University of Southern Indiana

Preparing for the Placement Test

What Are College Placement Tests?
Once you’ve been accepted by USI, it's possible that you may need to take placement tests. USI uses placement tests in subjects like math and English to check the academic skill levels of our entering students. After you've taken the placement tests, your Academic Advisor can suggest courses for you at the right academic level. 

What Do the Results Mean?
Your test results will let your Academic Advisor know if you need more preparation before taking on college-level work. USI offers several General Studies (GENS) courses to prepare you with the academic skills necessary for college-level coursework. It's important to understand that placing into one or more General Studies course is not a bad thing; it simply means that you need to hone your academic skills before you begin the college level coursework.

What Are General Studies Courses?
General Studies courses are college foundation courses offered to students in all majors to help them meet the demands of college-level work. Designed to allow you to improve your skills in a subject, show you your strengths and weaknesses, and increase your chances of academic success in college, these courses are offered through Academic Skills and taught by certified specialists in each area.

What Are the Placement Tests Like?
USI uses ACCUPLACER placement tests to measure skills in math, reading, and writing. We also offer foreign language placement in French, German, and Spanish.

ACCUPLACER uses adaptive technology multiple choice questions, meaning your response on each question drives the difficulty of the next question; therefore, it is important to consider each question and answer carefully as you take the exam. There is not a passing or failing score for the placement exams, but it is essential that you complete the test with your best effort in order for your Academic Advisor to build your course schedule for success.

The written placement test through ACCUPLACER, is called WritePlacer. For this exam, you will be given a prompt and 50 minutes to type a response which will be evaluated by our English Department Faculty. 

Math | Time Limit: None (untimed)
This test begins with 12-14 elementary algebra problems that cover Algebra I and II. The test will also contain some geometry questions and include a second test, College Level Math. This test contains 20-22 questions and covers material learned in all levels of high school math.

Reading | Time Limit: None (untimed)
This test contains 20-22 questions. You will be given a passage to read and then adaptive multiple choice questions about it to answer.

Writing | Time Limit: 50 minutes
The written placement test through ACCUPLACER, is called WritePlacer. For this exam, you will be given a prompt and 50 minutes to type a response which will be evaluated by our English Department Faculty.

Foreign Language | Time Limit: 30 minutes
The foreign language test was written by members of the World Languages and Cultures department and is given using the ACCUPLACER platform. This 50 question test is not an adaptive test. It usually takes around 20 minutes to complete.

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