Placement & Proficiency Tests

What’s the difference between proficiency tests and placement tests?

In general, proficiency exams measure your knowledge and skill in a content area, and placement exams indicate the appropriate level to begin taking courses in a specific subject. Proficiency exams are tied to the Elmhurst College Integrated Curriculum requirements, while placement exams help you choose courses appropriate for your level of learning.

Proficiency Requirements

The Integrated Curriculum requires students to demonstrate proficiency in writing, mathematics, foreign language and computer technology.

Students may demonstrate proficiency in the following ways:

  • Completing ENG 105 Composition I with a grade of D or better
  • Bringing in transfer credit for ENG 105 with a grade of D or better
  • Taking the optional writing placement exam online at least seven days before your advising date and placing into ENG 106
  • AP credit, with a score of 3 or higher, for the English Language and Composition exam (official exam scores required)
  • ACT composite of 29 or SAT score of 1900 or higher (prior to March 5, 2016) or SAT evidence-based Reading and Writing sub-score of 580 or higher (after March 5, 2016)
  • ACT Mathematics score of 22 or SAT Mathematics score of 560 or higher (prior to March 5, 2016) or SAT sub-score of 530 or higher (after March 5, 2016)
  • Completing an approved college-level math course (required for a major or as an elective) with a grade of D or better
  • Passing the Mathematics Proficiency exam
    • Offered in the Fall and Spring Terms
    • Watch for email announcements about dates, times and location
    • Students are encouraged to study before taking the math proficiency exam
  • Completing two or more years of the same language in high school with a grade of D or higher
  • Completing one year of the same language in college with a grade of D or better (equivalent to the 102 level)
  • Taking the Elmhurst College placement exam online at least seven days prior to your advising date (in Spanish, French or German) and scoring at the 201 level or above
  • AP credit, with a score of 3 or higher, for the appropriate language exam (official exam scores required)
  • Passing the computer technology proficiency exam during your first year at Elmhurst
    • Offered in the Fall and Spring Terms
    • Watch for email announcements about dates, times and location at the start of the term
  • Completing a college-level class, CS 111 Introduction to Software Applications and Digital Technology with a grade of D or better
  • Bringing in transfer credit for a three-semester course covering Microsoft Office with a grade of D or better

You will learn much more about the Elmhurst College Integrated Curriculum program on your advising and registration day.

What Tests Should I Take?

  • If you are a transfer student, the tests you’ll take depend on the courses you’ve already taken and the courses you plan to take at Elmhurst. Check your Transfer Credit Evaluation and speak with your admission counselor for more information.
  • If you are a first-year student, you are required to take the Mathematics and Foreign Language Placement exams at least seven days before your advising date. You can also take the optional Writing Placement exam online prior to your advising date. Taking these exams prior to your advising date ensures that your advisor will have the results at your advising appointment.

Optional Writing Test

The College requires two composition courses, ENG 105 Composition I and ENG 106 Composition II, for all undergraduate students. Many students will take both composition courses, usually during their first year.

If you have exceptionally strong writing skills, you can take the optional Writing Placement exam online at least seven days prior to your advising date.

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