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

  • Students with ACT English scores lower than 19, SAT verbal scores lower than 450 (Pre-March 2016),  ACT COMPASS writing skills scores lower than 80, or College Board Accuplacer sentence skills scores lower than 83 should enroll in the course sequence ENGL 0002, ENGL 1013, and ENGL 1023.
  • Students with ACT English scores of 19-27, SAT verbal scores of 480-620 (Pre-March 2016), ACT COMPASS writing skills scores of 80 or higher, or College Board Accuplacer sentence skills scores of 83 or higher should enroll in ENGL 1013 and ENGL 1023.
  • Students with ACT English scores of 28-29 or SAT verbal scores of 630-670 (Pre-March 2016) may enroll in ENGL 1013 and ENGL 1023 or in ENGL 1013H and ENGL 1023H.
  • Students with ACT English scores greater than 29 or SAT verbal scores greater than 680 (Pre-March 2016) 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 new first-year freshman students will be required to take the online mathematics placement assessment, available starting in April. 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 English section of the ACT,  below 450 (Pre-March 2016) on the verbal section of the SAT, below 80 on the Compass English section, or below 83 on the Accuplacer reading section must enroll in ENGL 0002 concurrently with ENGL 1013.
  • Students who score below 19 on the reading section of the ACT,  below 470 (Pre-March 2016) on the verbal section of the SAT, below 82 on the Compass reading section or below 78 on the Accuplacer reading  section must enroll in ENGL 0013.
  • Students who score below 19 on the mathematics section of the ACT, below 460 (Pre-March 2016) on the quantitative portion of the SAT, below 41 on the math Compass section, or below 42 on the Accuplacer college-level math section must enroll in MATH 0003.  (The Mathematical Sciences Department requires higher ACT/SAT scores for students to be placed in Math courses above MATH 0003. Please see the Course Descriptions for MATH for details.)

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 80 or higher on the Compass writing skills section or a score of 83 or higher on the Accuplacer sentence skills section, 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 may place out of ENGL 0013 by earning a score of 83 or higher on the Compass reading section or a score of 78 or higher on the Accuplacer reading section, or by earning a B or higher in both English Composition I and II while maintaining a cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.0.
  • Students who earn 70% or higher on the PALG section of the Math Placement Test may enroll in MATH 1204, a course that combines a review of pre-college algebra with college-level algebra; students who earn 80% or higher on the PALG section of the Math Placement Test may enroll in MATH 1203. Refer to information about the Math Placement Test

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

The following courses do not count toward degree credit in any college or school: ENGL 0002,ENGL 0013, and MATH 0003.

The following courses do not count toward any degree in the College of Engineering: MATH 1203, MATH 1213, MATH 1284C, and ENGL 2003.

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 advisers to determine an appropriate world language placement level. Students who omit one or more courses in the basic language sequence will receive credit for omitted courses when they have validated their high placement by passing the course into which they were placed with a “C” or better. 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) courses prior to the beginning of classes in their first term of study. Non-native speakers in the following categories are exempt from this requirement:

  1. Undergraduate students who transfer at least 24 hours of credit from U.S. institutions, including courses that meet the freshman composition requirement;
  2. 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 (Pre-March 2016);
  3. 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 diagnosed as having language competence sufficient for their level of study will not be required to enroll in ELAC courses.

The ELPT is administered by Testing Services during New Student Orientation, and there is a $15.00 charge.

Undergraduate and graduate students assessed ELAC courses are required to complete these courses during their first semester of enrollment at the university.