Placement/Challenge Testing FAQs

What is the purpose of the Placement Testing?

Placement tests may be required prior to registration for some courses to ensure you register for the appropriate course to maximize your success in college.

What are Challenge Tests and why should I take them if I am eligible?

Challenge tests are optional and may provide you the opportunity to bypass one or more levels of courses.   Challenge tests are available only for some mathematics courses, the required introductory computer science course, and the developmental English course.

Who may take a Challenge Test?

Anyone who desires to take a math or computer science challenge test may; only eligible individuals (based on SATV or ACT English scores) may take the English Challenge Test.

How can I find out if my most recent SAT or ACT results have been received by Barry?

If you have questions about whether your SAT or ACT scores have been received by Barry, speak with your admissions counselor.

I received a letter advising me that I need to placement test for English or Math (or both).  Can I do this during Orientation?

Yes. Students eligible to placement test may do so during orientation. The location of the testing room is in your orientation packet.

I am transferring credits to Barry from another institution. Do I need to take placement tests?

That depends on how many and what credits are accepted as transfer credits, and your major at Barry.  In general, if you have earned an associate’s degree or have completed at least one college-level math and one college-level English course, you probably will not need to take math, English, or reading placement tests or the arithmetic assessment.  However, depending on your major, you may need to take chemistry, foreign language, or a math placement test.   Discuss this with your academic advisor.

How much time should I plan to spend for placement testing during orientation?

The amount of time you spend testing during orientation depends on the test(s) you are required to take and those you choose to take.  All tests are timed and some start only on the hour or half hour, so there may be a wait between tests.  You may be finished with some tests before the time limit.  The table below summarizes the various tests and the maximum time allowed for each.

TestDescriptionAllotted timeStart timeOptional or Required
English Challenge
or
English Placement
The test consists of reading a short article and responding to a prompt by constructing a brief, 5-paragraph essay.
The English Challenge test is available to students with scores of SATV 470-480 or ACT English 20-21. Students with scores of SATV 460 and below and ACT 19 and below are placed automatically into ENG 095. These students are not eligible to take the English Challenge test.
The English Placement test is required of all students who do not have SATV, ACT English, or TOEFL scores and who have not already taken college level English.
Results of the English Challenge/Placement test will determine whether a student registers for ENG 095 or ENG 111.
1 hourAnytime throughout the testing periodEnglish Challenge Test: Optional based on SATV or ACT English scores.

English Placement Test: Required for students with no SATV or ACT English scores

Math Challenge
or
Math Placement
The Math Challenge/Placement Test I consists of 40 multiple-choice questions.  Questions are arranged to gradually increase in difficulty, focusing on topics of real numbers and operations, Algebra I, and Geometry.
The Math Challenge/Placement Test IIA consists of 15 multiple-choice questions.  Questions are arranged to gradually increase in difficulty, focusing on topics of real numbers and operations, Algebra I, and Algebra II.
Calculators may not be used for either of these tests.
1 hour, eachAnytime throughout the testing periodMath Challenge Test I or II: Optional

Math Placement Test I: Required for students with no SATM or ACT Math scores

Reading PlacementStudents who enroll in ENG 095 are required to take a Reading Placement Test to determine the need for a one-credit course: SI-010 Active Reading and Learning Strategies.
The test consists of seven short reading passages and 38 multiple-choice questions about the content of these passages.
20 minutesOn the hour and half hour throughout the testing periodRequired for students who must register for ENG 095
Arithmetic AssessmentThis test is required of all students who place into a developmental math course.  Four primary arithmetic concepts (Integers, Rational Numbers, Exponents, and Radicals) are assessed through 40 multiple-choice items.
Calculators may not be used for this test.
1 hourOn the hour and half hour throughout the testing periodRequired for students who register for a developmental math course
Chemistry PlacementStudents who enroll in CHE 111 are required to take a Chemistry Placement Test to determine their first Chemistry course placement.  
40 multiple-choice questions, including both chemistry and math questions, comprise this test.
With a score of 21 or above, the student will be able to register for CHE 111.  Students who earn a score of 0-15 must register for CHE 095.  Students earning score of 16-20 must discuss with their advisor which course, either CHE 111 or CHE 095, would be most appropriate for them.
A calculator will be provided.
1 hourAnytime throughout the testing periodRequired for students who will need to take CHE 111
Foreign Language PlacementStudents may take either the Spanish or French Placement Test.
Each test consists of two parts: grammar and reading comprehension.  The grammar portion of each test consists of multiple-choice questions; the reading comprehension portion of each test consists of seven or eight short passages and 32 to 33 multiple-choice questions about the content of these passages.
1 hourAnytime throughout the testing periodRequired for students who register for their first foreign language course at Barry
Computer Science ChallengeThe test consists of two parts: Concepts and Applications, each with a maximum score of 50 points. A score of 38 is needed to pass each part of the test.
The Concepts section consists of multiple choice and short answer questions.
The Applications section consists of computer applications and mini projects in MS Word and Excel.
Concepts Section: 1 hour
Applications Section: 1 hour and 40 minutes
Anytime throughout the testing periodOptional


