CUNY Assessment Tests

These pages give you general information about the CUNY Assessment Tests (CAT), and a set of resources to guide you in your preparation to take them. You can meet admissions requirements based on New York Regents test scores, the SAT tests, or the ACT tests. The CAT offers you an alternative route for admission to four-year colleges.


The CUNY Assessment Test in Reading is:

  • un-timed
  • multiple choice
  • computer-based, and
  • designed to measure reading comprehension


The CUNY Assessment Test in Writing (CATW) is a standardized writing test that measures your ability to do college-level writing in English. The purpose of the test is to assess your reading, thinking, and writing skills to determine if they are consistent with the instructional goals of college-level writing courses, and to assess your readiness for introductory college courses.

You will have 90 minutes to complete the test. You may bring one non-electronic dictionary to the test, bilingual if preferred.


The CUNY Assessment Test in Math is:

  • un-timed
  • multiple choice
  • computer-based
  • composed of four sections:
    1. numerical skills/pre-algebra
    2. algebra
    3. college algebra, and
    4. trigonometry.

Students' need for mathematics remediation is based on results of the first two sections of the test: numerical skills/pre-algebra and algebra. All students will begin the test in algebra, and based on the performance in this section, will be routed downward into numerical skills/ pre-algebra, or upward into college algebra. 

The test covers progressively advanced topics with placement into more advanced mathematics or mathematics-related courses based on results of the last three sections of the test. Minimum scores for entrance into these courses are set by the individual colleges based on their requirements and curricula.

All incoming freshmen who, based on their math SAT or Regents scores, have met the math college readiness/proficiency requirement will still be required to take the Math 3 test for placement into advanced mathematics.  Math 3 is comprised of algebra, college algebra and trigonometry.

Students are permitted to use only the Microsoft Windows calculator while taking the test.