Placement Testing

The professionals in Cal U's Scheduling and Placement Testing centers are ready to help you achieve your goals and graduate in four years. The centers:

  • Coordinate placement and testing.
  • Create schedules for entering students.
  • Provide information on academic procedures and policies.
  • Explain general education and major requirements.
  • Help students explore re-testing opportunities.
  • Assist students in creating their schedules.

Placement tests

Incoming freshmen and transfer students may need to take a Cal U placement test for mathematics and/or English, to ensure they begin with courses that match their academic needs. Placement tests and developmental courses may be required whether you are studying on campus or online.

Your SAT or ACT scores (or transfer credits) will determine whether you are required to take a placement test. Students who do not submit SAT/ACT scores or transfer credits must take placement tests. 

Students who do not achieve predetermined scores on these tests must enroll in appropriate developmental courses. 

  • Math - The computer-based math test has four sections: Arithmetic, Introductory Algebra, College Algebra and Trigonometry. Depending on your math requirement, you may not need to take all parts. Tests are timed. Each section takes 15 minutes. Non-graphing calculators are permitted on all sections EXCEPT Part A. 
  • English - The computer-based English essay test through Accuplacer requires typing a 300- to 600-word essay in response to one question. It is graded on spelling, punctuation, grammar, sentence structure and organization of ideas. Time limit is 1 hour. 

See the required scores to determine whether you should schedule a placement test.

To prepare for the placement tests, Cal U recommends these study guides:

English Placement Test Study Guide

Math Placement Study Plan Instructions

Review for Math Assessment:

Schedule Your Placement Test

Students may take placement tests on campus, by appointment, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Placement tests are administered in Noss Hall, Room 215.  In addition, group test sessions for incoming students in the spring and fall only can use the following online placement testing registration  form.

For students who are unable to test on campus, supervised (proctored) online tests are available by 1) finding a teacher or staff member of a high school or college to oversee the tests or 2) at home via computer with an internal or external webcam. Be advised that fees may be charged per test and are the student's responsibility. 

To schedule an appointment or to obtain information for the online proctored tests, please contact Claire Pizer at pizer@calu.edu or 724-938-5779.

A note for students with disabilities: You may request accommodations for placement testing by contacting the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) at 724-938-5781 or osdmail@calu.edu.

Appropriate documentation and prior approval is required; accommodations must be approved at least one week before the testing date. The OSD staff may adjust test times/dates to accommodate student/staff needs.