Student Services
Testing Services
Assessment Testing and Placement

Assessment Testing and Placement

To register for Spring 2021 classes, please speak with an advisor to see if you need placement assessments.
The placement process includes computerized testing and a written essay.  
Please schedule accordingly. Email Lisa Hansen at ahansen@prairiestate.edu.


The placement test is a computerized and written assessment test that confirms your readiness to take college-level classes by determining your prior level of achievement in English, Math, and Reading. It is the policy of PSC that students pursuing transfer and all degree programs achieve minimum scores required for entry into courses above the 100 level or complete the necessary developmental coursework.

All new students entering college for the first time are required to take the placement test and meet with an advisor prior to registering for classes. ACT or SAT scores may be used in place of the placement test. Some restrictions apply. For more information, contact the Academic Advising Center at (708) 709-3506 for assistance.

Students are encouraged to do their very best when taking the placement test because the results determine whether placement in a developmental course is required, or whether you can work with your advisor to register immediately for college-level classes.


Should I study for the placement test? Yes. Preparation can save you time and money. While the placement test does not determine if you are admitted to PSC, it does determine whether or not you can take college-level courses, or if you need to complete developmental courses before taking college-level coursework. Preparing yourself for the placement test, by reviewing and taking practice tests, can save you lots of time and money. Based on your placement scores, there are up to two levels of English and one Reading review, and up to three levels of Math review that may be required.

Each developmental course you place into will cost you extra time and money to complete and also uses financial aid eligibility.

PSC reserves the right to change tuition and fees without notice. There are 2 semesters each year, Fall semester (August-December), Spring semester (January-May), and two Summer sessions (June and July). For example, if you needed to take English 098, and Math 090, it would take you one semester to complete the courses. Save yourself time and money, practice and review before you take your placement test. Also remember, financial aid is limited to 90 attempted hours for an associate degree.

The math placement assessment (ALEKS) consists of a first attempt practice assessment, which you can take at home and will not be used for placement. After taking this first attempt, you should take advantage of the personalized Prep and Learning Modules to prepare for your on-campus proctored assessment, which you will take on campus in the PSC testing center. You may opt to take a second practice assessments. The final three will need a proctor password and must be taken on campus. Spending time in the learning modules will help you fill in any knowledge gaps and refresh your memory so that you can increase your placement and also help you succeed in your first math course. Log in to Web Advisor and click on students and “ALEKS Math Test” under Registration now to get started! There is a $15 charge (payable online with a debit or credit card) for the math placement assessment program, which includes five assessments and one-year’s access to the learning modules.


Your first step is to speak with an advisor for placement evaluation. You may be able to place into college-level English based courses with past transcripts or test scores. If your advisor determines you need to take the English placement assessment, you will be directed to Lisa Hansen, Manager, Student Success Center and Testing, ahansen@prairiestate.edu. She will send you assessment instructions. The English placement assessment may be completed at home at this time.

We strongly suggest you use a laptop or desktop computer to complete the assessment. If you do not have access to the proper computer (we do not recommend using your phone), you may make an appointment to take the assessment on campus. Please email ahansen@prairiestate.edu to make an appointment.


You will need to take a proctored ALEKS assessment to register for your first math course at Prairie State College unless transcripts or recent SAT/ACT scores place you in a math course.

You must first register for an ALEKS account. You may do this by logging into your Prairie State College Web Advisor account, clicking on students, clicking on the ALEKS link under registration and following the prompt. There is a $15 charge for five assessments and one-year access to the learning modules. If you need to repurchase ALEKS, the current course code is PYTVW-FAPG3.

If you need help with your web advisor login information please contact our help desk by emailing helpdesk@prairiestate.edu

You must first take unproctored assessments at home. Unproctored assessments are practice tests and do not count for placement purposes. You will get a score with a link to a page showing your placement after your first assessment. If you are satisfied with that score and placement, schedule a proctored assessment. If you would like to place into a higher level math class, work in the learning modules before taking your second assessment. We recommend working a minimum of five hours in the learning assessments and use your highest to register for a math class. Email Lisa Hansen at ahansen@prairiestate.edu to schedule all proctored assessments.

