Students who have a foreign high school diploma applying for New York State (NYS) Financial Aid are required to meet the New York State Ability to Benefit (ATB) exam standards. Students with an earned high school diploma from a United States high school or a high 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 NYS financial aid.
To take the Ability to Benefit (ATB) test at BMCC, students must meet the following requirements:
- Be accepted to BMCC
- Be a US citizen or Permanent Resident with a valid Green Card or be eligible for NYS grants through the NYS Dream Act
- Be a New York State resident
- Applied or plan to apply for financial aid through the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation
Students must achieve or exceed the following scores on the listed Ability to Benefit (ATB)/ACCUPLACER tests:
- Minimum score of 233 on the Reading test
- Minimum score of 230 on the Arithmetic test
- Minimum score of 235 on the Writing 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 previous test. In addition, students are strongly encouraged to complete at least five (5) hours of self-directed study for each test that they do not pass to prepare for retest. In consultation with the Testing Office, an ATB advisor will determine students’ eligibility to test.
Resources for Test Preparation
- Download the Accuplacer Study App
- ATB Sample Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get permission to take and schedule the ATB tests?
Contact an ATB advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive permission for the ATB tests. Once you receive permission via email, a testing coordinator will reach out to you to set up an appointment.
If I did not pass the tests, how frequently can I retake the tests?
If you do not pass the tests, you are permitted to retest as soon as 14 days from the date of your previous test. In addition, you are strongly encouraged to complete at least five (5) hours of self-directed study for each test that you do not pass to prepare for retest. In consultation with the Testing Office, an ATB advisor will determine your eligibility to retest.
If I don’t want to receive NYS financial aid while I am at BMCC, do I have to take the tests?
No, if you don’t want to receive any NYS financial aid, you do not have to take the tests. However, if you continue your studies at another CUNY college, and plan to receive NYS financial aid, you will be required to fulfill this requirement.