Guidelines and Procedures

Placement Test Basics

Placement testing at Northeastern Illinois University is conducted using Accuplacer, a computerized placement test. The test is given by appointment only and is not timed. It 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 likely be required to complete one or more subject area placement tests.

Students taking the full assessment (Math, Reading and Writing) should allow 2-3.5 hours for testing. Please arrive with a photo ID approximately 10-15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time. Students arriving more than 10 minutes after their appointment may need 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  reading skills test
  • 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.

Which Tests Do You Need to Take?

Students can meet placement requirements in a variety of ways. Make sure all your documents (transcripts, score reports, etc.) are submitted to Admissions at admissions@neiu.edu. If you are not sure if you need to take a placement test, you can log into the NEIU Application Management portal to view your admission checklist. Your advisor can also help you determine what tests you need to take. You may email advising@neiu.edu if you have questions.

Math Placement Test

All entering students are given two options for placement into a math course: SAT/ACT math score or the math placement test. Students 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 with transcripts that reflect have earned a grade of “C” or better in a course equivalent to college level Intermediate Algebra;
  • Students who have completed a state approved quantitative transitional math course with a grade of C or better may enroll in Math 112 or 113.
  • Students who have completed a state approved STEM transitional math course with a grade of C or better may enroll in Math 112, 113, 149, 163, or 173.
  • 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 Test

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

Reading Placement Test

No entering student may register for a reading course before taking the reading placement test, with the exception of the following: 

  • New first-time freshman students (except international and transfer students) with a high school GPA of 3.25 or higher are not required to complete the Reading Placement Test.
  • Students who submit their valid SAT/ACT reading scores will be exempt from taking the reading placement test and from taking READ 096 or READ 097 if they have an SAT score of 480 or greater or an ACT score of 20 or greater.

Writing Placement Test

No entering student may register for an English or English Language Program course before taking the writing placement test, with the exception of the following: 

  • New first-time freshman students (except international and transfer students) with a high school GPA of 3.25 or higher are not required to complete the Writing Placement Test.
  • Students whose transcripts reflect a grade of “C” or better in a course equivalent to ENGL 101 are not required to complete the Writing placement test.

Accommodations

Reasonable accommodations will be provided with advance notice for persons with documented disabilities. No variation of the assessment can be made without prior approval. Students requiring a disability-related testing accommodation must first contact Student Disability Services at sds@neiu.edu and follow intake procedures before signing up for placement testing. 

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.

How to Submit ACT or SAT scores

Contact SAT or ACT to arrange for your test score to be sent electronically to the Admissions Office at admissions@neiu.edu or mail to:

Northeastern Illinois University
Admissions Office
5500 N. St. Louis Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625

Questions?

Contact Testing Services at testingservices@neiu.edu.