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Placement Exams

Placement Exams

Placement exams help Washington State University advisors place you into the most appropriate college-level math or writing course. These are not exams that you pass or fail, but rather an exam that gives us an idea of the skills you currently have.  Success in both Math and English establishes a crucial foundation for further academic progress.

You do not need to complete Math or Writing Placement Exams if you are already transferring college-level (above 100 level) Math or English courses to WSU. If this is the case, please ensure that final transcripts have been submitted to the Office of Admissions.  

Math Placement Exam

The WSU Math Placement Assessment is offered through ALEKS which is a fully automated, adaptive system that covers material from Basic Math through Pre-calculus. The exam will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. Your results are reported to you immediately after the exam so you know what classes you will be eligible to register for during your Alive! orientation program. 

Note: You will not be able to register for a WSU math course without either a math placement score, transfer credit for a prerequisite course, or AP Calculus credit.

Click here for more information regarding the ALEKS Math Placement Exam.

Math Placement Re-Assessment:

Looking to improve your math placement score? 

Writing Placement Exam

The exam is offered during Alive!. Your results will be available on the final day of orientation during your academic advising appointment. A $40.00 testing fee will be billed to your student account (testing fees are not included in the orientation/matriculation fee).
The writing exam is administered in a two-hour session. You will write two essays, one argumentative and the other self-reflective.

Do I need to take the writing placement exam?
All incoming students who have not received equivalent credit for English 101 must take the writing placement exam. Students who have received scores of 4 or above on the AP English Language/Comp exam and/or a 5 on the AP English Literature/Comp exam will receive credit for English 101 and do not have to take the writing placement exam. Also, students in the Honors College do not need to take the writing placement exam.

For additional information regarding the writing placement exam, contact the Writing Assessment Office at 509-335-7959 or visit the Writing Assessment Office online.

Off-Site Alive! Orientation Proctored Exam Opportunity

Proctored Writing Placement Exams will be offered in California and Hawai'i. Below are the locations we will be offering these proctored exams:

  • Oahu - Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 6 P.M. - 8 P.M. at the Kroc Center in Ewa Beach
    • Students must check-in before 5:45 P.M. with a photo ID
    • Address: 91-3257 Kualakai Pkwy, Ewa Beach, HI 96706
  • Maui - Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 11 A.M. - 1 P.M. at Seabury Hall in Makawao
    • Students must check-in before 10:45 A.M. with a photo ID
    • Address: 480 Olinda Rd, Makawao, HI 96768
  • Southern California - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 5 P.M. - 7 P.M. at the Carmel Mountain Ranch Library in San Diego
    • Students must check-in before 4:45 P.M. with a photo ID
    • Address: 12095 World Trade Dr, San Diego, CA 92128
  • Southern California (Orange County)- TBD
  • Northern California - TBD

To register for these exams and be informed of updates:

  1. Student must be registered for an Alive! Orientation
  2. Please email Kim Dela Cruz at kimberly.delacruz@wsu.edu with your full name, WSU ID number, and the location of the exam

Test Accommodations
Accommodations for the placement exams are available to students with a documented disability or medically related condition. Please contact the Access Center to arrange accommodations. You will be asked to send documentation of your condition.

Foreign Language Placement Exam

The Foreign Language Placement Exam is offered through WebCAPE, which is a fully automated, adaptive system that covers applicable material from the language first semester through fourth semester.  The exam will take approximately 25 minutes to complete, and costs $10.  The exam score results are reported to you immediately after the exam so you know which class you will be eligible to register for during Alive! orientation program, or at any time you take the exam.

NOTE:  You will not be able to register for a WSU language course without either a language placement score, transfer credit for a prerequisite course, or AP language credit.

Current language exams that are available to take are:  Chinese, French, German, Russian, Spanish.  For Arabic, Italian, Japanese, or Korean, please contact the Department of Foreign Languages at:  Thompson Hall 110, 509-335-4135, forlang@wsu.edu.  If students place above the highest score level of their language, they should also contact the Department for placement.