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Placement FAQs


What are placement exams?

The placement exams are used to determine your readiness for college level courses. 

Are placement exams free?

ACCUPLACER: The first attempt is free. However, second and third attempts require a retest fee which is payable on our website.

ALEKS: The first proctored attempt is free if taken at the UCO campus. However, a second or third attempt will require a retest fee. Please note you are required to take one un-proctored attempt, but it will not count toward satisfying remediation requirements. There is no fourth proctored attempt for the Math exam.

How many placement exams are there?

UCO administers three tests:

  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Math

What do I need to score on the tests?

To be placed into college level courses, you need the following scores.

  • Writing: 237 or higher
  • Reading: 240 or higher
  • Math: 45 or higher for College Algebra; 20 or higher for Math for General Education

What do I do if I didn't get the score that I wanted? 

You have two options:

  • Retake the exam after waiting one week (ACCUPLACER) or 24hrs (ALEKS). You must also pay the required retest fee(s). You must call us once you have completed payment to schedule an appointment. OR
  • Take the developmental course(s) you are placed into.

Are study materials available?

Please visit Placement Study Guides regarding study materials.

Are calculators allowed for the Math test?

Personal calculators are not allowed for the Math test. There will be a calculator embedded within the exam; however, it will only be available on certain questions.

Can I take the exams as often as I want?

No. You can retake the ACCUPLACER two times. You can retake a proctored attempt of the ALEKS two times.  

What should I know before taking the Writing (English) test?

This test evaluates a test-taker’s ability to revise and edit multi-paragraph text:

  • Development of ideas
  • Organization of ideas
  • Effective language use
  • Sentence structure
  • Usage of standard English conventions
  • Punctuation

What should I know before taking the Reading Comprehension test?

This test assesses the test-taker’s ability to derive meaning from a range of texts and to determine the meaning of words and phrases in short and extended contexts. Passages on the test cover a range of content areas, writing modes, and complexities. Both single and paired passages are included. Four broad knowledge and skills categories are assessed:

  • Information and ideas
  • Rhetoric
  • Synthesis
  • Vocabulary

What should I know before taking the Math test?

  • Real numbers
  • Equations & inequalities
  • Linear and quadratic functions
  • Exponents & polynomials
  • Rational expressions
  • Radical expressions
  • Exponentials and logarithms
  • Geometry & trigonometry

I live out-of-state. Is there any way to take the test somewhere else?

For out-of-state students that are unable to take placement exams on campus, remote proctoring is available. This allows students to take their placement exam(s) on their personal home computers/laptops which have functional web cameras. UCO utilizes two companies for this purpose:

  • Examity: used for ACCUPLACER English/Reading placement exams and
  • ProctorU: used for ALEKS Math placement exams

Examity and ProctorU are not free services. You are responsible for any fees charged by the companies. 

Please navigate to the Remote Proctoring page for more information.