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 required for placement in to some French, German or Spanish classes. 

Mathematics: All entering students must take at least one mathematics placement test, the Basic Algebra Test. If students perform well in that test and hope to enroll in more advanced courses, they may also take the Calculus Readiness Test for higher placement.

The only students exempt from the mathematics placement test are those who transfer in college-level mathematics courses or those with appropriate scores on Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate programs.

Reading: The reading placement test is administered by Towson University's Academic Achievement Center for transfer students and incoming freshmen with low SAT and ACT scores. 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 old SAT score less than 500 in critical reading, new 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 251 in NEXT generation or 80 in Classic will require a student to enroll in and complete REED 102. Unless exempt, all transfer students with fewer than 30 credits are required to take the reading placement test. 

 Exemptions from the reading test are listed below:

  • Old SAT Critical Reading score of 500 or higher

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

  • ACT - Reading score of 21 or higher

  • Transferring 30 or more units (credits)

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

  • Transfer students with 10 or more units and less than 30 units (credits) who transfer a 100-level college English course equivalent (see below, information for transfer students) 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 visit

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

Foreign Languages:  Students wishing to enroll in Spanish classes at the 100 or 200 level as well as in 301 who do not already have college credit for the language must take the online placement test administered by the Foreign Languages Department.  The link to the placement test can be found on the department website at