Placement Testing

Before taking a writing or math course at UMUC, you are required to take a free placement test. Please use the following links to learn more:

Introduction to Placement Testing at UMUC

To assess your skill levels in writing and math, University of Maryland University College (UMUC) uses a diagnostic tool called Accuplacer. We have found that proper placement in the critical core courses helps to ensure student success and allows students to advance more quickly to their degree goals. Our testing is done online in a proctored setting. There is no cost to you for taking the Accuplacer.

Placement testing is required before you can enroll into a math class. You are exempt from the placement requirement for math only if you are transferring credit demonstrating successful completion of MATH 106 or 107 or if you choose to begin with MATH 009.

Placement testing is not required for you to enroll into a writing class. However, you may take advantage of the placement test for writing if you would like to before enrolling into a writing course.

For your first writing course, you may enroll into WRTG 101. If you would like to review basic writing and grammar skills before taking WRTG 101, you may enroll into EDCP 103. If you choose to begin with EDCP 103, you will still be required to take WRTG 101.

You are expected to take WRTG 101 and MATH 106 or 107 within your first 15 credit hours at UMUC. Your academic advisor is your best resource for answering questions regarding this requirement.

Use of calculators, other electronic devices, and study aids are not permitted while taking a placement test.

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About the Placement Tests

Writing Placement Test

The writing placement test covers two areas: sentence skills, measuring your understanding of sentence structure, and reading comprehension, or how well you understand what you have just read. There is no essay requirement.

Math Placement Test

The math placement test covers three areas. An arithmetic test measures your ability to perform basic arithmetic operations and to solve problems that involve fundamental arithmetic concepts. The elementary test measures your ability to perform algebraic operations and to solve problems that involve elementary algebraic concepts. The college-level test measures your ability to solve problems usually found in college-level mathematics concepts.

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Best Time to Take Your Placement Tests

We recommend students take placement tests immediately upon enrollment in the university. Please remember that you cannot register for a writing or math course until you have completed placement testing.

Test Result Posting

While test results are generally downloaded to students' records on a daily basis, it is strongly recommended that placement tests be taken at least four working days before the last day of term registration. Otherwise, we cannot guarantee your results will be posted with sufficient time before the registration deadline.

Your final score is used to determine course placement. You cannot fail a placement test.

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Where to Take Your Placement Tests

Students who live in Maryland, Washington, D.C., or Northern Virginia can sit for placement tests at the Largo Testing Center or regional testing centers (Shady Grove or Waldorf), or at testing sites located on local military bases. The Largo Testing Center accepts both walk-ins and reservations. Placement tests at other local testing centers are by appointment only.

Students who live outside of the local area can use a UMUC approved alternate site.

Making Reservations with Local Centers/Sites

  • Largo: Reservations can be made by accessing the Placement Exam Registration page after logging into MyUMUC.
  • Regional Centers and Local Military Sites: Contact the facility directly by phone for a schedule and to make reservations.

Taking Tests at Alternate Sites

If you plan to take a placement test at an alternate site, you must submit the site information to Exams and Testing for approval, at least five to seven working days in advance of the date you'd like to take the test(s). Log into MyUMUC to access the Placement Exam Registration page, and then follow the prompts to register your alternate site information. Upon alternate site approval, you will be sent an e-mail confirmation with a "take-by" date. At the same time, your proctor will be e-mailed all necessary information, including your "take-by" date.

If your site is not approved, you will need to submit new information. The site you choose must have Internet access. Please follow any additional rules and policies specific to your alternate testing site as dictated by your proctor. Any site or proctor fees for approved alternate sites are your responsibility.

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Test Information for Students with Disabilities

If you have a disability or temporary disabling condition that will prevent you from taking the tests under standard test conditions, please contact Disability Services by e-mail at, or call 855-655-UMUC (8682), ext. 2287, for information on testing accommodations.

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Tips for Taking Placement Tests

  1. Relax! Arrive early to the test site, acquaint yourself with the environment, and gather your thoughts. Even though the test is online, the system is easy to use and the test is easy to take.
  2. Make sure you understand all administrative directions given to you. Don't be afraid to ask your proctors to repeat instructions you may not have understood. When prompted for your Student ID number, enter your EMPLID number. You can locate this number in MyUMUC by visiting the MyInfo section to view your ID card.
  3. Remember to answer each question as it is presented to you on the screen. You cannot skip the question and go back later; because questions are multiple-choice, take a few minutes to logically eliminate one or more choices before picking your final response.
  4. Remember—there is no failing grade. Just answer each question to the best of your ability.

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