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FAQs for Placement Testing

What is placement testing?

Placement testing measures reading, writing, and mathematics skills and is used to assist students with the selection of appropriate courses to help ensure a student’s academic success upon entering SMSU. The results are used to determine initial placements in English, mathematics, and EMLS courses.

Can I retake the placement tests?

If you are dissatisfied with your course placement, you may wish to consult your assigned academic advisor or the Deeann Griebel Student Success Center before taking the placement tests a second time. You can retake each exam unit (i.e., mathematics, reading, listening, etc.) of the placement test twice in a 12-month period.  There is 30-day wait period from the date of your 1st test date before students can re-register to retake the ACCUPLACER.

Is it possible to fail the placement tests?

No, there is no pass or fail. The tests indicate your current skill level, not your potential.

How long are ACCUPLACER scores valid?

SMSU follows the guidelines of assessment for course placement set forth by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. Reading and writing placement scores are valid if taken within five calendar years, inclusive of the current calendar year and mathematics scores are valid for two calendar years, inclusive of the current calendar year.

How do I register for the ACCUPLACER? 

Students can register to take the ACCUPLACER by contacting Counseling & Testing Services at 507-537-7150 or via email Please register at least 72 hours prior to your test date. 

Can I receive accommodations for testing?

Students who may need accommodations for placement testing because of a disability should contact Accessibility Services:

Vickie Abel
Coordinator of Accessibility Services
Bellows Academic (BA) 239 537-7318

How much does it cost to take the ACCUPLACER?

ACCUPLACER is free to students who are enrolled in Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.  There is a $10.00 fee assessed for retaking each test unit (i.e., mathematics, reading, listening, etc.).

There is a $20.00 fee (per test, multiple units) assessed for students who are enrolled in colleges and universities outside of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

Contact Information

Students who have questions about course placement may contact:

Kaitlyn Giles
Assistant Director of Student Success
Deeann Griebel Student Success Center
Individualized Learning (IL) 224E

Last Modified: 1/20/23 10:58 AM | Website Feedback