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Placement Testing Information

Placement tests are designed to determine a student’s current level of proficiency in the indicated subject areas. The results are used by academic advising to place the student into the appropriate math, writing, and/or foreign language courses. Students will not be permitted to register for courses until Academic Advising receives the necessary placement exam scores.

Placement exam scores are used exclusively for the purposes of assessing subject-specific competency and placement into La Verne courses. Placement test scores

  • Do not affect University of La Verne admissions decisions
  • Do not provide course or degree credit
  • Do not affect student course grades, transcripts, or GPA

Results are available through the student’s academic adviser during his/her advising and course registration session. To protect student confidentiality, the Academic Success Center does not provide placement test results to students over the phone or by email.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are placement tests and why am I required to take them?

Placement testing in math is required for all incoming freshmen and for transfer students who have not completed this requirement elsewhere. A placement test in writing is required for new admits who have ACT scores but no SAT scores or new admits without SAT Critical Reading and Writing scores. Students (1) majoring in a language, (2) in a major with a language concentration, (3) majoring in a degree requirement with a foreign language competence requirement, AND/OR (4) who wish to take a foreign language course must take a foreign language placement exam as well.

Who takes Placement Tests?

Generally, all new, confirmed freshmen and transfer students are expected to take a math placement exam unless they can document a passing score on the Advanced Placement exam or have transferred the appropriate college level course(s) from another institution. New admits without SAT Critical Reading and Writing scores on file with the University will also be required to take the writing placement exam (including students with ACT scores only). New students who have transferred the appropriate college level course(s) from another institution may be exempt from the writing placement exam.

How do I decide if I need to take placement tests or which ones?

If you are not required to take a particular test, Academic Advising will contact you shortly after you confirm your intent to attend La Verne. If you transferred (or plan to transfer) a course from another university or took an AP test and earned a score of a 3, 4, or 5, contact Amanda Miller at extension (909) 448-4581 to determine if the class or score exempts you from having to take any component of the placement exam.

Please note: If Academic Advising or the Office of the Registrar has not specifically indicated you are not required to take one or more of the placement exam components, it is in your best interest to take the placement exam. After your AP scores or transcripts have been received and evaluated by the office of the Registrar, those scores will take the place of any placement scores. However, if your scores are delayed and you fail to take the exam, you will not be allowed to register.

Why should I take the foreign language exam if it is not required?

Foreign language placement tests could place a student into the second semester of a foreign language or as high as an advanced/culture course. Placement into an intermediate course will satisfy one of your humanities general education requirements sparing you one to two semesters of course work. If your major requires a foreign language, the hour spent completing this test could result in up to five (5) fewer semesters of foreign language courses.

How long will the placement tests take?

Placement tests are timed but the testing session will likely last longer than the tests themselves. Please allow extra time for your placement testing session. The math test is 45 minutes long. The writing and foreign language tests are an hour each.

Math Test Details

At the initial placement testing session, students will be permitted to choose between two math placement exams: the Basic Algebra (Test A) exam and the Calculus Readiness  (Test B) exam. It is recommended that students enroll in the highest level math class for which they qualify (and is appropriate for their majors). More information of the material covered in each test can be found on our Math Placement Prep page. Each exam is 45 minutes long and is designed to assess the student’s current skill level in the indicated areas. The exams are computer-based and calculators are not permitted.

Due to the wide variability in levels at which remedial mathematics courses are taught at various institutions, students transferring in mathematics courses which appear to be equivalent to courses at La Verne must still take a mathematics placement exam to determine their mathematical aptitude and the correct level of course into which they should be placed. For effective placement, students should enroll in a math course in the semester immediately following the test.

Math placement scores are valid for one year only. A student may retake a placement test one time if they do not feel the first test was an accurate reflection of their abilities, but there must be a minimum of three weeks between tests (to allow time for studying) and no retests will be permitted after the start of the semester.

Writing Test Details

Some students are also required to take a writing placement examination. This exam consists of a typed written response to a prompt issued by the Writing Department. Using Microsoft Word, students will have one hour to complete their written responses. The Writing Department then individually scores each exam using a blind review process. The exam score will determine student placement into RCS 110 College Writing A or RCS 110 College Writing A with the addition of a one-unit Studio (RCS 110S).

A placement test in writing is required for new admits who have ACT scores but no SAT scores. Incoming students with combined SAT Critical Reading and Writing scores will be evaluated and placed based on submitted scores.

For the most up-to-date information about courses and writing placement, please see the Writing Department pages.  For information about challenging placement, please see the Writing Department page for challenging a course.

Foreign Language Test Details

ASC offers foreign language placement exams in French, German, and Spanish.  Each foreign language exam is one hour long and divided into two components: grammar and reading comprehension.

Undeclared majors and those students whose majors include a foreign language requirement should take the exam. It is in the best interest of all students to take the foreign language exam, even if it is not required by their major.

Depending on the examinee score, benefits of taking the foreign language exam may include:

  • Appropriate placement into a foreign language course;
  • Immediate placement into the second-semester foreign language course;
  • A waiver for the foreign language requirement; and/or
  • General Education (Breadth Requirement) credit within the Humanities area.

Please note: Students may not satisfy the foreign language requirement by taking a placement test in the same language as the primary language of instruction used in their secondary school/high school.

Students who wish to take a foreign language test in a language other than those referenced above may do so through Brigham Young University’s (BYU) Foreign Language Achievement Testing Services (FLATS). Non-BYU students must pay a test registration fee and should self-register through the FLATS website. Visit for the most recent exam offerings, updated test registration fee information, or to register for an exam. Please call ASC at (909) 448-4342 to find out more information about test administration.

Should I study for Placement Tests?

Placement tests are very important. Improper placement could result in a loss of time and money. You should review concepts and material that you already know before the exam. You should not “cram” new concepts and material into your short-term memory prior to the exam. Cramming and/or not preparing properly for your exam could result in course placement that is not reflective of your actual abilities.  Please see our Math Placement Prep page for some review materials.

When will I receive the results of my placement tests?

You will receive the results of you placement exams when you meet with your academic advisor to select your classes.

Will arrangements be made for students in need of accommodations?

The Academic Success Center works in concert with the Disabled Student Services to provide an ideal testing environment for students. Please contact Cindy Denne to make arrangements. Students must register with the Services for Students with Disabilities department and provide documentation of their disability to receive services.