Taking College Placement Tests – GradPlan

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Taking College Placement Tests

What are placement tests and do you need them?

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It’s almost time to register for your classes, but you may need to complete a placement test or two. Why?

Your institution might ask you to take one or more placement tests to help your academic advisor pick the best courses for you, usually in subjects like Math or English. Still have questions? We’ve got answers.

What is a Placement Test?

College Placement Tests are computerized and/or written assessment tests that check your academic skill levels as you enter college. Each college has different placement test requirements. This information should be available on their website, or you can ask your academic advisor for more details.

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Why do Placement Tests Matter?

Placement tests are not graded, but they do impact the courses you can take when you start college. You can’t fail a placement exam, but the results may determine you are not ready to take college-level classes right away. If that happens, don’t panic! Some schools offer a re-take; if you want to try again, give it a shot. Otherwise you’ll likely have to take pre-college courses to improve your skills in that particular subject.

What are Pre-College Courses?

A pre-college level course is designed to improve academic gaps in a specific subject area. They usually do not add credits towards your degree, but they should be taken seriously because they do typically use financial aid the same way a credit-bearing course would.

A co-requisite or hybrid class combines the pre-college and standard coursework together for full or reduced credit hours. If available, we recommend co-requisite courses! These course types allow you to work on your skills while also completing credit-earning coursework.

Always check with your academic advisor to find out how to maximize the credits you can earn with these classes.

Who Has to Take Placement Tests?

Not every student has to take a placement test. Exemptions may be based on your SAT/ACT scores, successful completion of AP courses, high school GPA, or previous college credit or degree. Ask your academic advisor or admissions counselor if you need a placement test and how the exemption process works.

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How Do I Prepare for a Placement Test?

Do some studying before you test. Search for practice exams for your school’s tests online. For example, ACCUPLACER has study tips and practice exams for students on their website. Even a few hours can make a big difference in your score and save you time and money – and who doesn’t love that?

~ And Remember ~

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"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today."

Malcolm X, human rights activist