Placement Testing for Entering Students

All entering freshmen, as well as transferring students, are required to demonstrate competence in basic skills of reading and mathematics. Foreign language placement testing is also required for placement into certain language courses. 


TU requires all entering freshmen and most transfer students to take the online ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (ALEKS PPL) Assessment to ensure the best chance of success in an appropriate mathematics course with the following exceptions:  

  • If a chosen major has no specific mathematics requirement and the AP/transferred college level mathematics coursework satisfies Core 3 of TU's Core Curriculum, the student is exempt from taking ALEKS.
  • If a chosen major requires only MATH 231 or MATH 237 and the AP/transferred college level mathematics coursework satisfies Core 3 of TU's Core Curriculum, the student is exempt from ALEKS.
  • If AP/transferred coursework either satisfies the specific mathematics course required of the major, or it satisfies the prerequisite course for mathematics requirements, the student is exempt from ALEKS.

  • If none of the above applies, the student must take ALEKS.

  • Even if exempt from taking ALEKS, the student may choose to take the assessment for their own advisement and at no risk.

After taking ALEKS for the first time, the system generates a Prep and Learning Module tailored to the student’s needs, having identified gaps in the learner’s knowledge base during initial testing. Below is additional information about the Prep and Learning Module.

  • The student retains access to the learning module for up to a year and can use it to brush up on skills at any time.
  • Once the student spends at least 5 hours in the learning module, they may take a second unproctored placement test within one year of the enrollment date.

For more information and access, go to the Mathematics Placement Test website.


The reading placement test is administered by TU's Tutoring & Learning Center for transfer students and incoming freshmen. The reading placement test is part of a suite of testing products commonly referred to as ACCUPLACER® tests. These tests were developed by the College Board to help colleges and universities accurately assess student skill levels.

All admitted freshmen with an SAT score less than 550 in Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, or an ACT Reading score less than 21 are REQUIRED to take the reading placement test. A reading placement test score below 252 (i.e 251 and below) in NEXT generation will require a student to enroll in and complete REED 102 . Unless exempt, all transfer students with fewer than 30 units are required to take the reading placement test. 

Exemptions from the reading test are listed below:

  • SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Score of 550 or higher

  • ACT - Reading score of 21 or higher

  • Transferring 30 or more units

  • Non-native English speaker (ESL) with an iBT TOEFL score of 90 or higher

  • Transfer students with 10 or more units and less than 30 units who transfer a 100-level college English course equivalent to ENGL 102 with a "C" or better

Updates and exemptions regarding the Reading Placement Test will be reflected on the students “To Do List.”

For additional information, please refer to the Reading Placement Testing website.

*The SAT and ACT scores must be officially submitted to TU’s Office of Admissions.

Foreign Languages

Students wishing to enroll in Spanish courses who do not already have college credit for the language must take the online placement test administered by the Department of Foreign Languages. The link to the placement test can be found on the department website.

Foreign language placement testing is also available upon department recommendation for placement into French, German, Italian and Russian courses.

All students with previous knowledge of the language they intend to study should contact the Department of Foreign Languages to obtain appropriate course placement.