Placement

Placement into math and English must be determined before students can enroll in math or English courses or courses with a math or English prerequisite. Placement indicates whether you begin your English and math courses at the college level (courses numbered above 100 that are transferrable) or at the developmental level (courses numbered below 100 that prepare you for college-level work).

Students may be exempt from part or all of the placement test based on high school G.P.A. or ACT/SAT scores. Please click on Determining Math Placement and Determining English Placement to find out more.

Determining Math Placement

Students meeting one of the criteria below are placed into college-level math courses and do not need to take the math placement test.

Placement measure (within 3 years)

Minimum score

Math Placement

ACT Math Score

23

MAT 101, 150, 201, 208

SAT Math Score*

The new redesigned SAT starting March 2016. Please contact Student Services if tested prior to March 2016.

550

MAT 101, 150, 201, 208

Prior college coursework, Advanced Placement (AP) scores & CLEP scores may also qualify a student for college-level placement and/or credit. Send transcripts to Student Services for evaluation.

 

Students meeting one of the criteria above are placed into the first level of college-level math (MAT 101, 150, 201, 208). They do not need to take the placement test. To place into upper-level math courses (MAT 155, 210, 211, 229), students need to take the ACCUPLACER College-Level Math test. The next step in the Getting Started process is to schedule an appointment with an advisor (815-825-9375).

Students who do not meet one of the criteria above or whose test scores are more than 3 years old will need to take the ACCUPLACER Elementary Algebra test to determine placement in math. Contact Student Services to schedule appointments for both placement testing and advising (815-825-9375).

Determining English Placement

Determining English Placement

Students meeting one of the criteria below are placed into college-level English courses and do not need to take the English placement test. Placement for English can be determined by one of the following methods:

Placement measure (within 3 years)

Minimum score

English Placement

High School G.P.A.

(The cumulative G.P.A. must be figured after at least 6 high school semesters completed)

3.0+

(on 4.0 scale)

 

ENG 103 or ENG 109

High School G.P.A (dual credit)

(The cumulative G.P.A must be figured after at least 5 high school semesters completed)

 

      3.5+

(on 4.0 scale)

ENG 103 or ENG 109

ACT English Score

22

ENG 103 or ENG 109

ACT Composite Score

22

ENG 103 or ENG 109

SAT Evidence-based Reading & Writing Score (2016)

500

ENG 103 or ENG 109

SAT combined Critical Reading & Writing Score (2014-Jan 2016)

890

ENG 103 or ENG 109

Prior college coursework, Advanced Placement (AP) scores & CLEP scores may also qualify a student for college-level placement and/or credit.  Send transcripts to Student Services for evaluation.

 

Once transcripts are evaluated, students meeting one of the criteria above are placed into college-level English (ENG 103 or ENG 109).  They do not need to take the placement test.  The next step in the Getting Started process is to schedule an appointment with an advisor  (815-825-9379).

Students who do not meet one of the criteria above or whose test scores/GPA are more than 3 years old will need to take the ACCUPLACER test (WritePlacer, possibly also Reading Comprehension) to determine placement in English. Contact Student Services  to schedule appointments for placement testing & advising (815-825-9379).

ACCUPLACER Placement Test

You may not need to take the placement test.  Please see the above sections, Determining Math Placement and Determining English Placement, to see if you qualify for a waiver based on ACT, SAT, AP or CLEP test scores, high school G.P.A. or previous coursework. 

Students who do not meet the above criteria or whose scores have expired will take the ACCUPLACER placement test.

Contact StudentServices to schedule appointments for placement testing & advising (815-825-9375). You will be testing in Testing Services, Room A1300. A photo ID is required for testing.

Math

Students needing to take ACCUPLACER for math courses will take the ACCUPLACER Elementary Algebra test (12 questions). From this test student can be placed into developmental or college-level (Tier 1) courses. Students who score 20-32 on the Elementary Algebra test will also take an Arithmetic test (17 questions). Students scoring 81-120 (placing into the first level of college-level math) may also take the ACCUPLACER College Level Math test (20 questions) to place into upper-level math courses (Trigonometry, Finite Math, Calculus I, and Calculus for Business).

All math tests are adaptive.  Students cannot skip questions or return to previous questions. There are no time limits for the multiple-choice math tests. Access to an online calculator is available for certain questions.  Hand-held calculators are not allowed.

 

English

Students needing to take ACCUPLACER for English courses or admission into certain programs will write an essay on the computer (ACCUPLACER WritePlacer test). 

WritePlacer

Students will read a short passage and an assignment question.  Students will then have an hour and a half (90 minutes) to plan and write a multi-paragraph essay (300 – 600 words).  Essays will be graded by the computer software on these six characteristics:

  • Purpose and Focus
  • Organization and Structure
  • Development and Support
  • Sentence Variety and Style
  • Mechanical Convenions
  • Critical Thinking

Scores on WritePlacer range from 1 to 8.  An essay will be given a score of zero if it is too short to be evaluated, written on a topic other than the one presented or written in a language other than English.

Students scoring 5-8 (on an 8 point scale) will place directly into college-level English (ENG 103 or ENG 109). Students scoring below 5 on WritePlacer will also take the ACCUPLACER Reading Comprehension test to determine placement.

