Reading, Writing & Math Course Placement

‌ Each student must satisfy basic skills course requirements for mathematics, reading and writing. Placement into or exemption from the required courses in mathematics, reading and writing will be determined by results of the ACT, Transfer Evaluation Report (TER), and/or course placement tests.


Transfer students will be placed in basic skills reading courses based on the following placement methods:

1) Students with a transfer GPA of 2.0 or higher, who have completed 25 or more transfer credits will be granted a reading waiver.

2) If students have completed fewer than 25 transfer credits, the freshmen reading placement scale will be utilized for initial placement:

Freshmen Reading Placement

2.99 or lower High School GPA
with Reading ACT subscore of 21 or Lower
= ENGL 103

2.99 or lower High School GPA
with Reading ACT subscore of 22-23
= ENGL 104

Reading ACT subscore of 24 or Higher
(regardless of High School GPA)
= Waiver

3.0 or higher High School GPA
(regardless of Reading ACT subscore)
= Waiver

3) Transfer students who do not qualify for a waiver by one of the above criteria will complete the COMPASS Reading Test, described below.


COMPASS Reading Test 

This is a computer-based test that will be scheduled prior to your individual registration appointment. Practice tests are available at the following website, where you will select “reading test” to prepare for your placement exam:

Your placement into  English 103 or English 104 will assist you in reading and understanding a variety of complex texts, an essential skill that is important to your success in college. To ensure that you have been placed correctly—neither below nor beyond your level of preparation—and to move toward the completion of your degree program in the most successful, timely manner possible, students are permitted one retest with the ACT Compass Reading Test. 

For further information regarding testing for incoming transfer students, please contact us at 989-964-4070 or


Students will be placed into Writing courses by equivalent transfer credit, or utilizing the Freshmen Placement Scale using ACT score, if available.

Freshmen Placement

ACT English Subscore:

Course Placement:

15 or Lower

ENGL 080


ENGL 111

32 or Higher

ENGL 111 Waived

Students without transferable credit or ACT scores must complete a writing sample. Students will select one of two topics and write an essay, and are allowed 40 minutes.

* Scrap paper is included for constructing a rough draft.
* Students' writing is critiqued on style, grammar, punctuation, spelling, paragraph structure, sentence structure, etc.

Placement: Members of the English Department read and evaluate transfer student essays. Based on their consensus, the student is placed into the appropriate course, English 080 (Writing Skills) and English 111 (Elements of Composition I).


Students will be placed in math courses by equivalent transfer credit, or utilizing the Freshmen Placement scale based on ACT score, if available.

Students without transferable credit or ACT scores must take the COMPASS Mathematics placement test. 

Math Placement

ACT Math Subscore:

Course Placement:

16 or Lower

MATH 081


MATH 082


MATH 082 Waived


MATH 103 Waived


MATH 140

28 or Higher

MATH 161

**Please consult with your Academic Advisor before selecting a Math course, as course requirements vary by major. 

Students may try to improve their initial placement by taking a mathematics placement test. Students may take this placement test no more than 2 times.

The COMPASS Math Placement Test

The current math placement test is a COMPASS (Computer-adaptive Placement Assessment and Support System) test developed by ACT. The test is multiple-choice, computer-based, and designed to evaluate students’ ability levels in Pre-algebra, Algebra, College Algebra, and Trigonometry. For more information on the COMPASS Mathematics Placement Test visit

More information, including study materials, is also available online at