Assessment Testing and Placement
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. If you need to complete both levels of English and one level of Reading, it would take you one year plus summer session. 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 second attempt, which you will take on campus in the PSC testing center. 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 webadvisor and click on “Math Placement Assessment (ALEKS)” now to get started!
- Numerical Skills/ Pre-Algebra, and Algebra Sample Test Questions
- Reading Sample Test Questions
- College Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry Sample Test Questions
- Writing Sample Test Questions
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. Math ACT placement is determined by a student's academic program. Refer to our current Placement Test Information Sheet for more information, or contact the Academic Advising Center at (708) 709-3506 for assistance.
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. Students who took the placement test at another college within the past year may submit an official score report to the director of testing. For more information call Alysse (Lisa) Hansen, director 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 three sections: Math, Reading, and English. You will take the Math and Reading portions on the computer and then handwrite 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.
- Prairie State College has implemented ALEKS for math placement. Click here for information.
- 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 the Academic Advising Center, 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 from the director of Student Success Center and testing at (708) 709-3507.
Will I be able to re-take the placement test? Yes, however it also 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 per section to retake the exam and there are two/three sections. 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.
Additional placement dates/times available each month. Look for the schedule online or on campus. Students must be here at least two hours before the end of placement testing to start the exam.
September - December Testing Dates
|9 a.m. - 1 p.m.||January: 11, 18, 25
February: 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
March: 7, 21, 28
April: 4, 18, 25
|10 a.m. - 3 p.m.||January: 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 13, 15, 22, 23, 27, 29
February: 3, 5, 10, 12, 18, 19, 24, 26
March: 2, 4, 16, 18, 23, 25, 30
April: 1, 6, 8, 13, 15, 22, 23, 27, 29
|12 - 7 p.m.||March: 3|
|1 - 8 p.m.||January: 9, 14, 21
|2 - 8 p.m.||April: 28|
- No appointment necessary for placement testing.
- 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.