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Placement Testing

An integral part of your academic success will be starting in the right courses – taking the correct Math and English courses in your freshman year can affect your entire college experience. Placement is the way we decide which courses are best for you. Placement is based on:

  • your ACT/SAT scores 
  • placement assessments 
  • successful completion of prerequisite courses 
  •  If you choose a major that has a foreign language requirement, you have the option of taking the Spanish Placement test

Have questions about placement testing?


Justin Good

Academic Success Center Professional Math Tutor



WVU Potomac State College

Keyser, WV 26726

How am I Placed in Math and English Classes?

WVU Potomac State College is committed to student success. Our goal is to help students succeed academically and to progress toward graduation in a timely manner. With this in mind, students are placed into Math and English courses based on prerequisites or placement scores. Students may place by ACT Math and English scores, SAT Math and English scores, scores on the ALEKS Math Assessment, or scores on the ACCUPLACER Next-Generation Writing Test.

English Placement

Students who have no ACT/SAT scores on file or have below an 18 ACT (English section only) or 480 SAT (ERW section only, taken after March 1, 2016) or 450 SAT (Verbal section only, taken prior to March 1, 2016), have the option to take the ACCUPLACER Next Generation Writing Assessment or take ENGL 100 (2 credit studio course) along with ENGL 101. 

English placement tests can be taken online or in person.

ACCUPLACER is not timed.  You may retake the test one time. 

ACCUPLACER Practice Tests (Next Generation Writing Assessment):

View the practice ACCUPLACER test

Sign up to take the English Placement Test

Math Placement

Students who have no ACT/SAT scores on file or have below a 19 ACT (Math section only) or 510 SAT (Math section only, taken after March 1, 2016) or 460 SAT (Math section only, taken prior to March 1, 2016), have the option to take the ALEKS Math placement assessment or take a first-level math course (MATH 121 with co-req or MATH 122, depending on the major).  

The cost for students to take the ALEKS test is $25.00, and will be paid by the student online to ALEKS when the student first enters the program. Students will need to request access by filling out the survey at the link below. Further instructions will be sent to the student’s WVU email address.

Sign up to take the Math Placement test

You must take the first attempt as practice. Only attempts 2, 3, or 4 will be proctored and used for placement into a class. Eight hours of study modules must be completed within ALEKS in between the practice and proctored test attempts.

You are required to use the Respondus Lockdown Browser with monitor. You can download this for free on the ALEKS website.

The following rules will be strictly applied to proctored exams:

1. You will have a max of 2 hours to take the exam.

2. You must have a good connection to the internet and a camera to take a proctored test.

3. The entire test will be proctored and recorded. You will not be able to interact with the proctor. WVU will review the recorded exam after it has been validated.

4. You may not use a calculator, the internet, a phone or any other electronic device.

5. You may not wear headphones, earbuds or a watch of any kind.

6. You may only have paper and pencil in front of you. You must show your scrap paper (front & back) to the camera prior to starting the exam and at the conclusion.

7. You must be alone in the room at all times.

8. The password for the proctored exams will be provided.

You will be required to review and agree to the Integrity Statement in eCampus prior to entering the ALEKS website.

Mathematics Requirements by Major  

Placement Requirements by Math Course   

ALEKS is a powerful artificial-intelligence based assessment tool that uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn’t know to assist in course placement. The assessment is approximately 35 questions in length. Calculators are provided on-screen within ALEKS, so students are  not allowed access to any additional calculators, websites, or other unapproved aids when completing the assessment.

ALEKS reports its findings to the student, provides opportunity for improving knowledge and skills, and identifies an appropriate level for course placement.

After you have completed your test, an email will be sent to your MIX account. If you are interested in retesting, ALEKS will provide you with instructions on how to utilize practice modules. You must complete your modules  before retesting.

Additional resources are available to help students who do not initially place into the math requirement for their major.

Spanish Placement

The Spanish placement test is a computerized test with results immediately given. It must be taken prior to the end of the add period (the first week of classes), it may be taken only once, and results should be shared with the Spanish instructor to confirm placement. Students who complete the course they place into with a B or higher may receive back credit for the lower course(s). To take the Spanish placement test, please contact the instructor on the first day of class.