Marian University is committed to the academic success of students. The placement exams used by the University are provided by Accuplacer, a division of the college Board, and are administered on computer. Students are encouraged to take the exam seriously. The results of the exam and the student’s academic history are used by Marian to determine whether students can begin their university career by taking all college-level, credit-bearing courses or whether they will need to spend some time in non-credit bearing courses. The test results may also be used by the University to guide students toward additional academic support.


Marian has created different testing options giving students more flexibility when scheduling their exams. By providing different options for testing, students are better able to focus solely on the exam. The results are important in determining course placement of both incoming freshman and transfer students.

Students can choose from the following testing options:

Remote Testing allows students to take the Marian University assessment off-site (closer to home) with an approved proctor (remote testing guidelines can be found in the column to the right on this page).

Individual Testing allows students to take the Marian University assessment on-site (Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.).

Students must complete the Accuplacer assessments prior to their scheduled SOAR date. This will allow Marian’s learning specialists and academic advisors the time necessary to carefully consider each student’s entire academic history (high school grades, high school course selection, ACT scores, and placement exam scores) before recommending course placements.


What exams will I take?
Students who will be required to complete an Accuplacer assessment may do so in the subject areas of elementary algebra and/or sentence skills. Depending on individual results, some students may also need to complete the Accuplacer assessment in the following areas of arithmetic or college-level math and/or reading and/or writing.

  • Elementary Algebra Exam The elementary algebra exam measures your ability to perform basic algebraic operations and to solve problems that involve elementary algebraic concepts. This exam is untimed.
  • Reading Comprehension Exam The reading comprehension exam measures how well you understand what you read. Some of the questions ask you to decide how two sentences are related, while others ask you specific questions about reading passages of varying lengths. This test is untimed.
  • Sentence Skill Exam Two types of questions are given in this test. You will be asked to correct a sentence by choosing a word or phrase to substitute for an underlined portion of a sentence. In the other type of question, you will be asked to rewrite a sentence in a specific way without changing the meaning. This test is untimed.
  • Written Essay The written essay measures your ability to write effectively. You will be given 45 minutes to respond to a computerized writing prompt.
  • Arithmetic Exam The arithmetic exam measures your ability to perform basic operations and solve problems that involve fundamental arithmetic concepts. This test is untimed.
  • College-Level Mathematics Exam The college-level mathematics exam assesses your proficiency in intermediate algebra through pre-calculus. This test is untimed.

How long does the test take?
The total length of time varies from one to three hours depending on the individual student.

What should I bring with me?
Scratch paper will be provided by the test proctor, and a computer-based calculator will be available for select questions. Students are not allowed to use personal calculators or any other resources. Students will need to provide photo proof of identification on the day of their scheduled exam.

What is the difficulty level of the questions on the Accuplacer exam?
Each of the Accuplacer tests are adaptive, meaning that the computer automatically determines which questions are presented next, based on the student’s response to prior questions. Thus, this technique reduces the amount of questions that need to be answered compared to a traditional paper-and-pencil exam.

Can I skip a question and come back to it?
Since Accuplacer tests are adaptive, students must answer every question when it is first presented. Student must answer each question in order to proceed to the next question. Once answering a question, students may not return to previous questions to review them or change answers.

How can I prepare for the exams?
To help prepare for the exams, students can choose to review basic concepts in reading, mathematics and English. Students may find GED, ACT or SAT review books (available at bookstores and public libraries) helpful in reviewing basic skills. Students can also prepare for the ACCUPLACER assessments by reviewing the Accuplacer Study Guide or by visiting the web sites listed in the resource portion of this page.


If students feel that they did not test to the best of their ability, they can request to retake the entire exam or portions of the exam. Retakes are granted on an individual basis by contacting the Coordinator of Academic Testing at 920.923.8625. Click here for Accuplacer Retest Policy