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Testing Information

College Testing Office
South Administration Building (1A), Room 104


All new students entering CSI must demonstrate proficiency in English and mathematics by meeting the benchmark scores on the Regents, ACT, or SAT exams, or with college-level English and math courses.

In the past, applicants who did not meet those benchmarks were required to take assessment and placement tests at a CUNY college to determine whether they were eligible for credit-bearing courses or required to complete developmental interventions. 

Rather than using assessment tests for applicants who do not meet the benchmark scores, CUNY now uses a proficiency index that combines overall high school grade point average with SAT and/or Regents exam scores. Applicants with High School Equivalency (HSE) credentials will be assessed for English and math proficiency using the subtest scores on HSE exams. The proficiency index will allow the college to determine whether the applicant has a good chance of earning a C or better in a credit-bearing math or English course without any additional support. Scores on the proficiency index, rather than scores on assessment tests, will be used to make the final determination of whether students are proficient or not and guide them to appropriate levels of developmental interventions. This includes Immersion Programs.

The Immersion Programs are intensive workshops which provide an opportunity for students who need to demonstrate proficiency to receive tuition-free instruction in English and mathematics during the Summer and/or Winter intersession. Students can satisfy the proficiency requirement in the discipline in which they receive instruction during the program.

English as a Second Language (ESL) students will be required to take the CUNY Assessment Test in Writing (CATW).

Unless exempt, international students in an F-1 status will be required to take the CATW during the International Student Orientation.



The outcomes of the proficiency index may impact your admission status and enrollment at the college.  An index greater than or equal to 60 in math, and greater than or equal to 65 in English will allow you to continue into credit-bearing courses. If the index is lower you will be guided to the appropriate level of developmental intervention. Please be aware of the following enrollment requirements:

All students who have

  • Deep developmental need in mathematics (score of 49 or below on the math index) must complete CSI's free Math Immersion (in the summer or January) or the summer Math Start program prior to enrolling at the College.  If they do not complete it, or choose not to enroll in immersion, they must enroll in Math Start (fall or spring semester) and cannot enroll at the College.
  • Deep developmental need in English (score of 47 or below on the English index) and mathematics (score of 49 or below on the math index) must enroll in and complete at least one semester of the CUNY Start** program and achieve proficiency in either English or math in order to enroll at the College. 
  • An index score in mathematics between 50 and 59 and their index score in English is 64 or below should enroll in mathematics or English in CSI’s free summer or winter immersion programs and take a co-requisite developmental course during the semester following immersion. Students should NOT enroll in two co-requisite developmental courses during the same semester.

**CUNY Start is a program of rigorous, intensive instruction in academic English and mathematics which prepares college-bound students to meet CUNY basic skills proficiency in English and mathematics.  CUNY Start is designed to help incoming college students minimize time in remedial course work and save financial aid for credit courses. At a low cost of $75 for the semester, the cost includes books and college success advisement in planning, choosing a career path and paying for college. Full-time CUNY Start students take both English and mathematics courses, as well as College Success Advisement. Part-time CUNY Start students take Pre-College Math plus College Success Advisement.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Students

If you qualify as an ESL student (including qualifying international students) you are exempt from the policies listed above. ESL students will be required to complete special English courses for non-native speakers of English. When possible, ESL students are encouraged to enroll in the CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP). Students with F1 student visa status (international students) cannot enroll in CLIP.