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Math Placement Testing

The Office of Undergraduate Education administers the COMPASS Math Placement Exams to students entering UIS who need to complete General Education college-level math courses. Developed by the makers of the ACT exam, COMPASS exams provide a more in-depth assessment of students’ skills and help college administrators and advisors determine the most appropriate class placement for their new students.

Spring semester 2014 testing schedule:

Mondays — 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Wednesdays — 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Fridays — 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Students entering UIS with fewer than 30 credit hours are required to complete two (2) UIS college-level math courses to meet the General Education math requirement. In some cases, your general education math courses are determined by your major because some majors require specific math classes as pre-requisites to the major course of study. For example, Calculus is required for Computer Science, Math, and some science majors.

The math courses you take are governed by the placement system utilized by the Math Department at UIS. Two outcomes are possible: 1) placement into a college-level math course appropriate for your skills and your intended major; or 2) placement into a developmental math course to build your skills for future success in a UIS college-level math class. All math placements are made with your success in mind.

The Math Department at UIS uses a combination of ACT Math sub scores, COMPASS Math Placement Test score, prior college-level math credit, and the intended major to determine which math classes you are eligible to register for this fall. Based on this information, you may be placed in a college-level math course appropriate for your major or a developmental math course to further prepare you for college-level math. If you do not have prior college-level math credit, use the table below to determine if you are required to take the COMPASS Math Placement Test.

Your Anticipated Major

Your ACT Math Sub Score

Required to Test

Biology, Clinical Laboratory Science, Communications, Criminal Justice, English, Environmental Studies, Global Studies, History, Legal Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology/Anthropology, Visual Arts

22 and below

Required to Test

Accounting, Business Administration, Computer Science, Economics, Management, Management Information Systems, or anyone wishing to take Business Calculus

24 and below

Required to Test

Chemistry, Mathematics, Pre-Med Biology, Pre-Med Clinical Laboratory Science, or any planning to take Calculus I

26 and below

Required to Test

Transfer students who have not already completed general education math courses, and whose ACT math subscore is 22 or below (24 or below for busines and computer science majors, 26 or below math and science majors) are also required to take the COMPASS math placement exam.

Information regarding Placement Testing is sent to newly-admitted students as they prepare for Orientation. It is recommended that new entering freshmen complete Math Placement testing prior to attending orientation by clicking on the link or copy and paste, https://illinois.edu/fb/sec/1998251. Testing is scheduled at UIS through out the year. Contact the Advising Center for days and times. Testing can be scheduled at remote testing locations through Illinois and the United States. Please call the Advising Center to schedule a remote exam. You are encouraged to review the sample practice questions prior to taking the exam. It is best to complete testing prior to meeting with your advisor to register for classes.


Reading/Writing Placement Testing

New entering students who have not already completed the equivalent of ENG composition may be required to take a Reading/Writing placement exam. Placement is determined by the ACT subscore in English & Reading. Use the chart below to determine if you must take the COMPASS Reading Placement test.

Your ACT test section

Your ACT Sub Score

Required to Test

ACT English

20 and below

Required to Test

ACT Reading

20 and below

Required to Test

For more information on Placement Exams contact the Advising Center


Foreign Language placement testing

Study in a modern language other than English is required for some majors and programs of study. Students wishing to study a foreign language may have to take a language placement exam. Contact the Modern Languages department for more information.

International students whose first language is not English may be required to take an English language placement exam. Placement into UIS composition courses is based on a combination of ACT/SAT and TOEFL or Millicet scores. Contact the ESL office at (217) 206-8356 for more information.

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