Placement Testing

Proper course placement is important in fostering the academic success of college students. In order to ensure that students enroll in courses that match their individual skill levels and prior preparation, the Massachusetts Division of Higher Education has mandated that all new students take placement tests in reading, writing and mathematics. Framingham State University uses the Reading Comprehension test and the Elementary Algebra test. These tests are provided by Accuplacer, a division of the College Board, and are administered by computer.  The writing test is designed by our English Department and is completed off-site, usually from the student's home, and done during a specific time frame.  In addition, due to University requirements, some students are asked to take the modern language placement test to determine proper placement in a foreign language course.  

Who must take placement tests?

Placement testing is required of all entering matriculated students unless they have:

  • Taken the ACCUPLACER test at another institution.
  • Transfer credits in college-level English or math.
  • A score over 510 or higher on the SAT – Critical Reading to waive the reading test.
  • A score over 600 or higher on the SAT – Critical Reading to waive the reading and writing test.
  • Completion of level IV of one foreign language.
  • The letter you receive from the FSUs Placement Testing Coordinator will explain your individual placement testing requirements.

When will the testing take place?

Students have the opportunity to take the mandatory placement tests prior to the start of each semester. Incoming students who have submitted their deposits to Framingham State University will be sent information about the tests they have to take and asked to register for a test date that is convenient to them. Results of the math, reading comprehension and modern language placement tests are provided immediately. Students will be provided the results of the writing test at their respective orientation sessions.  Retesting opportunities will be available during the summer and each semester.

What happens if a student does not pass one or more of the placement tests?

To see interpretation of Placement Code click here.

Future success at the University is by no means determined by performance on these placement tests. Nevertheless, your performance on the tests will determine the classes for which you may register. If test scores show deficiencies, students may not be able to register for college-level writing and/or math courses.

If a student does not achieve a satisfactory score on a reading or math test:

  1. Students are encouraged to retake the reading and math test.  All students are allowed one retake of the math test.  Students should review the material on their own, hopefully using the review materials available to all students on the placement testing website as well as the Math Workshop found on Blackboard.  All students who are asked to take the math test have been enrolled in the Blackboard math workshop.  Students who do not pass the second attempt of the math placement test will only be eligible for the non-credit MATH 095 General Mathematics course.  Students are also allowed to retake the reading test.  However, if the second attempt does not produce a passing score, the student will need to meet with a tutor in the Center of Academic Success and Advising to develop reading comprehension skills prior to retaking the test again.
  2.  Enroll directly into the non-credit MATH 095 General Mathematics course.  While students are certainly encouraged to review and retake the math placement test before enrolling in a non-credit course, students who do not feel that they have the necessary skills to be successful in a credit-bearing math course can certainly enroll directly into MATH 095.

Can students prepare for the mandatory placement tests?

At one level, no. Placement tests assess established degrees of academic skills mastery achieved over the span of a new or transfer student's previous educational experience. However, students should carefully read the materials on the remaining Placement Testing webpages. This packet will include descriptions of the tests and sample questions, as well as suggestions for achieving optimal performance.

What if I have a documented disability for which I will need some form of accommodation during placement testing?

Framingham State University strives to remain in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. If you do have a documented disability that requires accommodation during testing situations, our disability services providers will grant requests for reasonable accommodations well in advance of the actual placement testing. Note: the Reading Comprehension and Mathematics tests are always given in an untimed setting. No documentation is required for that accommodation.

Please take these tests seriously. Your performance will determine whether you can begin your college career by taking all college-level courses or whether you will need to spend some time (and possibly money) in review.

If you have questions, please call 508-626-4905 or e-mail

Students are only allowed one placement retake for mathematics. 

For a test prep review click on the links below:

(Studyguidezone offers a thorough PDF study guide as well as other resources, and it's free. Just be sure to scroll down the page to access free study materials.)