Disability Services

Placement Testing - General Information

English, Math and Foreign Language Placement Testing

Placement Testing is required of most new first-year students and those transfer students who have not successfully completed college level English or math courses; it is also required of all new students who have taken more than one year of French, Spanish or Chinese. In order to enroll in any English, Math, French, Spanish or Chinese course, the Undergraduate placement test Information must be completed prior to registration. The placement examinations are intended to assess a student’s level of proficiency in the written use of English, as well as a student’s mathematical competency level. The French, Spanish and Chinese placement examinations test reading skill, vocabulary and grammar. The objective is to place a student into courses that are commensurate with the student’s level of competency. Students are required to register for the course level in which they are placed. In some cases, further testing may be required.

English and Math Placement
Most first-year students are required take the placement test prior to registering for an English course or Math course. Students who have taken the Advanced Placement Program Exam and received College Board AP credit should consult with an academic advisor. Mandatory placement is in effect for all MTH and STA courses numbered 087 through 181. Students become eligible to take one of these courses by achieving a suitable score on the Math Placement Examination, or by passing the prerequisite course at Cleveland State University OR another university or community college.

Please Note: It is department policy that once a student enrolls in a mathematics class, the placement test cannot be used to move on to a subsequent class as a substitute for failing to achieve a satisfactory grade in the enrolled mathematics course.

Transfer Students who have completed and received transfer credit for at least one three-credit hour course in First-year English, or college level math courses are not required to take Placement Examinations. They should consult with their academic advisor to select appropriate coursework based on transfer credit applicability.

English as a Second Language (ESL)
Students whose first language is not English are required to take the ESL Placement Test.

Foreign Language Placement The courses needed to meet the CSU Foreign Language Entrance Requirement and the Arts and Sciences Graduation Requirement depend on how many years were completed in High School and when the courses were taken. Students who delay their study beyond the first 60 hours risk having to register for courses on an audit basis to make up for lapsed knowledge.

First-year and transfer students with more than one year or its equivalent study and fewer than 3 years or their equivalent study in French, Spanish or Chinese are required to take the placement test. Students with 3 years or more of study in French or Spanish who want to continue their work in the language must take the placement test to assist in placement. Students who have studied other languages in high school should consult with the Modern Language Department directly to continue their work in these languages.  Faculty in the foreign languages normally conduct informal placement interviews.

Transfer students and students who have taken the Advanced Placement Test in a foreign language should consult with an academic advisor regarding the credit granted; they should then consult with the Modern Language Department to select appropriate advanced coursework.

  • Except for math, all testing is completed in Rhodes Tower West, Room 215 between 8:00 a.m and 5:00 p.m. The ALECS PPL math placement test is online and is accessible at any time. Students are not required to be on campus to take the math placement exam.
  • All testing is administered by appointment only.
  • A Photo ID is required to take all placement examinations.
  • The Office of Disability Services (ODS) is available to assist students with requests for accomodations on placement tests. Call ODS at (216) 687-2015.