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Online Placement Assessments/NSQ Information

NOTE - the last day for incoming students to complete placement assessment retests will be Sunday, January 22. All placement assessments will be closed to incoming Spring 2017 students on Monday, January 30, 2017.


Success at Temple University does not follow one particular pathway, as our students are varied and diverse in their backgrounds. For incoming students, it is important that they start on the right track, beginning with determining the appropriate courses for their first semester. Some students may be placed into courses using their SAT or ACT scores while others will need to take placement assessments. Placement Assessments are offered in English, Math, and Foreign Languages.

Temple’s Placement Assessments serve to evaluate different levels of academic preparation. While you should take these assessments seriously, the goal is not simply to achieve high scores, but to demonstrate readiness for particular coursework, so that you can be properly advised. This is why it is important that you take an assessment independently, and are placed into courses that demonstrate your ability. An appropriate program of study includes courses that are not above or below your level of preparation, but offers an appropriate challenge and chance at success.

To determine which Placement Assessments they are required to take, students should carefully read the information below. Transfer students should also refer to Placement Assessment exemptions on their Evaluation of Transfer Credit statement (sent from the Admissions Office). The New Student Questionnaire and all required assessments must be completed before you are permitted to schedule your on-campus Academic Advising/Orientation Session to meet with your advisor and register for classes.

Please note that students with disabilities requiring accommodations for placement assessments must first contact Disability Resources and Services before they start the placement process.

Assessment Guidelines for Freshmen Students

New Student Questionnaire (NSQ)

All incoming students must complete the New Student Questionnaire (NSQ).

Math and English Assessment

Students can be placed into Math and English courses using SAT or ACT scores. To determine if a Placement Assessment is required, students can review the table below; however, if a student was admitted under the Temple Option, or has not submitted SAT or ACT scores to Temple University, an assessment is required. A student may also choose to take an assessment if they feel their SAT or ACT scores do not accurately reflect their knowledge. Note that it's possible for a student to receive more than one course placement if, for instance, they receive an automatic course placement based on their SAT/ACT scores and then take an assessment to try to place into a higher level course. In these cases the student may take the highest course into which they place.

Note that because of changes to the SAT in March 2016, SATs taken after March 1, 2016 will NOT be considered when calculating automatic course placements for the Spring 2017 term.

Math SAT & ACT Scores Course Placement
Highest SAT Math/ACT Math score is less than or equal to 450 (SAT)/17 (ACT) Math 0701
Highest SAT Math/ACT Math score is between 460 (SAT)/18 (ACT) and 540 (SAT)/23 (ACT) A Math Assessment is required.
Highest SAT Math/ACT Math score is equal to or greater than 550 (SAT)/24 (ACT) General Ed. Quantitative Literacy, Math 1015 or STAT 1001
Highest SAT Math/ACT Math score is equal to or greater than 650 (SAT)/29 (ACT) General Ed. Quantitative Literacy, Math 1015 or STAT 1102
Highest SAT Math/ACT Math score is equal to or greater than 700 (SAT)/32 (ACT) Math 1041 (or lower level courses listed above)
English SAT & ACT Scores Course Placement
Highest SAT Writing/ACT English-Writing score is less than or equal to 460 (SAT)/19 (ACT) English 0701/0711
Highest SAT Writing/ACT English-Writing score is between 470 (SAT)/20 (ACT) and 550 (SAT)/23 (ACT) An English Assessment is required.
Highest SAT Writing/ACT English-Writing score is equal to or greater than 560 (SAT)/24 (ACT) English 0802/0812

Foreign Language Assessment

If a student has previously studied a foreign language they are required to take the Foreign Language Placement Assessment if they are:
  • in a B.A. program in the College of Liberal Arts, College of Science and Technology, or Tyler School of Art,
  • a Communication Sciences major within the College of Public Health,
  • an International Business Administration major within the Fox School of Business and Management, or
  • interested in taking a foreign language course at Temple.

Transfer Students Additional Information

Students who have previously studied at another institution may be eligible to transfer credits to Temple University. All transfer credits are evaluated by the University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions. For more information, please see Temple’s Undergraduate Bulletin, and the information below.

