You have the option of taking placement tests off-site, at a location close to home, with a proctor. You will choose the proctor and testing location. Your tests will be administered online.
To be eligible for off-site testing you will need to meet the criteria explained under "Proctor and Location Criteria" below. Please read the information on all tabs before requesting off-site testing.
December 2, 2014* is the last day to submit a request for off-site testing for enrollment in the Spring 2015 semester. No requests will be accepted after this date.
We will begin processing Fall 2015 off-site testing requests on January 5th.
* If you are unable to meet the deadline, you will be required to take placement tests on campus.
Proctor and Location Criteria
Students who are unable to meet all criteria listed below will be required to take placement tests on Penn College's campus.
You will be required to test under the supervision of a proctor. It will be up to you to identify a proctor. You must choose one who is affiliated with an educational institution or a testing organization such as the following:
- High schools and colleges
- Private learning or testing centers
- Adult education centers
- Military education centers
Teachers, principals, counselors, librarians, professors, and testing center officials are all considered suitable proctors. If you have questions about your proctor's qualifications, contact Academic Services and First Year Programs.
Testing Location Criteria & Technical Requirements
It is important that you take your tests in a testing compatible environment. The following are acceptable testing locations:
- High school or college campuses
- Official testing centers, learning centers, or adult education centers
Your testing location must be equipped with a computer that meets technical requirements. Failure to meet technical requirements may result in an inability to access placement tests.
Requesting Off-site Testing
Once you have identified a suitable proctor and testing location, submit an online request for off-site testing.
- First, you will need to collect some contact information from your proctor. We have provided a printable Proctor Information document that you may use for this purpose. The document contains two pages: one for you and one for your proctor. Please be sure to record information accurately on page 1 (student page), and give page 2 to your proctor (proctor page).
You will use the information on page 1 to fill out the Off-site Testing Request Form online.
- To access the request form, print these instructions and follow the steps:
- With your completed Proctor Information Page in hand, go to the Student Information System (SIS) and log in with your username and password. (You received your username and password in your acceptance packet.)
- Choose “Admission Information” on the left.
- Choose “View Application Status.”
- Choose “Request a Date Change or Offsite Testing” on the right.
- Select the button that says "I would like to request an off-site placement test" and submit.
- Referring to your Proctor Information Page, follow the steps and provide the information requested.
- Once your request form has been received and approved, both you and your proctor will receive an e-mail containing instructions on how to proceed with testing. Together, you may then make arrangements for completing the testing process.
- Student: When you receive your instructional e-mail, check with your proctor to make sure he or she also received an instructional e-mail. If not, ask your proctor to contact our office right away.
Preparing for Test Day
Having a clear and accurate picture of your current skill levels is important to us and is vital to your academic future.
Therefore, it is important that you are well prepared for test day. The following strategies will help you get ready for placement testing.
1. Complete the required Math Information Form.
Without this information, your placement will not be complete.
2. Review test samples.
The sample information will give you a good idea of what to expect on the tests and allow you to gauge how your current knowledge matches with concepts represented in the test questions.
- Math – The math sample test is available on our online course system, P.L.A.T.O. You will receive your results automatically upon completion of the test. Go to the math sample test registration page; there, you will submit your first and last name, and then a username and password will be provided.
A note about calculators: For all parts of the math placement test, calculators are optional. The math tests can be completed using pencil and paper. If you are not comfortable using a calculator, it is best not to use one. Struggling with a calculator while testing will cost you time. If you choose to use a calculator, use a four-function scientific or graphing calculator, such as the TI-84 Plus.
Questions about the math tests may be answered by reading the Math FAQs provided by the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications.
- Reading – The sample test is given in two parts: reading comprehension and vocabulary. Answers to both are supplied at the bottom of that page.
- English – A sample essay with reviewer response is provided to help you understand how your essay will be evaluated.
3. Brush up on rusty skills.
Once you have taken the sample tests, use old text books and materials to refresh your memory or brush up. As you review, focus on the concepts with which you already have some experience or familiarity. The placement tests measure the knowledge and skills you have acquired over time; therefore, attempting to master new concepts would be impractical. For example, trying to learn calculus if you've never had the class would not be a good use of your time.
4. Get a good night’s sleep.
Whether testing on or off campus, it is important to be well rested. A tired brain is inefficient. You will be testing for up to three hours.
- Tip: If you are testing on campus and live a distance from the College, consider staying in a hotel close to campus the night before testing to save early morning travel.
5. Make sure you have eaten a well balanced meal before testing.
Hunger or inadequate nutrition may cause fatigue and distraction.
- Tip: Have a light snack on hand to eat during a break to avoid feeling hungry in the later parts of the test.
If you have agreed to be a proctor, you have agreed to administer a prospective student’s placement test in an online environment.
As a proctor, you will have the following responsibilities:
- Administer Penn College's placement test according to the guidelines we provide.
- Be present with the student for the duration of each test, up to three hours of total test time.
- Ensure the security of all testing materials.
- Be sure that the testing location is equipped with a computer that meets technical requirements.
Once the student has been approved for off-site testing, Academic Services and First Year Programs will send you an instructional e-mail. The e-mail will contain the following:
- A three-week time frame in which placement testing must be completed
- A list of tests the students will take
- A password that you will need to access the tests
- Instructions for accessing the placement tests
If you do not receive the instructional e-mail, please contact Academic Services and First Year Programs.
Accessing the Placement Tests from Off-site
Students and proctors both play a part in accessing the online placement tests.
After you receive your off-site testing approval and instructions by e-mail, you and your proctor will follow the steps below to access the placements tests.
- Print these instructions.
- Go to the Student InformationSystem (SIS). Log in with your Penn College username and password. You received your username and password in your acceptance packet. (It is the same username and password that you used to request off-site testing.)
- If you have trouble logging in, please contact the Student Help Desk (570-322-7154).
- After the student has read the instructions and is ready to begin, enter the password that you received in the instructional e-mail.
- Note: You will need to enter the password only one time per testing session. A testing session ends once the student has exited the SIS.
- After the proctor has entered the password, you may begin testing. Each test will conclude automatically once time has run out.
"What do I need to do next?"
The Pre-enrollment Handbook provides answers to this frequently asked question. It is your guide and your to-do list for your pre-enrollment journey. It lists of all of the steps that you need to complete from placement testing through the first day of classes. It also provides contact information for offices and people who might be important to you, and contains a comprehensive list of significant dates.
Students who take placement tests on campus will receive a hard copy of the Handbook on test day. Students who test off-site, or who prefer earlier access to the steps, may view and print a copy of the Handbook below.