Students must complete the essay in one sitting. They will not be permitted to save and return at a later date.

Reading

The Reading Comprehension test consists of 20 multiple choice questions.  There is no time limit. If students take the Reading Comprehension test, placement will be determined by a combination of WritePlacer and Reading Comprehension scores.

Accommodations for ACCUPLACER

Students with documented disabilities may contact Disability Services at 815-825-2931 to request testing accommodations. Once accommodations are approved for testing, the student will schedule an appointment with Testing Services (815-825-9841).  

Possible accommodations include:

  • Extra time on WritePlacer essay (the math & reading tests are not timed)
  • Private room
  • Audio version (with CDs)
  • Large print paper copy (with or without CDs)
  • Braille version (with or without CDs)
  • Scribe
Preparing for the ACCUPLACER Placement Test

Students needing to take an ACCUPLACER test are advised to study and prepare. This test will determine whether you begin your math and English courses at the college level or at the developmental level (courses numbered below 100 that prepare you for college-level work). Failure to prepare before you test may result in an inaccurate placement and will cost time and money to retest.

**Get the free ACCUPLACER study app for your phone or pc.

ACCUPLACER sample questions (Practice Arithmetic, Elementary Algebra, College-Level Math, Reading Comprehension tests, NOT Sentence Skills)

Video preparation for ACCUPLACER on YouTube

WritePlacer sample essays

EdReady for math preparation. Create an account and choose the goal "Prepare for Common Placement Exams".

Khan Academy for math preparation

Tips for Taking ACCUPLACER

Frequently Asked Questions About Placement Testing

What the ACCUPLACER Score Means

Math

Elementary Algebra Scores
Placement
81-120
College-Level courses; MAT 101, 150, 201, 208
61-80
MAT 085 Intermediate Algebra I
33-60
MAT 065 Elementary Algebra I
20-32
Placement determined by Arithmetic test

 

Arithmetic Scores
Placement
57-120
MAT 065 Elementary Algebra I (student will also take MAT 066)
20-56
MAT 055 Arithmetic

 

College-Level Math Test Scores
Placement
56-120
Eligible to take MAT 101, 150, 201, 208, 155, 210, 211, & 229
20-55
Eligible to take MAT 101, 150, 201, 208

 

English:

English placement is determined by a combination of WritePlacer and Reading Comprehension scores.

WritePlacer Score
Reading Score
English Placement
5-8
None required
ENG 103 Composition I or ENG 109 Introduction to Technical Report Writing
4
70-120
ENG 103 Composition I AND ENG 099 Comp I Supplemental Instruction (MUST TAKE BOTH AT THE SAME TIME)
4
20-69
ENG 089 Reading & Writing Improvement
3
20-120
ENG 089 Reading & Writing Improvement
1-2
20-120
ENG 088 Basic Reading & Writing
0
 
No automatic placement. Recommend re-test and/or case management with the Dean of ACSS

 

The interactive English placement chart will help determine your English placement.

Appealing Your Placement

If you are dissatisfied with your ACCUPLACER scores, you may appeal your placement. 

  • Only 1 retest in each ACCUPLACER section (math, writing, and reading) is permitted. 
  • Students must wait a minimum of 24 hours to retest.
  • Each retest (math, writing, or reading) costs $10. The fee is paid in the Business Office prior to retesting.
  • Students are advised to use their one retest option wisely. Without study and preparation, it is unlikely that placement will change. For sample questions and study tools, please see the section labeled Preparing for the ACCUPLACER Placement Test.
  • Students are not eligible to retest once they have taken a course in that subject (math, writing, or reading).
  • Students who previously took the placement test for dual credit in high school are permitted (but not required) to test ACCUPLACER for no fee once they apply as incoming college students.

Math Retest Policy:

The math placement retest process is for students who have a reason to believe that they have been inappropriately placed and have not attempted any mathematics courses.  Students are allowed one placement retest in mathematics. The retest fee is $10.

  1. Prepare for your retest.  Without study and preparation, it is very unlikely that your math placement score will change. To prepare you are highly encouraged to consider utilizing the resources found in Preapring for the ACCUPLACER Placement Test section on this Kishwaukee College placement webpage.  There are sample questions, suggested websites, additional resources, and video links for review.
  2. Schedule an appointment with Testing Services for the ACCUPLACER math retest (815-825-9841).
  3. Pay the $10 retest fee at the Business Office (C2140) and retest ACCUPPLACER math section in Testing Services (A1300).

English Retest Policy:

  • If you received a score of zero on the Kish WritePlacer, you must retest (no fee). If you score a zero again, you will be referred to the dean of ACSS.
  • If you score 1-4 on WritePlacer, you can accept your placement or take WritePlacer again for a $10 retest fee. Only one retest is permitted.
  • Students who have written 2 essays in WritePlacer (a test & retest) and are still dissatisfied with their placement can request an English instructor to read the essay and determine placement ($4 charge).
  • Students may also retest the Reading Comprehension test one time for a $10 fee. 
  • Contact Testing Services at 815-825-9841 to schedule a retest appointment. Retest fees are paid in the Business Office (C2140) prior to testing.

Frequently Asked Questions About Placement Testing

Directions to Testing & Tutoring Services A1300