English Assessment

Incoming Students who transfer a course that has been evaluated as a direct equivalent to Temple’s English 0802 or 0812 are exempt from taking the English Placement Assessment. Additionally, transfer students who completed an English Placement Assessment at their previous institution and tested out of their previous institution’s English Composition (or comparable requirement) can be waived from the English 0802 requirement if they have documentation of their placement and have successfully completed a higher level English/Writing course. Acceptable documentation includes an official letter from the university’s Registrar, advising unit, a faculty member, or other appropriate university official. Since the waiver cannot be considered until the student meets with an advisor and presents the needed documentation, students who believe they are eligible for this waiver must still complete Temple’s English Placement Assessment.

Math Assessment

Students considering or required to complete Math 1021 or higher, or a Science course with a pre-requisite of Math 1021 or higher, and who have not automatically been placed based on SAT/ACT scores, are required to take a math assessment, regardless of transfer credits.

All students within the following schools who have not been automatically placed based on SAT/ACT scores, are required to take a math assessment, regardless of transfer credit:

Students within the following schools/colleges who transferred a credit bearing, QA/QB/GQ designated Math course are exempted from taking the Math Placement Assessment:

Descriptions of the Placement Assessments

New Student Questionnaire (Untimed)

The NSQ is a survey that must be completed by all incoming students.  The information is used to help design services and programs to meet the needs of Temple students.  All information is confidential.

English Assessment (90 minutes, timed)

The English Placement Assessment consists of one written essay. At assessment time, students choose one of two presented topics on which to write. Each topic presents a writer’s position on an issue and students are asked to explain in their own words what the writer is saying and then to take a position on the writer’s argument. Students are not evaluated based on having the “correct” position on an issue, but on how well they can explain the writer’s argument and present their own argument in an organized and grammatically correct essay. In order to prepare for their assessment, students may click here to view essays that meet and do not meet Temple’s writing requirements.

Because it takes time to read and score essays, there may be a delay of 5-7 days before English results are available. Although English results will not be available right away, within 1-3 days after the assessment is completed, it will be noted that an English assessment was taken and the the English assessment requirement will be satisfied.

Math Assessment (Approximately 60-90 minutes within a 48-hour window)

The Math Placement Assessment is delivered online using ALEKS, a web-based assessment and learning platform. Initially, the 20-30 assessment questions range in difficulty to gauge ability, and then questions adapt to a student’s specific knowledge. The assessment evaluates a student’s ability from elementary algebra to calculus. Some questions may require the use of a calculator which is provided onscreen by ALEKS.

The Math Assessment typically takes 60-90 minutes to complete and must be done within 48-hours of starting the assessment. A student may enter and exit the assessment multiple times without losing work, but should be sure to submit their assessment within the 48-hour window.

Students who choose to retake the math assessment have two additional attempts, using their highest score for course placement. ALEKS provides adaptive learning modules to help students improve their skills, the modules are available after the initial assessment.

  • To be reassessed, students are required to complete five hours of ALEKS Learning Modules and wait 48 hours after the completion of the first assessment before starting the second. 
  • For a third assessment, students are required to complete an additional ten hours of ALEKS Learning Modules and wait 48 hours after the completion of the second assessment before starting the third.

Foreign Language Assessment (60 minutes, timed)

Foreign Language Placement Assessments are offered in French, German, Italian and Spanish. Each assessment is multiple-choice and evaluates basic skills in Language Usage (choosing the appropriate word or phrase to complete a sentence) and Reading Comprehension (interpretation of passages written in that language).

If you have questions regarding Online Placement Assessments or if you encounter technical issues, send an email to Placements@temple.edu or call 215-204-8611.

Ready to Start Your Assessments?

You do not have to complete multiple assessments in one sitting.  You may take the individual assessments at different times/days. When you are ready to take a Placement Assessment, make sure you have a reliable internet connection and a quiet environment where you have uninterrupted time and an atmosphere conducive for assessment taking.  Please have your AccessNet username and password available.