Proctored assessments will be offered on a scheduled basis. Upcoming dates include the following:

Date Arrival Time
February 17, 2021 4 p.m.
February 25, 2021 3 p.m.
March 3, 2021 4 p.m.
March 19, 2021 11 a.m.
March 25, 2021 3 p.m.
April 9, 2021 1 p.m.
April 13, 2021 1 p.m.
April 22, 2021 4 p.m.
May 6, 2021 4 p.m.
May 13, 2021 3 p.m.
May 20, 2021 1 p.m.
All testing is subject to change. If you need an evening, Saturday, or virtual appointment, email ahansen@prairiestate.edu for availability. Testers must wear a face covering at all times in the building. You must enter at Door M-5 off Parking Lot A. Door monitors will notify you of testing location.

All testing will be in Room 3250. Testers must wear a face covering at all times in the building. You must enter at Door M-5 off Parking Lot A.

Please realize it is in your best interest to complete the unproctored practice assessments as if you were in a proctored environment. Do not use any outside help when completing the assessment. Do not look up any answers or stop to review concepts during the asessment. Do not use an outside calculator -- only use the onscreen calculator when it is available. You must complete these assessments in one sitting (up to three hours).

If I have taken the ACT or SAT, do I have to take the placement test? An ACT score of 22+ in reading and a 17+ in English places a student directly into English 101. While students can be placed into a Math class by ACT (refer to our current Placement Test Information Sheet for more information) students are strongly encouraged to take the ALEKS placement test to see if they can place higher than where they would place via ACT; this can save students both time and money on their path to earning their degree.

I'm transferring to PSC from another college. Do I take the placement test?  Students who have previously completed a college-level English and/or math course with a "C" or better from an accredited college or university are exempt from the placement test. However, official transcripts and completion of a PSC program evaluation form are required of all transfer students as part of the application process. For Math, this policy only places students into Gen Ed Math (Math 112) or Gen Ed Stats (Math 115). Students wishing to take a Math class on the STEM path (College Algebra or higher) will still need to be placed according to the standard method. Students who took the placement test at another college within the past year may submit an official score report for review. For more information call Alysse (Lisa) Hansen, manager of Student Success Center and testing, at (708) 709-3507. The essay portion may still be required for transfer students with scores from another college.

How soon should I take the placement test? Courses fill up quickly. You are more likely to get your first choice of classes if you complete testing well before the beginning of the term. But, it is important you are aware of the material you will be tested on and you are comfortable with your knowledge based on the expectations of this test and your chosen program of study.

What sections are in the placement test? The placement test is comprised of two sections: Math and English / Reading. You will take the Math and Reading portions on the computer and type a timed essay to determine your English placement.

What is the procedure for course placement?

  • Complete an online or in-person admissions application and obtain a student ID number in Enrollment Services. A student ID number is REQUIRED to take the placement test.
  • Prepare for the test. Seek free assistance in preparing for the placement test prior to taking the placement test. To prepare for the math placement test, log in to webadvisor, click on “Math Placement Assessment (ALEKS), and follow the steps to take an online practice test, which will create personalized learning modules designed to help you prepare for the placement test that counts!  You will pay a $15 fee to take the math placement test.
  • Choose a testing date that best fits your schedule. Although the computer portion is untimed, remember the test takes an average student about two hours to complete. Please allow yourself enough time to successfully complete the exam. All sections do not have to be completed in the same day. You may take the placement test over a two-day time frame. However, you will not be able to change your answers submitted in previous sections. Please note, it is important to do your very best on the placement test because this determines your placement into college level courses.
  • Bring a photo ID and your PSC student ID number to the test. 

What happens after I take the placement test?  Within a week your scores will be forwarded to Academic Advising, where you will meet with a member of the advising team to review your scores and select your classes. An appointment is not required. View advising hours. Additional information on placement testing may be obtained by emailing Lisa Hansen, Manager, Student Success Center and Testing, at ahansen@prairiestate.edu.

Will I be able to re-take the placement test? Perhaps. However it depends on your program of study. You may take the math placement test up to 5 times with no additional fee. For English, there is a cost of $25.00. For Nursing, Surgical Technology, and Dental Hygiene, the first scores you receive are the only ones considered.

Can I bring friend/children/parents to the placement test?Children and guests are NOT allowed in the placement testing center.

Placement Dates and Times - Subject to Change (Room 2505, Second Floor) 
Additional placement dates/times available each month. 
  • Allow approximately three hours to complete the placement test.
  • The placement testing center computers will be shut down fifteen minutes prior to the ending times listed above.