Placement Testing FAQs

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Do I have to take placement tests?
If you have scored a 20 or higher on the ACT Reading and/or English in the last three years or a 480 on the SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing you do not have to take the Reading and/or English Placement test(s). If you have taken the ACT/SAT in the last two years, then you do not have to take the ALEKS math placement test. If English is not your first language, you will be required to take the CaMLA English as a Second Language Placement Test.

How will I know what test(s) to take?
All new degree/certificate seeking students must be assessed in reading, writing, and mathematics placement. We will determine which tests you will need to take based on the information you provided during the application process. If you do not have previous college credit or appropriate ACT or SAT scores, you can expect to take tests in reading, writing, and math. If English is not your first language and you do not have sufficiently high TOEFL scores, you'll take an ESL placement test.
To schedule an appointment, click here
To schedule a placement test off-campus send the following infromation to the Assessment Center email address:
   -Your Name and Parkland ID#.
   -The name of the approved testing institution.
   -The name and email address of the proctor.
   -Off campus placement testing requests could take up to 48 hours to process.
   -If it is a re-assessment, please indicate which test you would like to take.
   -Appropriate testing information will be sent to you and the proctor identified in your email.
How long will the tests take?
The reading, English, and ALEKS math tests are not timed, but most people spend approximately 30 - 90 minutes on each test. If you are taking all three tests, plan on spending 1-1⁄2 to 3 hours in the Assessment Center. The ESL placement test is  timed, and you will have 60 minutes to complete the CaMLA test. All essays are timed, with a choice of topics.

What are the tests like?
The placement tests are given on the computer using software that uses adoptive technology that evaluates your skill level as you go along and adjusts the questions until it determines which course is the right one for you to begin with. The Reading, English, and Mathematics tests are untimed. You work at your own pace! On these tests, accuracy is more important than speed. For specific information on each placement test go to the following Placement Test Prep Resources. The CaMLA placement test is timed for 60 minutes.

Will I need computer skills for placement testing?

Placement testing was designed for individuals with little or no computer experience. You will use a keyboard to type in your name and ID number. Then you will use a mouse and keyboard to indicate your answers. There is a tutorial on to answer questions in each section(s). The Assessment Center staff is always available to answer any questions you may have about how to use the computer.

Should I review for the assessment tests?

YES! Please refer to Placement Test Prep Resources for study resources and to see sample questions. Reviewing course work in a specific area will help refresh your memory about the material. For example, it is helpful to review pre-algebra and algebra before attempting the math test. Remember that the results of the placement tests determine which courses you can take, so it's important to do your best.
What if I fail the placement exams?
The placement results simply indicate which course you could enroll in, based on your academic strengths in relation to college-level work. For example, there are 29 different math courses and 5 different English composition courses. Placement tests help narrow down the options to a reasonable number. If the results show that you need help preparing for college-level work, you will be placed in the appropriate course or courses for improving those skills. If your results are not what you expected, there are resources that have been shown to improve a student when they reassess.

What should I bring when I come to take my tests?

You must bring current, valid photo identification. Acceptable photo identification includes an official photo ID card issued by a school, employer, or city/state/government agency (such as a driver's license or passport) on which both your name and current photo appear. NO PHOTO IDENTIFICATION = NO TEST!

What should I NOT bring?
The Assessment Center provides all the test materials you will need, including a calculator that can be used on the math test. Nothing you bring can go into the testing room. We will hold your ID while you test. All other personal items, cell phones, pens, pencils, books, purses, including pagers, other electronic devices, electronic or printed dictionaries, food, and drinks, will be put into an assigned locker. Children are not permitted in the testing room, and Parkland College does not allow unattended children on campus. Please make appropriate arrangements before reporting for testing.

When will I get my test results?
Placement test results are available immediately. You will be given a copy to go away with. Essay results are usually available within a couple of days. Please note that Federal law prohibits us from giving test results over the phone. You must come in person to Room U203 with a photo ID to get your test results.

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