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Placement Exams and Proficiency at SUNY Plattsburgh

All students, without transfer credit, will take designated English and math courses to satisfy their general education (GE) requirements. A placement exam or demonstrated competency is required for enrollment in these courses. As well, students in certain majors requiring calculus and/or chemistry or those continuing in a foreign language must take additional placement exams or demonstrate proficiency in other ways. Read on for details.

Required Placement Exams or Proficiency/Competency

English Placement Exam

  • Entering students without ENG101 credit take a required Directed Self-Paced questionnaire that helps determine writing competency and indicates which of these two courses might best suit particular students' needs. This questionnaire is available in Moodle. Note: login is required.
  • Counsel by composition faculty regarding this registration decision is available at summer orientation sessions or by contacting the First-Year Composition program's director, Dr. Tom Friedrich, at [email protected]. Based on what students conclude, they register for ENG100 or ENG101. In the first week of all sections of ENG100 and ENG101, students also take an in-class diagnostic; if faculty readers conclude students would be better served by being in another class, students will be thus informed before the unrestricted drop/add period ends.
  • Students who take ENG100 must earn a grade of C (2.0) or better before enrolling in ENG101.

Math Competency Test (To Enroll in any Math Course beyond MAT 101)

  • All students must complete a mathematics GE course to graduate.
  • Before registering for any math course (other than MAT 101 Elementary College Algebra), students must demonstrate competency in arithmetic and basic algebra by having an old math SAT score (prior to March 2016) of at least 460, a new math SAT score (March 2016 or later) of at least 500, a math ACT score of at least 16, previous math transfer credit, or by passing the Math Competency Test.
  • The Math Competency Test is offered during opening weekend before classes begin, during the advisement period midway through the semester, and during final exam week at the end of the semester. For additional information, contact the Mathematics Department, Hawkins Hall 244B, (518) 564-4133.

Calculus-Readiness Placement Exam (To Enroll in any calculus course)

  • Students wishing to take Calculus (either MAT 221 or 224), CSC 217 or CSC 221, must show readiness to do so. Readiness may be demonstrated by passing MAT 102 Pre-calculus, having transfer credit for MAT 102 Pre-calculus, or by passing the Calculus-Readiness Exam.
  • This placement test may only be taken once. Students who do not pass must take MAT102 in order to show readiness.
  • To take this placement test on-line, go to Moodle. Note: login is required.
  • The paper-based version of this placement test is offered Opening Weekend, Final Test Week, and during the two-week Course Advisement period; specific dates, times, and locations will be announced via the SUNY Plattsburgh Digest on campus email.
  • MAT224 has an additional co-requisite of Trigonometry (MAT104) which is NOT covered by this Calculus Readiness Exam.

Chemistry Placement Exam 2017 (Required only if taking CHE 111)

  • Students required to take CHE 111 Fundamental Principles of Chemistry I, must take this exam to determine readiness to take the one semester course. Majors requiring CHE 111 or its equivalent CHE 106-CHE 107 are:
    • Biochemistry
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Cytotechnology
    • Ecology
    • Environmental Geology Study Option
    • Environmental Science (BS )
    • Geology (BS)
    • Medical Technology
    • Nutrition
    • Physics.
  • Exam results will determine if the student must take CHE 106 and CHE 107 (a two-semester approach to CHE 111) or is ready to take CHE 111 in a one semester format.
  • To take this on-line exam, go to Moodle. Note: login is required.

Optional Examinations for Enrollment, Placement or Proficiency

Foreign Language Placement

Students who wish to take a language course in French, Spanish, German or Italian, or pursue a minor/major in a language that is offered through the Modern Languages & Cultures Department are placed in the following manner:

  1. Students who have completed up to two years of a modern language in high school may take language courses at the 111-level.
  2. Students who have completed three to four consecutive years of a modern language in high school may take language courses at the 112, 150 or 151 level.
  3. Students who wish to be placed above the level indicated by their high school record or are fluent speakers of the language being pursued may take intermediate college level language courses as determined by their performance on the WebCAPE foreign language placement examination.  Students should take the placement examination before coming to Summer Orientation.

WebCAPE Placement Exam Instructions:

  • In your internet browser, go to:
  • Enter password: plattsburgh17
  • Select the language: French, German, Spanish, or Italian.
  • Enter your Plattsburgh Banner I.D. number. This is the 9-digit number that you should have received from the Registrar's Office.
  • Click on "Continue". The first screen is a practice item. After that, you will begin the exam.
  • Your placement score will be displayed at the end of the exam. Be sure to click on "Finished" to send a copy of this information to Plattsburgh.
  • If you receive an error indicating "too many connections," please refresh the page and continue working. If necessary, you can log into the exam again and follow the directions near the button labeled 'Resume' on the identity/survey page.
  • Please note: There is a 24-hour delay for this score to show up in the SUNY Plattsburgh system. Therefore, we recommend taking the exam at least a few days prior to orientation. Your results will appear on your Degree Works record for advisement purposes.

LIB Proficiency Exam

  • By passing the LIB Proficiency Exam, you meet the Information and Technology Literacy General Education requirement, but do not receive a credit hour.
  • You may only take the exam once. If you have received a grade for LIB105 or LIB200, including a "W" you are not eligible to take the exam. If you are currently enrolled and attending a LIB200 course you are not eligible to take the exam.
  • The exam is offered the Sunday before the start of the Fall and Spring semesters and during the advising period.
  • Full information on the exam is available at:

Contact Information

For Questions:

Edward Miller, Associate Dean
School of Arts & Sciences
Phone: (518) 564-3150
Hours: M-F 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Email: [email protected]