Taking the CUNY Assessment? We can Help!

Test strategies, exam information, practice questions, how to take a test, how to study and more!

Need Help Studying for the CUNY Proficiency Exam?

The City University of New York has its own entrance exam, called the Skills Assessment Program.  The CUNY is an aptitude test which evaluates your ability to learn, rather than what you have already learned like most tests.

The exam is divided into 3 components: writing, reading and math.

The reading component tests for reading comprehension, and your ability to analyze written information.

The math component covers basic math, algebra (including college level) and trigonometry.

The written component is an essay question where your vocabulary, spelling, argumentation skills and ability to organize your thoughts on paper are tested.

CUNY Reading Assessment

The CUNY reading test is multi-choice and computer-based test and is not timed. It measures learner’s ability to understand what they are reading, to identify key ideas, and to formulate beliefs.
How to take a computerized test
How to answer multiple choice

Reading Comprehension Practice Questions

Questions will ask you to refer to what is clearly stated in the passage, as well as determine the meaning of words in context. They will also ask you to explain, draw conclusions, and make comparisons.

Reading Score

A score of 55 or higher is required for the reading test.

CUNY Writing Test

The CUNY Writing Test for Test Writing is a 90-minute pen and paper test. Students will write feedback on short reading and informed choices. They are allowed to use a non-electronic dictionary in this study.

Tips on how to write an essay

Writing Score

The passing score is 56

Note: To qualify for enrollment in basic college-level courses, students must be proficient in the Literacy Test, i.e. pass both reading and writing tests

CUNY Mathematics (Math 5 & Math 6)

The CUNY Assessment Test in Mathematics is a timed test (90-minutes).  This section is a computer-based test in two categories: Elementary Algebra (Math 5), used to meet the CUNY college readiness requirement, and College Level Mathematics (Math 6), used for placement in higher education.

Basic Math Practice
Basic Math Video Tutorials

Math Score

57 passing points in Math 5 and no specific score required for math 6. Students, based on their SAT, NYS Regents or other assessment methods, who are exempt from taking mathematical competency tests, still have to take this test to determine admission to advanced mathematics courses (e.g., Precalculus, Calculus).

Re-Taking the Test

New students can retake the CUNY placement tests if they meet the following requirements:

  • Two years or more from their initial or final examination AND
  • You have not been to any CUNY testing college in the last two years.

Note: If you previously checked and passed one or more placement tests, you do not need to retry at that part again.

When will my Score be Available?

Scores should be available two to three weeks after sitting for the test. The Examination Office does not award points.

Exam Help and Test Preparation

Multiple Choice – Comprehensive tips and strategies for multiple Choice exams with practice questions. Multiple Choice Secrets

How to Prepare for a Test – Everything you need to know to increase your score on any test!  Learn more >>>

Writing an Essay. Tips and advice for answering Essay Questions >>>

Reading Comprehension. How to increase your score on Reading Comprehension questions >>>

Absorbing and Memorizing material. 
Use mnemonics to remember complex groups of things.

Aptitude tests 
This exam primarily tests your aptitude and not your ability to memorize. 
Studying for Aptitude tests. 

How to Cram – Cramming is not the ideal study method, but if you have to cram, here are some tips

CUNY Test Strategy – PDF Download

CUNY Test Strategy

Winning Multiple Choice Strategies for the CUNY Assessment

 Test Strategy Complete Test strategy for the CUNY Assessment Test! Learn and practice powerful multiple choice strategies for reading comprehension, basic math and word problems!

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Getting Started
The CUNY® Exam 6
A Better Score Is Possible 7
Who does well on Multiple-Choice exams? 9

Types of Multiple-Choice
Multiple-Choice Quick Tips 13

Multiple-choice Step-by-Step

Multiple-choice Strategy Practice
Answer Key 39
Reading Comprehension Practice 52
Answer Key 66

Basic Math Multiple-Choice
Math Multiple-choice Strategy 76
Practice Questions 81
Answer Key 87
Fraction Tips, Tricks and Shortcuts 93
Decimal Tips, Tricks and Shortcuts 97
Percent Tips, Tricks and Shortcuts 98

Word Problem Multiple-choice Strategy

Types of Word problems 103
Practice Questions 113
Answer Key 116

How to Write an Essay
Common Essay Mistakes I 129
Common Essay Mistakes II 131
Writing Concisely 133
Avoiding Redundancy 135

How to Prepare for a Test
Mental Preparation 144

How to Take a Test
Reading the Instructions 148
How to Take a Test - The Basics 149
In the Test Room – What you MUST do! 153
Common Test-Taking Mistakes 160