Ability to Benefit (ATB)

Update: To protect the health of everyone in our community, Ability to Benefit (ATB) exams will take place remotely until further notice. Please contact an ATB advisor at atb@bmcc.cuny.edu if you have any questions or need assistance. Please continue to monitor BMCC and CUNY regarding COVID-19 updates.

Beginning in fall 2006, the New York State Legislature passed legislature requiring all students who are applying for the New York State Tuition Assistance program (TAP) for the first time and who have a high school diploma from a foreign high school to document their ‘ability to benefit’ from college-level coursework through standardized tests. Students with an earned high school diploma from a United States high school or a high school school equivalency diploma obtained from the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) (formally known as the GED) do not have to show proficiency through testing to receive a TAP award.

To take the Ability to Benefit (ATB) test at BMCC, students must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be accepted to BMCC
  2. Be a US citizen or Permanent Resident with a valid Green Card or be eligible for TAP through the NYS Dream Act
  3. Be a New York State resident
  4. Applied or plan to apply for financial aid through the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

Students must achieve or exceed the following scores on the listed ACCUPLACER tests:

  • Minimum score of 34 on the Arithmetic test
  • Minimum score of 55 on the Reading test
  • Minimum score of 60 on the Sentence Skills test

Students who do not achieve the minimum required scores on the tests are permitted to retest as soon as 14 days from the date of the initial test. If students do not pass the tests again, they are required to wait at least 90 days from the date of the initial test. For the subsequent retests, students are permitted to retest no sooner than 30 days after the previous retest. In addition, students are strongly encouraged to complete a minimum of five-hours of self-directed study for each test that they do not pass before retesting. In consultation with the Testing Office, an ATB advisor will determine students’ eligibility to test.

Academic Advisement and Transfer Center