About Placement Testing

Why Placement Testing?

Math and Writing placement exams are required for some freshmen in accordance with  Massachusetts Board of Higher Education policy. The purpose of the placement testing is to provide information about a student's level of accomplishment in order to place students in the most appropriate math and writing course for their skill level. If an incoming student is required to take a placement test, they will be notified by the Admission's Office.

Transfer students will be notified by the registrar's office or their assigned academic advisor regarding what placement testing they are required to take.

Foreign Language

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

  • Completed a high school level course in French, Spanish or Latin
  • One of these languages is their native language
  • They 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 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. Information on CLEP Exams, Registration, Test Dates and Fees can be obtained from Mount Wachusett Community College.

Contact Mount Wachusett Community College regarding testing at 978.630.9244, 978.630.9220, or testingservices@mwcc.mass.ed.

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 for any required placement tests please contact Disability Services at 978.665.4020 well in advance of the time you would like to take the placement test. 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 quiet setting.

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. Everyone who has attempted to retake a test and did not practice always earns a similar or worse score.