The Ability-to-Benefit Test (ATB)

Postsecondary college applicants who have not earned a high school diploma or GED must achieve passing scores established by the federal government on an approved test to qualify for admission to Bossier Parish Community College. The Reading, Writing Skills, and Pre-Algebra placement tests in ACT's COMPASS® program are on the U.S. Department of Education's most recent list of approved ATB tests. The assessment measures established by the federal government as showing “ability to benefit” are as follows: a COMPASS score of 25 on Pre-Algebra/Numerical Skills; 32 on Writing Skills; and 62 on Reading Skills. The student is evaluated on the demonstration of at least the minimum score on all three tests in a single testing experience. BPCC uses these tests to qualify applicants for admission.

  • The Ability-to-Benefit Test is offered periodically throughout each semester during scheduled placement testing.
  • The applicant must inform the testing personnel of the need to take the Ability-to-Benefit Test at the time of testing.
  • Individuals must report to testing center by the designated time. Any person arriving after the designated times will not be admitted to test.
  • A valid government issued photo ID is required. The applicant’s name as it appears on the ID must match College records.
  • Students who wish to use a calculator should bring a non-programmable calculator.
  • No cell phones are allowed in the testing room.
  • No unauthorized persons– including parents, guardians, children, or friends - are allowed in the testing room.
  • The initial Ability-to-Benefit Test (ATB) is administered at no cost to qualifying individuals.
  • To qualify for retesting, the applicant must demonstrate a significant change in the examinee’s relevant knowledge and skills. Documentation of this improvement must be evaluated by the Associate Vice Chancellor of Planning and Instruction. The qualified applicant will be issued a retesting voucher and assessed a $30 fee for ATB retests. Payments must be made at the Business Office (Building F) prior to retesting.

All Ability-to-Benefit (ATB) tests will be administered during scheduled placement testing. Please see the placement testing schedule.

Ability-to-Benefit (ATB) Test: Possible Ineligibility for Financial Aid

According to Department of Education new regulations concerning Title IV funding, effective with the 2012-2013 award year, new students who do not have a high school diploma or an equivalent such as a GED, and who did not complete secondary school in a homeschool setting may not be eligible to receive Title IV funds. Such students would no longer become eligible by passing an approved “Ability to Benefit” test.

However, students who are enrolled in an eligible educational program of study and are enrolled in classes that begin prior to July 1, 2012 may continue to be considered Title IV eligible under the ATB test standard.

BPCC is committed to providing educational access to all students; therefore, the College provides GED preparation to students who do not have a high school diploma or a GED. For further information, contact the Director of College Transition Programs at 318-678-6358.

See also:

For additional information regarding the Ability-to-Benefit test (ATB), contact the Office of Academic Planning at 318-678-6049 or 318-678-6448.