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Placement Tests

Placement Testing Updates During Campus Closure:

Students normally complete their first year assessment tests on campus in Tivoli Room 347, but under the current conditions no face-to-face testing services are available until further notice. Students do have an option to complete placement tests using a virtual proctoring service. Access to this service requires a high-speed internet connection and a webcam. There is a fee of $25.00 to access the service, which will be paid directly to the virtual proctoring service. Please read below for additional details.

Under the current conditions students may choose to wait and complete their placement tests at a later date, after the campus re-opens and normal operations resume. Students that choose to wait and test later should take advantage of this time to prepare for the exam. Access to Math study resources available here: Study Resources

New students unsure which placement tests are necessary may consult with advising services via email at: Please use your email address for all correspondences.

Do I need to take a Math placement test?

MSU Denver uses SAT or ACT math sub-scores or Accuplacer Math Placement tests for registering in first year Math courses (known as Quantitative Literacy courses). Students that have ACT or SAT scores too low to place in a course should take an Accuplacer Math placement test. The two available tests are called the Accuplacer Advanced Algebra and Functions exam (AAF) and the Quantitative Analysis and Statistics exam (QAS). The links below will help you determine which tests, if any, are needed for your major.

Math placement tests vary by course, and course requirements vary by major. If you are undecided about a major at this time you may consider waiting to take a Math placement test, or you may simply complete both available Math placement tests to determine eligibility regardless of the major you choose.

See a list of Frequently Asked Questions about Math courses: FAQ

See a list of Math course requirements by major: Math Courses by Major

See a list of Accuplacer placement test scores required for each Math course: Score Requirements

How to find your ACT or SAT scores in the Student Hub: Find your scores

See available study resources for Accuplacer Math placement tests: Study Resources for Math Placement tests

Still not sure? Use your mailbox to contact an advisor with questions:

Testing at home for Math placement:

UPDATE: As of March 23 the Examity virtual proctoring service for Accuplacer testing is closed until further notice due to Coronavirus impacts. We will continue to accept exam requests and will reply as soon as the exams are available. Students, please continue to prepare for your Math placement tests via the links above. Check back to this site, as soon as remote testing is available we will post an announcment on this page.

Accuplacer Math placement tests are available to be taken at home using a high-speed internet connection and a webcam. Test administrations must be monitored by a remote proctoring service. A fee of $25.00 is required, the fee is paid directly to a Virtual Proctoring service.

To request a remote test please  Math Accuplacer test see this link: Request Distance Testing

Do I need to take a placement test for Freshmen Composition?

Students with SAT or ACT scores over State of Colorado requirements may enroll directly into English 1010. The required SAT Writing sub-score is 470 or higher. The required ACT English sub-score is 18 or higher. See the links below for instructions on how to find your ACT or SAT scores in the student hub.

Students with ACT or SAT sub-scores below these numbers should complete the First Year Writing assessment, known as the “FYW.” All MSU Denver students that complete the First Year Writing assessment will place into a college level Freshmen Composition course.

Testing at home for English placement:

The MSU Denver Department of English will allow students to complete the First Year Writing Assessment at home during the current campus closure.

Email your request to complete the First Year Writing Assessment to:

  1. Please use your @msudenver email address to send the request. Include your full name and student ID number and be to specify which exam you are requesting.
  2. Students will recieve a reply and a set of instructions on how to complete the assessment within two business days.
  3. Students should complete the assessment and return the completed essay to the same email address within five days.


MSU Denver uses various placement tests for placement into general studies Math and English courses. Students who have taken the ACT or SAT and have sub scores at or above the following are exempt from the respective assessments: 

ACT English 18
ACT Math 19

SAT 470 Evidence-based reading / writing (test administered March 2016 or later)
SAT 500 Mathematics (test administered March 2016 or later)

SAT 430 Critical Reading / Verbal (test administered before March 2016)
SAT 460 Mathematics (test administered before March 2016)

Test scores are valid until the end of the calendar year five years from the date of the test administration. For example, students may enroll in a course in Fall 2017 based on a placement test score administered in Spring 2012, but the same score would not be valid for enrollment in a Spring 2018 course.

Not sure what Math class you need for your Major?

Follow this link to see a list of Math courses required for different majors on the Math Department website: click here.

Exemptions for Transfer Credit from other schools

Students with transfer credit from other institutions may be exempt from one or more of the Accuplacer placement tests. Please consult with the Office of Transfer Services or the Academic Advising Center for evaluation of transfer credit.

No appointment necessary

For assessment testing you do not need an appointment. Students may take the assessments during our normal office hours 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Test takers must present a valid photo ID at the time of testing.

Limited evening and weekend hours are available by appointment only; please contact Testing Services in advance to schedule an appointment.

Allocate enough time

The assessments are not timed and take approximately 30 minutes each. Please plan on 2 hours for all three assessments.

Retesting and test fees

There is no charge for the first or second attempt at an Accuplacer exam. Additional attempts at Accuplacer Testing require a fee and attendance at a study/preparation session. Students may test up to five times in 12 months.

Click HERE to read more about third time testing policies.

Official Accuplacer Study Guide:

Click HERE to download the free Accuplacer study guide.

PDF of the MSU Denver Cut Score Matrix: Cut Score Matrix - Summer 2019


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