Success in college-level course work requires minimum levels of proficiency in math, reading, and English. Therefore, all new students must meet placement requirements to demonstrate their skills in these three areas.
To help us evaluate your skills, you may meet placement requirements in any combination of the following three ways:
Take placement tests
Placement testing includes a series of three tests: math, reading, and English. Most students take at least some part of the placement tests.
If you have completed course work at another institution, you might be exempted from all or parts of the placement tests. Exemptions will be determined during the evaluation of your transcript(s).
Submit SAT/ACT scores
You may be exempted from parts of the placement test if you have earned SAT/ACT scores that meet the criteria listed below.
Note: Scores must be sent to Penn College directly from the College Board or ACT.
- If your SAT Math test score is 580 or higher, or your ACT Math test score is 23 or higher, you will have the opportunity to take the College's Intermediate Algebra and Functions and Graphs placement tests. Scores on these placement tests may qualify you for placement into a higher level math class. See Why should you take the Functions & Graphs placement test?
- If your SAT Math test score is below 580, or your ACT Math test score is below 23, you will take the College's Pre-Algebra/Elementary Algebra and Intermediate Algebra placement tests.
- An SAT Reading test score of 27 or higher, or an ACT Reading score of 21 or higher, will result in exemption from the reading placement test.
- If you score below 27 on the SAT or below 21 on ACT, you will take the reading placement test.
- An SAT Writing and Language test score of 28 or higher will result in exemption from the English placement test and placement into the first required English course.
- If your score is below 28, you will take the English placement test.
- If your score is between an 8 and 27 and you submitted the optional SAT essay, we will evaluate your SAT essay to determine your placement.
- An ACT English score of 21 or higher will result in exemption from the English placement test, and placement directly into the first required English course.
You may choose to take the English placement test regardless of your SAT/ACT score.
SAT/ACT scores expire!
SAT/ACT scores are valid for two academic years after the completion date.
For example, if you completed SAT/ACT testing in February 2019, those test results will be eligible for use in placement for enrollment through, but not beyond, the Spring 2021 semester.
Placement into your first semester courses will be based on your current skill levels. If your skills meet the established minimum levels, you will be placed in the courses specified for your major. If your current skills fall short of the required levels, you will be required to take developmental course work before moving forward with prescribed course work. If, however, your current skills reveal that you are significantly underprepared for college-level work, your admission to Penn College may be rescinded until the identified deficiencies are remediated. See catalog information on placement testing deficiencies.