Why do I have to take placement tests?
The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education requires state universities, colleges, and community colleges to administer placement tests in reading and mathematics to all new first-year students; placement testing at Bridgewater State University is, therefore, mandatory. Many transfer students will not have to take placement tests if they have taken and transferred appropriate courses from their previous institution(s).
But more importantly, placement testing allows us to better identify the introductory math and writing courses that best match your current skill level in each area. For instance, while one student might come to college equipped with the necessary skills to take a calculus course, another student may first need pre-calculus, while another might need to brush up on algebra.
I took ACCUPLACER placement tests at my previous institution. Can I transfer those scores to BSU?
Yes, if your scores meet all of the following criteria:
- Your ACCUPLACER test scores must be a maximum of one year old.
- You must have taken CollegeBoard's ACCUPLACER placement tests; we do not accept other placement tests. We also do not accept Writeplacer scores.
- Your previous institution must scan and e-mail your official score transcript(s) to us directly along with your Banner ID number; we do not accept hand-delivered test scores. Our e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note that while you may have taken one or several ACCUPLACER placement tests at your previous institution, you likely will have to take one or more at BSU depending on which scores you transfer.
I currently live out of state/far from campus. Can I take my placement tests somewhere closer to me?
What do I need to bring with me on placement testing day?
If you are testing for the first time or during one of our large group testing sessions, all you need to bring is a photo ID. We will provide all other testing materials (computer, scratch paper, and pencil). Students who do not present a photo ID will not be allowed to test.
If you have scheduled a retest with our office, you must bring a photo ID along with a $10 retest fee, payable on test day by Visa, Mastercard, or personal check.
If I forget to bring my photo ID to my placement testing appointment, can I still take the tests?
Testing Services' primary concern during placement testing is ensuring test security and validity. While this policy might inconvenience a student who forgets to bring their photo ID on test day, please understand that we require all students who attend Bridgewater State University to adhere to this policy in order to ensure the fairest assessment possible for all students.
If you do not have any form of photo identification, Massachusetts residents can obtain a Massachusetts photo ID through the Massachusetts RMV. Click here for more information.
What happens if I fail the tests?
If I can't fail the tests, then what do my scores mean?
To figure out which course best suits you, we will give you a 20 question, computer-based, untimed Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra & Statistics (QAS) placement test before your orientation. Your result on this test, along with your math SAT scores, will determine whether you'll start with MATH095 or MATH140.
Finally, if you earn a score of at least 268 out of 300 on your 20 question QAS test, we will give you a second, 20-question placement test covering Advanced Algebra and Functions.. A high enough score on this second test allows you to enter MATH144 directly. Note that this scenario is just one example; the math courses you need to take will vary depending on your major.
What is the format of the math placement tests?
All incoming first-year students will take two untimed, multiple choice math placement tests. First, everyone will take a 20-question Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra & Statistics (QAS) test. The second test you take depends on your performance on the first. If you earn a score of 200-267 on QAS, you will then take a 20-question Arithmetic test; if you earn a score of 268-300, you will instead take a 20-question Advanced Algebra & Functions test.
Incoming transfer students may need to one or two of these tests, depending on your academic history at your previous institution(s).
What is the format of the English placement tests?
For incoming first-year students, English placement is done at home or on your time. You will compose a writing placement essay that our English faculty members will evaluate. You must type and submit the writing placement essay to us at least one week before coming to your on-campus ACCUPLACER math placement testing appointment. Further instructions are included in your New First-Year Student Checklist, which you will receive between early April and late June, depending on when you submit your deposit.
For incoming transfer students, if you require writing and reading placement testing, you will also write the placement essay on your own time and take a 20-question, multiple choice, untimed Reading Comprehension placement test.
How can I prepare for my placement tests?
In order to help you to prepare for your math placement test, the College Board has a free ACCUPLACER study app which you can access here: accuplacerpractice.collegeboard.org. This review program is not mandatory; our goal is to help every student be as prepared as possible to succeed not just in placement testing, but in their college-level mathematics coursework. We recommend that all students review these skills prior to testing, especially if you have not taken a math course within the past year.
As a supplement to the study app, College Board offers free sample questions and practice applications for all ACCUPLACER exams. In addition, Math Services in the Academic Achievement Center provides free, drop-in math tutoring for all BSU students throughout the year. Click on the links below to access a particular resource:
Can I retake my placement tests?
During your time as a BSU student, you may take your math placement test a total of three times. We do not offer writing and reading retests. Your first test attempt is free; subsequent attempts cost $10, payable on test day by Visa, Mastercard, or personal check. We recommend that you refer to our placement test resources and spend some time reviewing before attempting a retest.
Retests are held in our office during our office hours. To schedule a retest, give us a call at 508-531-1780.
Where can I sign up for placement testing and orientation?
If you are an incoming first-year student, you will receive a letter and e-mail from Admissions that includes a new first-year student checklist and a link to our placement testing registration site AFTER Admissions receives your deposit. Generally, we hold on-campus ACCUPLACER placement testing sessions for incoming first-year students on several Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from April through June. Note that in addition to an on-campus appointment, you will complete the writing portion of your placement testing at home/on your own time. You can only sign up for placement testing once you have received your "New First-Year Student Check-List" from Admissions.
If you are an incoming transfer student and were told you need to take one or more placement tests, placement testing will be available after your transfer advising workshop or by appointment at a later date. Give us a call at 508-531-1780 for more information.
I'm busy on all of the placement testing dates!
Can I use a calculator?
I have a disability and need accommodations for placement testing. What should I do?
Where is placement testing held, and where can I park?
Where can I view my placement test scores?
You can view your placement test scores in a few ways:
- When you've completed your ACCUPLACER tests, the ACCUPLACER system will automatically e-mail your score transcript to the e-mail address you provided during the registration portion of the test.
- You may view your placement tests scores at any time in InfoBear by clicking Student > Student Records > View Test Scores.
- You may view your scores at any time in DegreeWorks under the "Test Scores" section.
How can I transfer my placement test results to another institution?
In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), students who wish to transfer their placement test results to another institution, or obtain a copy of their placement test score report(s), must fill out and submit an official placement test score transcript request form.