Guidelines and Procedures

Placement Test Basics

Placement testing at Northeastern Illinois University is used to make sure that you register into the highest-level Writing, Reading and/or Mathematics courses that you are qualified to take, based on your current skill level. If you are a new student who has not taken college level coursework in mathematics or English you will be required to complete one or more subject area placement test.

Students should allow 2-3 hours for testing. Please arrive with a photo ID at your scheduled appointment time. Students arriving more than 10 minutes after their appointment may be forced to reschedule - please arrive on time.

Register for your spot at placement testing today! Click on the registration button below to get started.

Placement Test Registration

An online study guide from Accuplacer is available as well as a free interactive app. We encourage students to practice prior to taking or retaking the placement test.

Placement Tests

  • A 300-600 word essay (Writing)

  • A writing and reading skills survey

  • A mathematics test (Math)

Testing Room Rules

  • No cell phones

  • No coats

  • No hats (unless for religious or cultural purposes)

  • No outside calculators

  • No additional testing aides

  • No children allowed

  • No talking

What Tests are Administered?

The placement testing policy requires entering and some re-entering students to take the following examinations except where stated exemption conditions have been met. SAT/ACT score validity (age of scores and requirements for submission) is defined by University guidelines.

Math Placement Test

All entering freshmen are given two options for placement into a math course: SAT/ACT math score or the math placement test. Freshmen who submit SAT/ACT scores to Northeastern can be placed directly into a math course solely based on their SAT/ACT math score. They also have the option of taking the math placement test, in which case Northeastern will use the higher of the two scores for placement into a math course. Since there is no penalty to taking the test, freshmen are strongly encouraged to do so, particularly if they took a math course in their senior year of high school.

All newly admitted and readmitted students who do not submit their SAT/ACT Math scores are required to take the mathematics placement test with the exception of the following:

  • Students whose transcripts reflect a grade of “C” or better in a course equivalent to college level Intermediate Algebra;

  • Transfer and readmitted students who have met the Math/Quantitative Reasoning Requirement; or

  • Students with a score of three or higher on the Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus Test.

English Placement Survey

The English placement survey has two components: writing and reading. Entering students with a high school GPA below 3.25 must take the Reading and Writing placement survey.

Students whose transcripts reflect a grade of “C” or better in a course equivalent to ENGL 101 are not required to complete the Reading and Writing placement survey.

You will receive a link via email if you are required to take the Reading and Writing placement survey. The link can also be found in NEIUStar in your Success Plan.


Reasonable accommodations will be provided with advance notice for persons with documented disabilities. No variation of the assessment can be made without prior approval. Visit Student Disability Services, (773) 442-4595 or, for more information on testing accommodations.

Course Placement Based on Scores

Information for course placement based on Accuplacer scores and SAT/ACT math scores can be found on the Interpreting Your Test Scores page.