English and Math Placement (Course Placement)

Students are placed into English and math courses based on qualifying placement scores (ACT, SAT, Pearson My FoundationsLab, ACCUPLACER) or transcript evaluation of college coursework. The intent is to appropriately place students into courses that are both challenging and for which they are adequately prepared so students can make steady degree progress and achieve academic success.

Students are encouraged to take the ACCUPLACER test if they do not meet the following course placement requirements.

Course Placement Policy

Course Placement Requirements

  • English 110
    • Students are not required to test if
      • ACT English score of 18 or higher taken within the last five years,
      • SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) score of 490 or higher taken within the last five years,
      • Pearson MyFoundations Lab Language Arts score of 70% or higher, or
      • ACCUPLACER score of 256 or higher taken within the last three years.
  • Mathematics
    • Programs requiring Math 103, 104, 105, 107, 110, or 210 do not require testing if
      • ACT score of 21 or higher taken within the last five years, o SAT score of 530 or higher taken within the last five years,
      • Pearson MyFoundations Lab Math score of 70% or higher, or
      • ACCUPLACER Next-Gen Qualified Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics (QAS) score of 255 or higher taken within the last three years.
    • Programs requiring Math 120, 123, 125, 130, 132, 134, 136 do not require testing.
    • Programs requiring Math 165 do not require testing if
      • ACT score of 24 or higher taken within the last five years or
      • ACCUPLACER Next-Gen Advanced Algebra and Functions (AAF) score of 263 or higher taken within the last three years.


To schedule an ACCUPLACER test or to find out about other testing options:
The Test Center provides ACCUPLACER testing daily in both Wahpeton and Fargo. Appointments are required for testing. Students can test in either location.
ACCUPLACER testing is built into the Wahpeton and Fargo New Student Registration days; however, students are encouraged to take the test prior to their scheduled registration day if possible.
To arrange testing or to find out about other testing options, contact the NDSCS Test Center in Wahpeton at 701-671-2256 or in Fargo at 701-231-6919.

What is the ACCUPLACER Test?
ACCUPLACER is a computerized adaptive placement testing system that measures skills in mathematics, reading and English. ACCUPLACER is user friendly and is designed for individuals with little or no computer experience. The test is not timed.

How are ACCUPLACER scores used?
ACCUPLACER is used for program admission requirements and placement into college-level English and math courses. ACCUPLACER scores indicate areas in which students are strong and areas in which they may need more help in. NDSCS will use the results from ACCUPLACER test(s) to prepare a course of study that will be appropriate, relevant and meaningful for students.

Can I prepare for the ACCUPLACER Test?
Yes, you can become familiar with the format of the test to better understand what the test will look like before testing.  Testers are encouraged to review the ACCUPLACER test resources:

NDSCS uses the following ACCUPLACER placement tests:

  • Next Generation Writing: This 25 multiple-choice question test measures your ability to revise and edit multi-paragraph text. Questions cover two broad knowledge and skills categories, Expression of Ideas (Development, Organization, Effective Language Use) & Standard English Conventions (Sentence Structure, Usage, Punctuation).
  • Next Generation Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics (QAS): This 20 multiple-choice question test measures your ability to perform basic algebraic operations and to solve problems involving elementary algebraic concepts.  Some, but not all, of the math questions contain a pop-up calculator for students to use in the test; outside calculators are not allowed. 
  • PLACEMENT into CALCULUS (stand-alone test only for students that require Calculus) Next Generation Advanced Algebra & Functions (AAF): This 20 multiple-choice question test measures your ability to solve problems that involve college-level mathematics concepts.

How much does the test cost?
There is no charge for NDSCS students to take the ACCUPLACER test. The testing fee for Non-NDSCS students is $20.

What if my ACCUPLACER scores are better than my ACT scores?
Often we see students place more appropriately, in more advanced courses, based on their ACCUPLACER test results. NDSCS will place students into courses based on their highest placement test scores (either ACCUPLACER or ACT).

Can I take the ACCUPLACER Test more than once?  Can I re-test?
Yes, students are eligible to take the ACCUPLACER test twice within a three (3) month period.   To arrange for testing, contact the NDSCS Test Center.

Why might I want to retake the ACCUPLACER Test?
You may elect to take the ACCUPLACER placement test to challenge your course placement if you believe that the placement is not an accurate reflection of your current skills.  Your scores may require you to successfully complete a developmental course sequence in writing or math before you can register in a college-level English or math course. NDSCS offers developmental courses through the Academic Services Center (ASC) to help you gain the skills required to be successful in your college-level courses. Click here for ASC course descriptions.

When should I schedule to retest in ACCUPLACER?
Students should schedule to retest before the start of the semester. This ensures you are scheduled in the appropriate courses. Students must also follow the NDSCS Course Placement Policy retest guidelines.

Are there other testing locations to take the ACCUPLACER Test?
Yes, there are opportunities to test at other testing sites; call the Test Center at 701-671-2256 to find out more. Students can often test at another college/institution using a remote voucher. Students can also take the test from home using a virtual remote voucher. The virtual remote voucher uses a third-party service Examity to proctor the test online. Students need a computer with high-speed internet and audio & visual capabilities to test at home. Both the remote voucher and virtual remote voucher options may have a cost to the student for a proctoring fee charged by the testing site.

Are there disability accommodations for ACCUPLACER assessments?
Yes. If you have a documented disability and need test accommodations, please contact the NDSCS Accessibility Coordinator at 701-671-2623 or ndscs.accessibility@ndscs.edu for information and details about making any needed arrangements

Course Placement Appeal Process

A student wishing to appeal their placement into college-level English or math can follow this appeal process.

  • Discuss with staff/faculty current placement based on student submitted placement scores.
  • Complete the Course Placement Appeal Form indicating what course(s) are being appeals.
    • This must be submitted prior to the first ASC class meeting.
      • Once a student has started classes in an ASC course/series, they must complete the series and may not appeal course placement to try get out of a class.
    • Possible courses include:
      • ENGL 110 College Composition I
      • MATH 103 College Algebra
      • MATH 104 Finite Math
      • MATH 105 Trigonometry
      • MATH 107 Pre-Calculus
      • MATH 110 Math in Society
      • MATH 165 Calculus I
      • MATH 210 Elementary Statistics
  • The program coordinator will review the request in conjunction with the instructor(s) of the course and provide a decision within five working days.


Course Placement Appeal Form

Complete Appeal Form Here