The Ability-to-Benefit (ATB) test requirement applies to New York State residents who do not have a high school diploma or GED (General Education Development)/TASC (Test Assessing Secondary Completion)/High School Equivalency certificate from the United States and are seeking New York State Financial Aid awards, including those under the state’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), for the first time in 2006-2007 academic year or thereafter.
First-time recipients must take and pass an approved Ability-to-Benefit test within the institution’s add/drop period to establish award eligibility in that term.
Ability-to-Benefit Test Required Scores
First-time New York State financial aid recipients must meet or exceed all of the following minimum cut scores on the Reading, Writing and Arithmetic modules of Accuplacer – Next-Generation.
|Reading, Next-Generation||233 – 300|
|Writing, Next-Generation||235 – 300|
|Arithmetic, Next-Generation||230 – 300|
The following minimum cut scores on the Reading Comprehension, Sentence Skills and Arithmetic modules of Accuplacer – Classic were required for students who attempted the Ability-to-Benefit examination during the period of December 2016 to September 27, 2020. As of September 28, 2020, these modules are no longer being offered. Students who did not meet the required minimum score will be required to take the equivalent Next Generation module as listed in the table below.
|Module||Required Scores (Classic Modules)||Next Generation Modules|
|Reading Comprehension, Classic||55 – 120||Reading, Next Generation|
|Sentence Skills, Classic||60 – 120||Writing, Next Generation|
|Arithmetic, Classic||34 – 120||Arithmetic, Next Generation|
The Office of Testing and Evaluation will notify students who are required to take the examination, and provide information regarding the testing appointment.
Ability-to-Benefit Examination Format
The ATB examination is computer adaptive; each question is selected based on the response to the prior item, making the testing process efficient, fast and secure.
The Ability-to-Benefit Reading (Next Generation) module consists of 20 questions that are based on reading passages of various lengths that measure the following broad knowledge and skill categories:
- Information and ideas (reading closely, determining central ideas and themes, summarizing, understanding relationships)
- Rhetoric (analyzing word choice rhetorically, analyzing text structure, analyzing point of view, analyzing purpose, analyzing arguments)
- Synthesis (analyzing multiple texts)
The average time that a student takes to complete this module is approximately 30 to 60 minutes.
The Ability-to-Benefit Writing module consists of 25 questions that require students to identify and correct errors in a passage; or improve the passage’s readability.
The average time that a student takes to complete this module is approximately 20 to 40 minutes.
The Ability-to-Benefit Arithmetic module consists of 20 questions that are divided into the following topic areas:
- Whole number operations
- Fraction operations
- Decimal operations
- Number comparison and equivalents
The average time that a student takes to complete this module is approximately 30 to 50 minutes.
The use of a physical calculator is not permitted during the Ability-to-Benefit Arithmetic module. For questions where a calculator may be used, the testing system will provide a calculator on screen.
Effective September 6, 2022, there must be a fourteen (14) day waiting period between the initial test and the retest.
Students are encouraged to attend a structured academic intervention with the Student Academic Consulting Center (SACC) prior to being able to take their retest.
Accommodations based on disabilities will be granted to comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Students who wish to request such accommodations should consult with the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities in advance of their testing appointment for assistance.
Students with an approved accommodations request that are unable to take the Ability-to-Benefit examination using the Computer Adaptive Testing version, may be eligible to take the examination using the Accuplacer COMPANION paper-based examination. Please note that because the Accuplacer COMPANION versions are not adaptive they may contain additional questions.
The Office of Testing and Evaluation is currently providing academic and student support services in person and remotely.
You may visit our office or utilize our Virtual Office service.