I think that my SAT/ACT English score does not accurately reflect my writing skills. Is it possible to take an English Placement test to see if I can test out of ENG 095?

According to the Barry University’s policy, only those students whose SAT verbal scores are 470-480 or ACT English scores are 20-21 or those who do not have any scores at all are allowed to take an English Placement test. If you need more information on this matter, please email englishplacement@mail.barry.edu.

Why can’t I use a calculator during the Math Challenge/Placement test or the Arithmetic Assessment Test?

In order to ensure accurate assessment of one’s mathematical knowledge and skills, use of calculators for testing is prohibited.

I received a letter notifying me that I must take a Reading Comprehension test. Why do I have to take a reading test?

Effective reading skills are essential for college success.  Students who may benefit from guided instruction to develop reading comprehension and fluency skills in order to manage the rigor of required college texts will enroll in SI 010, a 1-credit course.

This 20-minute test, consisting of reading seven short passages and responding to 38 multiple-choice questions about the content of these passages, will determine whether or not a student enrolls in SI 010.

What is the purpose of the Math Placement/Challenge Test?

The results of the Math Placement test will identify the Barry University mathematics course(s) that best match your current mathematics skills.

May I take the Math Challenge test more than once?

Yes, the Math Challenge test may be taken more than once.  Contact Dr. Mark Rokhfeld (mrokhfeld@mail.barry.edu) for more information.

I must take the General Chemistry and Qualitative Analysis (CHE 111) course for my major.   I understand I must take a placement test for this.  Is this correct?

Yes.  Students who must enroll in CHE 111 are required to take a Chemistry Placement Test to determine their first Chemistry course placement.

Why do I have to take a Foreign Language Placement Test?

Students who plan to register for their first Spanish or French course at Barry University must take a Foreign Language Placement test to determine appropriate course placement.  Taking one semester of a foreign language is a requirement for some majors.

I don’t know any Spanish or French.  Can’t I simply register for the first course?

No.  A Foreign Language Placement Test score is required of all students registered for their first foreign language course.

Where do I go for testing during Orientation?

All Placement and Challenge Testing is conducted in the basement of the Library during Orientation.

How will I know which Placement Tests I must take and which Challenge Tests I am eligible to take?

You will receive an email (via your MyBarry account) if you are eligible to take the English Challenge test or if you are required to take the math, English, or reading tests.  You will also receive information at Orientation check-in that will identify any required and/or optional tests you must or may take.

My friend does not have to take as many placement tests as I do.  Why?

Determination of which tests you must or may take is individualized and based on your SAT or ACT scores and your major; therefore, some students may take more or different tests than others.

I may need to be in contact with a family member while I am testing.  May I use my cellphone?

No.  Cellphones must be turned off during testing. In fact, cellphone service is extremely limited in the Library basement.

When may I take the tests during Orientation?

Testing typically begins at 7:00am during Orientation and may also be available in the afternoon.   Check the Orientation Schedule at http://www.barry.edu/orientation/schedule/  to see what time(s) will fit your schedule.

When will I receive my test scores?

All placement and challenge tests are scored on the same day in which they are taken.   Scores are available to advisors via AIS and WebAdvisor.  Students must pick up their test results from the Testing Headquarters (LIB 144) on the day of testing and prior to meeting with their advisors for course selection and registration.

I am a CAL student. Is there anything else I need to know in addition to what is in the orientation package?

CAL students report to Garner 115 for advising and instructions regarding placement testing.

I still have questions about Placement testing.  Whom may I call?

You may contact Mrs. Gabriel at the Glenn Hubert Learning Center (cgabriel@mail.barry.edu) if you have questions about Placement Testing.

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