Academic Testing

Testing FAQs

Does it matter when I take my academic tests?

Students are encouraged to complete the academic tests as early as possible. Registration for the fall term depends on placement test results. In order to have a complete schedule of classes at New Student Orientation, you should have completed your tests. Also, if you want to exercise a retest option or complete a summer course, testing early has a distinct advantage.

I just received my academic test results, and I have some questions. Whom shall I contact?

Questions about testing policies and practices should be referred to the Office of Student Success at oss@msmc.edu. Concerns about academic programs and your schedule of classes should be referred to the chair of the division in which you have declared a major.

What courses will I take in the fall term?

Final course schedules are based on academic test results, program requirements, and general education requirements.

I placed in a developmental course. I’m confused. Do I get credit for this class?

Mathematical Literacy (Math 1000) is considered a developmental course. Please note that Mathematical Literacy does not count toward general education core requirements, but it does count towards the 120 credits required to graduate. Students placing into this course may be restricted from taking certain courses within their chosen major.

If I am not getting degree credit for a developmental course, will it take me longer than four years to graduate?

The College cannot guarantee that each and every student will earn a degree in four years, but we make every effort to make this goal possible. Placement in developmental courses does not necessitate a delay in graduation. Students should work closely with their academic advisors during their college years in order to ensure they are on track and making satisfactory progress towards their degree.

What if I want to take a summer course?

Many times a student who places in a developmental course chooses to take a class over the summer at a local community or four-year college. To do this, the course must be approved by the division chairs.

How do I get a course approved?

It is the student’s responsibility to find the course at a local community or four-year college. The student should fax, mail, or email the following information to the division chair: the name of the college offering the class, the name and number of the course, and a complete description of the course. Once this information is received, the division chair will make a decision regarding whether or not the course is an acceptable substitute.

When I applied to the Mount, I wrote down history as my major. Now I want to major in biology. What should I do?

If you decide on a change in major, you need to inform the Registrar’s Office. Changing a major might necessitate the need for additional testing in mathematics. For instance, if as a history major you were exempt from math testing based on your SAT scores, but you change your major to biology, you may need to complete the math placement examination.

I was informed that I need to take the ALEKS Mathematics Placement Assessment. If I do not take the assessment, what are my options?

You will be automatically placed in a math developmental course, based on SAT/ACT scores. Mathematical Literacy (Math 1000) is considered a developmental course. Please note that Mathematical Literacy does not count toward general education core requirements, but it does count towards the 120 credits required to graduate. Students placing into this course may be restricted from taking certain courses within their chosen major.

I placed in a developmental course, but I don’t think I need it and I don’t want to take it. What can I do?

If your ALEKS math assessment score warrants placement in developmental courses, it is mandatory at Mount Saint Mary College. Students do, however, have the opportunity to test twice through the ALEKS Mathematics Placement Assessment. Students who wish to exercise the retest option should do some preparation for the test. The academic tests are reliable measures of a student’s competencies. If nothing is done to prepare for a retest, scores usually remain the same as the first time.

I am an incoming nursing major, but I was not placed in Human Anatomy and Physiology. Why not?

Academic tests are used not only to place students in developmental courses, but also to postpone their enrollment in credit-bearing classes. Students may complete these required courses once they have developed the essential academic skills needed for success in these classes. If you placed in a developmental math course, you cannot be registered for Anatomy and Physiology.

My mother called your office for my test results, and she was told I had to call. Why?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prohibits college personnel from disclosing information from a student’s record to anyone other than the student or a school official who has rights to this information. As such, we cannot inform parents of your placement examination results. Further, while we regard parents as critical support systems, we expect college-age learners to raise questions, address problems, and discuss solutions independent of their parents. To this end, we encourage the students themselves to make inquiries concerning their placement exam scores.