Frequently Asked Questions

Who do I contact about placement tests?

For questions or information about placement testing, please contact Testing Services at (773) 442-5293 or

Do I have to take the placement tests?

All incoming freshmen need to take math and English placement tests. Transfer students needing to take a math or English course at Northeastern will take the respective test(s). Find out more about the practicing the math and English tests.

How do I reschedule or cancel my test?

If you need to change your registration date for any reason, just register for a new date and we will take that as a reschedule and cancel your previous date. Please contact Testing Services to cancel at least two days in advance of the test date.

What do I need to bring for the test?

Please bring your Northeastern student ID number and a photo ID (driver’s license, state ID, high school ID, etc.). Students without a photo ID will not be allowed to test.

Can I use a calculator or dictionary in the test?

No calculators or any kind of study aids are allowed during testing. There is a calculator icon available for select math problems.

How long will the test take?

For the full test, the average duration is about 2.5 hours. However, all tests are untimed, so it varies widely from student to student. If you’re only taking one portion of the test, like math or reading, it should take about 30-60 minutes per test.

Do I need to be there at the stated time? Can I come later?

It’s highly recommended to arrive no later than the stated time. If you are going to be late, please contact Testing Services.

I didn’t register for the test; can I still come to take the test?

It is recommended that you register ahead of time to secure your place at testing. Walk-ins are welcome but students must have their ID number and photo ID on hand.

Can I use my AP or CLEP credits for the math and English courses instead of taking the placement test?

Yes, you can. Learn more about AP and CLEP at Northeastern.

Can I register for the placement test over the phone or in person?

We encourage you to register online. But you may also call (773) 442-5293, email or visit Testing Services at the Main Campus in C 524, Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Does the test cost anything?

No, the test is offered free to all incoming students who are taking it for the first time at Northeastern.

Can I retake the test?

Students can retake the test once. There is a retake fee of $10 per portion of the test (math, writing, reading). Please see our Guidelines and Procedures for retaking the placement test(s).

How would I get my results?

Results will be available at the conclusion of the test in the form of a report. For more information, visit our Interpreting Your Test Scores page.

Are there practice tests available?

Yes! Visit our Practice Placement Tests page for study resources.

What is the next step after taking the placement test?

You will participate in Orientation, where you will meet with advisors to plan out and register for classes for your first semester at Northeastern.

What are the options for students with special needs or a learning disability?

Northeastern’s Student Disability Services provides assistance for students who request accommodations.

Can I park my car in one of Northeastern’s parking lots on the day of the test?

Yes, you can park your car on campus at any parking lot designated Blue Zone or Green Zone. You will need to purchase a one-day $5 parking permit on/for the day of the test. Visit the Parking Office for more information.

Can I bring my family, friend or a child to the test?

No children or guests can accompany you in the room while you test; however, they can wait in the waiting area only with an accompanying adult.