Placement Assessments

Success at Temple University does not follow one particular pathway, as our students are varied and diverse in their backgrounds. For incoming students, it is important that they start on the right track, beginning with determining the appropriate courses for their first semester. Some students may be placed into courses using their SAT, ACT or AP scores while others will need to take placement assessments. Placement Assessments are offered in English, Math, and Foreign Languages.

Temple's Placement Assessments serve to evaluate different levels of academic preparation. While you should take these assessments seriously, the goal is not simply to achieve high scores, but to demonstrate readiness for particular coursework. This is why it is important that you take an assessment independently, and are placed into courses that demonstrate your ability. An appropriate program of study includes courses that are not above or below your level of preparation, but offers an appropriate challenge and chance at success.

Please note that students with disabilities requiring accommodations for placement assessments must first contact Disability Resources and Services before they start the placement process.

Incoming Freshmen and Transfer Students

Assessments are taken after students have been admitted to the university and have paid the tuition deposit. The Office of Orientation and New Student Programs sends an email to the student's Temple email account explaining next steps, including placement assessment. Once the deposit is paid, it takes 2-3 business days for the email to be delivered. There will also be information displayed on the student's TUPortal under "Next Steps."

Some incoming students may be placed using SAT/ACT/AP scores provided to Temple University. Note that it's possible for a student to receive more than one course placement if, for instance, they receive an automatic course placement based on their SAT/ACT/AP scores and then take an assessment to try to place into a higher level course. In these cases the student may take the highest course into which they place.

View more information about who must take a placement assessment »

Current or Non-Matriculated Students

Current students may need to take or retake a placement assessment if there is a change in the student's program of study, the student's assessment results are more than two years old, or an advisor recommends an assessment to determine a suitable course placement.

Current students who want to take or retake an assessment must have their advisor send a request to the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment at

Non-matriculated students can contact the Office of Continuing Studies to schedule a placement assessment at

Descriptions of Placement Assessments

New Student Questionnaire (Untimed)

The New Student Questionnaire (NSQ) must be completed by all incoming students, even if they do not have to take any other placement assessments. The data collected by the survey are used to provide basic background information describing Temple students. Temple also uses the results of this questionnaire to develop programs and procedures to serve the needs and interests of its students.

English Placement Assessment (90 Minutes, Timed)

The English Placement Assessment consists of one written essay. At assessment time, students choose one of two presented topics on which to write. Each topic presents a writer’s position on an issue. Students are asked to summarize the writer’s argument in their own words and then take and develop a position on the topic the writer is arguing for or against. Students are not evaluated based on having the "correct" position on an issue, but on how accurately they can explain the writer's argument and present their own argument in an organized and grammatically correct essay. In order to prepare for their assessment, students may view essays that meet and do not meet Temple's writing requirements.

Students can retake the English Assessment after they receive their English placement results via email approximately one week after testing.

Review English Placement Assessment information and sample essays »

Math Placement Assessment (Approx. 60-90 Minutes, Within a 48 Hour Window)

The Math Placement Assessment is delivered online using ALEKS, a web-based learning platform. The initial 20-30 questions range in difficulty to gauge ability, and then questions adapt to a student's specific knowledge. The assessment evaluates a student's ability from elementary algebra to calculus. Some questions may require the use of a calculator which is provided onscreen by ALEKS.

Students who choose to retake the math assessment have two additional attempts, using their highest score for course placement. ALEKS provides adaptive learning modules to help students improve their skills; modules are available after the initial assessment.

  • To be reassessed, students are required to complete five hours of ALEKS Learning Modules and wait 48 hours after the completion of the first assessment before starting the second.
  • For a third assessment, students are required to complete an additional five hours of ALEKS Learning Modules and wait 48 hours after the completion of the second assessment before starting the third.

Understand more about your ALEKS Math Placement Assessment score »

Foreign Language Placement Assessment (60 Minutes, Timed)

Foreign Language Placement Assessments are offered in French, German, Italian and Spanish. Each assessment is multiple-choice and evaluates basic skills in Language Usage (choosing the appropriate word or phrase to complete a sentence) and Reading Comprehension (interpretation of passages written in that language).


Math placement results are available immediately through ALEKS and are delivered via email within 2-3 business days after completion of the assessment. English Assessment results will be available starting in May, and sent via email. English assessments taken in April will be scored first and results will be available in early May. Results for English Assessments taken in May and thereafter will be available approximately one week after testing. Foreign Language placement results are available to students when they meet with their advisor during orientation.

Please note that Placement Assessment results are valid for two years after the semester in which they were taken.

Please direct any questions about University Placement Assessments to 215.204.8611 (M-F, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm) or send an email to

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