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Placement Testing

Accuplacer Placement Testing


Placement Testing Information for New Incoming Freshmen and Transfer Students

All newly admitted students who have been accepted to Fitchburg and plan to enroll beginning in the Spring Semester of 2019 will receive information by email regarding placement testing through the admissions office.  Reservations for a seat at an upcoming placement test for all new students will be done through an online portal through the  Admissions office.  Placement tests should be completed before January '19 orientation for second semester admitted students or before June '19 summer orientation for Fall 2019 admitted students.  Any student wishing to re-test can do so after orientation. 

All new incoming students can reserve a spot to take a placement test by clicking here.

The schedule for upcoming placement tests is listed below.  You must reserve a spot in advance.

  • Monday December 17th at 10:00 am in Hammond 306
  • Wednesday, December 19th at 10:00 am in Hammond 306
  • Thursday, December 20th at 10:00 am in Hammond 306
  • Monday, January 7th at 9:30  am in Hammond 101
  • Wednesday January 9th at 9:30 am in Hammond 101
  • Monday, January 14th at 1:00 pm in Hammond 101
  • Friday, January 18th at 10-:00 am in Hammond 306
  • Wednesday,  January 23rd at 3:00 pm in Hammond 306
  • Friday,  January 25th at 9:00 am in Hammond  306

For detailed information about placement testing, click here (PDF).

Placement Testing for Current Fitchburg Students

The Placement testing office routinely sends email notifications to current students about upcoming placement testing opportunities.  Any current student who needs to take a placement test or re-take a placement test should read these email notifications and reserve a spot at an upcoming placement test using the online portal provided in these emails.   Students are permitted to re-take any placement test one additional time.  

Placement Testing Location:

Test Site - Hammond 101, Library Instruction Lab, or the Tutor Center located in the Hammond Building room 306 (depending on test date)


Chris Coffin
Director of Peer Services, Testing and Placement
Phone: (978) 665-4136

Ellen Hughes
Support Staff
Phone: (978) 665-3499

Why placement testing?

Algebra, Reading Comprehension and Writing

Algebra, Reading Comprehension and Writing placement exams are required for all freshman in accordance with Board of Higher Education policy. The purpose of the tests is to provide information about your level of accomplishment in Reading, Writing and Mathematics. These Placement test results identify the English, and Mathematics courses most appropriate for you at Fitchburg State University.

Transfer students will be notified by their Admissions Counselor or academic advisor as to which placement tests are required. Many transfer students have not met the Mathematics Readiness Requirements and are required to take the Algebra Placement Test.

Placement into Calculus I

You may take the College Level Math Accuplacer if you would like to try to test into Calculus I.
Use the link above to reserve a spot at a placement test and choose "College Level Mathematics" test.

Foreign Language

Students planning to take French, Spanish or Latin are required to take a placement test if you meet the following conditions:

  • Completed a high school level course in French, Spanish or Latin.
  • One of these languages is your native language or if you have had experience with the language.

If you have not had any formal or informal experience with a Foreign Language, you do not need to take a placement test and may register for French for Beginners (FREN 1000) or Spanish for Beginners (SPAN 1000).

Fitchburg State University uses WebCAPE Language Placement Exams, developed by the Humanities Research Center at Brigham Young University. The French and Spanish tests, administered through the internet are designed to determine which language course students should take, based on their achievement. The exam presents questions at different levels, selecting the next question according to the your answer. Immediately after the test, you will receive your results and receive advisement as to the proper Fitchburg State foreign language course that you are required to enroll based on your placement score.

Latin is a pencil and paper exam. A Latin score that places the student higher than Intermediate Level 2 satisfies the Foreign Language graduation requirements.

CLEP EXAM (College-Level Examination Program)

Shorten your path to a university degree! If you do well on the Foreign Language Placement Test you may want to consider taking a CLEP Exam. If you have extensive experience with a Foreign Language you may earn 3 - 12 college credits by taking the CLEP Exam. Fitchburg State University does not administer CLEP exams, however they are administered at Mount Wachusett Community College.  For more information call (978) 630-9244 or  (978)630-9220. Email; The Official Study Guide for CLEP Examination can be purchased by calling 1-800-323-7155. The subject sample tests can also be downloaded from the Collegeboard website.

Are there test accommodation available for students with disabilities?

If you have a disability or a temporarily disabling condition and you would like an accommodation please contact Disability Services at (978) 665-4020 well in advance of the time you would like to take the Placement Tests. We may be able to arrange testing on a day other than the test dates listed. Other accommodations available include "Zoom Text," readers and testing alone in a quite setting.

What do I bring with me to the test?

Be sure to bring your student ID or license. There is no fee for testing. Texts, notes, dictionaries, calculators or reference resources of any kind are not allowed during the test. No test notes can leave the room.

What do the scores mean?

See the What Do My Placement Scores Mean?  page for information on test scores.

Can I retake a placement test?

If you are not satisfied with your test results, you can take any Placement Test one more time within the first two semesters. Practicing for the test increases the likelihood of improving your score. These tests are very reliable.  For more information about how to schedule a re-test, click here (PDF).

Can I practice before the test?

It can be be helpful to prepare for the Placement Tests. You can prepare reviewing the specific objectives of the test and focus your understanding of the material. The following to online sights are helpful to students preparing for placement tests.

"Sample Questions for Students" (PDF) - practice placement questions provided for students by the College Board

"Inside the Test" - information about the placement tests

Tips for Taking Computerized Placement Tests

  1. Relax! these tests are designed to help you succeed in school. For further information about the Placement test, check the Placement Test Center website. Focus your review several weeks prior to the test date. The Practice Questions can help you determine your level of readiness and the extent of review you may want to accomplish prior to the test.
  2. You will be able to concentrate better on the test if you are rested and eat properly prior to the test.
  3. Please plan to arrive fifteen minutes early so you can find the testing area, bathrooms, etc., and gather your thoughts before the test begins.
  4. Remember to bring some form of picture identification.
  5. Textbooks, notebooks, dictionaries, calculators, or any reference material are not allowed in the testing room. Paper and pencil are provided by the Test Administrator for use with the tests. Further, anyone who gives or receives help during the test, or uses notes or books of any kind, will not be allowed to continue the test.
  6. Pay careful attention to directions and be sure you understand the directions before you begin each test.
  7. The Algebra and Reading Comprehension  and Writing Tests are not timed. Questions are chosen for you on the basis of your answers to previous questions. Because the test works this way, you must answer every question when it is first given. You cannot omit any question or come back to change an answer. You may change your answer on a particular question, but you must do so before continuing on to the next question. If you do not, the answer is accepted and you cannot return to the question.
  8. If you do not know the answer to a question, try to eliminate one or more of the choices. Then select one of the remaining choices.
  9. Essay is not timed. There is a "word counter" icon at the bottom of the page. Students are encouraged to write at least the 300 word minimum required length.