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Assessment for College Placement

Southwest Minnesota State University places students in English and Mathematics courses appropriate for their skill level. The course placement process is used to assist students with the selection of appropriate courses to help ensure a student's success upon entering SMSU.  Course placement can be determined using one or a combination of the following:

  • Scores from ACT, SAT, MN Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) - valid within the last 5 calendar years
  • High school GPA - valid within the last 10 calendar years
  • Standardized score reports from Advance Placement (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), and International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • Completion of college-level coursework from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university
  • Course Placement Assessment - ACCUPLACER - math scores valid for 2 calendar years, reading & EMLS scores valid for 5 calendar years

*For students enrolling at SMSU through the Fall 2023 semester: If a student has no scores for placement purposes, students with a cumulative High School GPA of 2.60, in consultation with their advisor, may be placed into English 151.

*For Spring 2023, Summer 2023, & Fall 2023 semesters: If a student has no scores for placement purposes, students with a cumulative High School GPA of 2.70 and an earned grade of "C" or higher in high school algebra 2 (both within the last 10 years), may be placed in Math 110. 

Students wishing to enroll in the following courses must meet one of the pre-requisite requirements (above). If a student does not meet the requirements, he/she may take the ACCUPLACER placement test, offered on SMSU’s campus or virtually on designated testing dates.

ENG 151 Academic Writing
EMLS 125 Intermediate Listening and Speaking
EMLS 126 Intermediate Writing and Reading
EMLS 150 Advanced Listening and Speaking
EMLS 151 Advanced Writing and Reading
MATH 110 College Algebra

 

New Students
If score reports from ACT, SAT or MN Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) are available at the time of application, these will be reviewed first for determining course placements.  If the test results do not meet the placement requirements, or a student does not have any of these test results on file, high school GPA will be used when appropriate to determine course placement. If high school GPA is not an appropriate measure, students may either begin at the developmental level in English/EMLS/Math or may take the ACCUPLACER to attempt to place at college-level.  

Note: For the purpose of course placement, high school GPA is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of graduation or, if the student has not yet graduated, from the date submitted.  Self-reported GPA will be accepted in absence of a GPA submitted on a transcript. ACT, SAT and MN Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) scores are valid for a period of 5 years from the test date.


Transfer Students
Transfer students who have completed college-level coursework at a regionally accredited college or university may have already satisfied course placement requirements.  Students should submit official transcripts from all colleges they have attended. Information on how to transfer credit can be found on the Office of Registration and Records website: 
https://www.smsu.edu/campuslife/registrationrecords/transfercredit/index.html

 

International Students
Notwithstanding, students’ submission of entrance exam scores (i.e., SAT/ACT) to SMSU, the completion of the ESL Listening and ESL WritePlacer, as well as the ACCUPLACER mathematics exam are required for the purposes of course placement.

For questions about international student admission, please contact the Center for International Education (CIE): https://www.smsu.edu/campuslife/centerforinternationaleducation/index.html

 

Course Placement Options

ACT - https://www.act.org/
A national standardized test designed to measure knowledge and skills in four areas: English, mathematics, reading and science. The test is offered by ACT Inc., is taken by an individual/student, and generally used by colleges and universities for college admissions.

SAT - https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat
A national standardized test designed to measure knowledge and skills in three areas: reading, writing, and mathematics. The test is offered by the College Board, is taken by an individual/student, and generally used by colleges and universities for college admissions.

Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) - https://education.mn.gov/MDE/fam/tests/mca/
The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) and alternate assessments (MCA-Modified and MTAS) are the state tests designed to measure student progress toward Minnesota's academic standards and meet the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The MCAs are administered in grades 3-8, 10th and 11th in the subject areas of reading, mathematics, and science.

ACCUPLACER - https://accuplacer.collegeboard.org/
ACCUPLACER supports students ready to start earning credits toward their degree as well as those who need to develop their skills before taking college-level courses. ACCUPLACER scores let students know where they stand academically, which makes it easier for them to plan a successful path toward a college degree.

An adaptive test designed to measure knowledge and skills in reading, writing, and mathematics and used to assess student preparedness for introductory college-level courses. The test is offered by the College Board, is taken by students, and generally used by colleges and universities for course placement purposes: https://accuplacer.collegeboard.org/students


Course Placement Policy
System Procedure 3.3.1 Assessment for Course Placement

 

 

 

Last Modified: 7/5/22 9:24 AM | Website Feedback