ACT, SAT, ACT COMPASS, and College Board Accuplacer scores are used to determine placement in university courses. Students whose scores indicate the need for additional preparation may be placed in courses designed to prepare them for college-level work. (See Arkansas Requirements for Developmental Course Placement.) Credit earned in such courses does not count toward degrees in all colleges. (See Courses That Do Not Count Toward Degrees.)
Freshman Composition Placement
- Below 19 on the English section of the ACT
- Below 450 on the Reading section of the SAT (Pre-March 2016)
- Below 490 on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section of the redesigned SAT (Post-March 2016)
- Below 80 on the Writing Skills section of the Compass (the test was discontinued in 2016 but scores are valid for five years)
- Below 83 on the Sentence Skills section of the Accuplacer Classic
- Below 255 on the Writing section of the Accuplacer Next-Generation
ENGL 1013 Composition I (ACTS Equivalency = ENGL 1013)
- ACT English scores of 19-27
- SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing scores of 490-620
- ACT Compass Writing Skills scores of 80 or higher
- College Board Accuplacer Sentence Skills scores of 83
- ACT English scores of 28-29
- SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing scores of 630-680
Students with ACT English scores of 30 or greater or SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing scores of 690 or greater may enroll in ENGL 1013H and ENGL 1023H or elect exemption. Some degree programs require credit in composition, and students should confer with their advisors before exempting.
The Math Placement Test
All students have the opportunity to take the online mathematics placement assessment. To take the assessment, or for more information regarding it and its requirements, visit the University of Arkansas Mathematical Sciences website.
Arkansas State Requirements for Developmental Course Placement
Arkansas law specifies that all first-time entering freshmen enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program will be placed in either college-level credit courses in English and mathematics or remedial courses in English composition, reading, and mathematics on the basis of their scores on specified tests.
Students who score
- below 19 on the Reading section of the ACT
- below 470 on the Reading section of the SAT (Pre-March 2016)
- below 470 on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section of the redesigned SAT (Post-March 2016)
- below 82 on the Reading section of the Compass (scores are valid for five years)
- below 78 on the Reading section of the Accuplacer Classic, or below 252 on the Reading section of the Accuplacer Next-Generation
must enroll in PLSC 2003, HIST 2003, or HIST 2013 (AP or IB credit or concurrent/transfer credit for one of these courses will also satisfy the remediation requirement). Students are exempt from reading remediation if they have a 3.0 or higher final high school GPA (based on the Arkansas standard of weighted credit for AP, IB, and concurrent enrollment only). All students, however, will be required to complete coursework as indicated by their degree plan.
Students who score
- below 19 on the mathematics section of the ACT
- below 460 on the Math section of the SAT (Pre-March 2016)
- below 510 on the Math section of the redesigned SAT (Post-March 2016), below 41 on the Algebra section of the Compass, below 42 on the College Math section of the Accuplacer Classic, below 255 on the Qualitative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics (QAS) of the Accuplacer Next-Generation, below 235 on the Advanced Algebra and Functions (AAF) of the Accuplacer Next-Generation, or below 30 on the ALEKS must enroll in MATH 1203 and MATH 0002L or MATH 1313 and MATH 0131L. All new first-year freshman students are encouraged to take the ALEKS online mathematics placement assessment. To take the assessment, or for more information regarding it and its requirements, visit the University of Arkansas Mathematical Sciences website.
Students may place out of these prescribed remedial courses with appropriate scores on the relevant subject placement tests offered through the appropriate university department:
Students may place out of ENGL 0002 by:
- earning a score of 255 or higher on the Accuplacer Next-Generation Writing test
- or by demonstrating college-level writing skills on a required essay administered during the first week of class (students in ENGL 1013 who exhibit writing challenges in their first essay may be asked to enroll concurrently in ENGL 0002)
Students will be required to register for these courses during their first term at the university and, if necessary, in subsequent terms until passing grades have been earned in all required courses. Students who need further information or clarification are encouraged to discuss their course placement with their academic advisor or dean.
Courses That Do Not Count Toward a Degree
Speech Communication Exemption Examination
Students who have had speech in high school and/or experience in public speaking may elect to take this test for exemption from or credit in COMM 1313. Both the written and oral (a five-minute impromptu speech) examinations must be passed to receive exemption or credit.
World Language Placement Examinations
Students with previous world language experience in French, German, or Spanish are encouraged to take language placement examinations offered during summer orientation. Those test scores will be used by academic advisors to determine an appropriate world language placement level. Students who omit one or more course in the basic language sequence will receive credit for omitted courses when they have validated their high placement by passing with a “C” or better the course into which they were placed. Conversation courses (3033, 4033) and self-paced (correspondence) courses may not be used to validate such prior knowledge.
General Chemistry Placement Examinations
These tests will be offered throughout the year. Students who performed at above average levels in high school chemistry may find it to their advantage to enroll directly in the second semester of general chemistry. This examination is designed to provide guidance in making this course selection. Students who place into the second semester of general chemistry and earn a grade of “C” or better in the course will also receive credit for the first semester of the course.
English Language Use by Non-Native Speakers
Non-native speakers of English admitted to undergraduate study at the University of Arkansas are required to present an acceptable writing score on one of the following tests: Internet based TOEFL (iBT), IELTS PTE Academic, or ELPT. Depending on exam scores, a student may be required to take one or more English Language and Culture (ELAC) course prior to the beginning of classes in their first term of study. Non-native speakers in the following categories are exempt from this requirement:
- Undergraduate students who transfer at least 24 hours of credit from U.S. institutions, including courses that meet the freshman composition requirement;
- Undergraduate students who have completed grades 10 through 12 in and graduated from a U.S. high school and have obtained an ACT English section score of 19 or above or a SAT verbal score of 500 or above;
- Undergraduate students with a TOEFL iBT writing score of 28 or IELTS writing score of 6.5 or PTE Academic writing score of 77 or ELPT writing score of 81.
Diagnostic and placement testing is designed to test students’ ability to use English effectively in an academic setting, and its purpose is to promote the success of non-native speakers in completing their chosen course of study at the University of Arkansas. Test results provide the basis for placement into English Language and Culture (ELAC) support courses or course sequences. Courses are offered by the Graduate School and International Education for those students whose language skills are diagnosed as insufficient for college-level work at the level to which they have been admitted (undergraduate or graduate study). Credit in ELAC courses may count toward University of Arkansas degrees. Non-native speakers assessed as having language competence sufficient for their level of study will not be required to enroll in ELAC courses.
Undergraduate and graduate students assessed ELAC courses are required to complete these courses during their first semester of enrollment at the university.