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What are College Placement Tests?

What are College Placement Tests?

Congratulations! You have received that much anticipated acceptance letter from a university or college. Did you know, however, that many universities and colleges may have you take one or more placement tests? Universities and colleges use these placement tests in subjects like math and English to check the “academic skill levels” of entering students. Once you have taken these placement tests, the school places you in classes at the right level.

Almost all two-year and many public four-year colleges require new students to take at least one placement test when they first get to campus. For some of these, you can even take the placement tests at your high school during your final semester. In addition, some private four-year colleges also have you take these tests.

Depending on how you score on these placement tests, it may mean that you can skip some introductory courses. However, if you don’t do well, the results could determine that you need more preparation before taking on college-level work. If the college believes you need more preparation, they will often require you to take a remedial class, usually at the two-year or four-year college you were accepted.

Colleges use several common placement tests in the subjects of math, reading, and writing. Some colleges also offer placement tests in foreign languages and areas of science. There are a variety of ways to take the tests as some are given on computers, and some give you your results as soon as you finish. Several states and individual colleges have developed their own placement tests so you will need to check with them to see what tests they require.

Remember that these tests are measuring skills that you have hopefully already learned in high school, so you shouldn’t need much preparation. However, to get ready for these tests, you can do the following:

  • Check with the college admissions office to find out if they require you to take specific tests
  • If they do, find out what subjects require a placement test
  • Contact us and we can let you know what you need to do to prepare for each placement test you need to take

Again, congratulations on that acceptance letter! You are about to enter one of the most exciting times of your life!