUNY Skills Assessment tests visit the CUNY Web site.