Tests Offered

DMACC uses assessment scores of new students to provide information about students’ academic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics. Assessment information is used in course selection, course planning, and math placement. Students wishing to take a math class are required to take ALEKS math as a math placement requirement. 

ACT/ACCUPLACER/ALEKS Placement Scores

​​​​​​​Approved November 2011
Updated December 2022
Updated October​ 2023

Reading Assessments

ACT ACCUPLACER Classic Score ACCUPLACER Scores Course Recommendations
01-09 20-29 213-219 Student should see Academic Achievement Center for further evaluation
10-13 30-44 220-229 RDG 038: College Prep Reading I
14-18 45-72 203-247 RDG 039: College Prep Reading II or RDG 049: College Reading II
19-36 73-120 248-279 Ready for college level reading.

Writing Assessments

ACT ACCUPLACER Classic Score ACCUPLACER Scores Course Recommendations
01-13 Sentence 20-65 Writing 213-243​ ENG 060: College Prep Writing I
14-18 Sentence 66-81 Writing 244-253​ ENG 061: College Prep Writing II
14-19 Sentence 68-120 Writing 245-279​ COM 703: Communication Skills
16-18 Reading 59-72
&
Sentence 74-81
Reading 239-248
&
Writing 249-253​
ENG 145: Strategies for Composition with ENG105: Composition I
19-36 ​Sentence 82-120 Writing 254-279​ College Ready (ENG 105: Composition I, ADM 157: Business English)

Math Skills

Minimum ALEKS Score Course Recommendations
N/A MAT 045: Fundamentals of Math
N/A MAT 772: Applied Math
10% MAT 064: College Prep Math
10% MAT 099: Combined Algebra
14% BUS 112: Business Math
30% MAT 773: Applied Math II
30% MAT 073: Elementary Algebra II
MAT 110: Math for Liberal Arts
MAT 141: Finite Math
MAT 156: Statistics
46% MAT 114: Elementary Educators
MAT 121: College Algebra
MAT 130: Trigonometry
MAT 162: Principles of Business Statistics
61% MA​T 129: Pre-Calculus
61% MAT 164: Calculus for Business/Social Science
76% MAT 211: Calculus I
MAT 217: Calculus II
20% MAT 810: Math for Liberal Arts Support Lab
30% MAT 821: College Algebra Support Lab
20% MAT 841: Finite Math Support Lab
20% MAT 156: Statistics Support Lab​

Chemistry​ Pre-requisite Minimum Scores​ for Credit Student Advising

CHM 122

ACT Math or ALEKS or SAT Math or MAT 063 or MAT 064
*19 *30% *510 *C- *C-

*within 5 years

CHM 165

ACT Math or ALEKS or SAT Math or MAT 073 and CHM 122 or HS CHM
*22 *46% *530 *C- *C

*within 5 years

ELL (English Language Learner) Minimum ACCUPLACER Classic Scores for Credit Student Advising

ESL ACCUPLACER
Classic Scores
Course Recommendations
20-49 Non-credit ELL instruction
50-80 High Intermediate
ELL 098 Reading & Comm Fluency
ELL 099 Grammar & Writing Fluency
81-110 Advanced​
ELL 108 Reading & Comm Accuracy
ELL 109 Grammar & Writing Accuracy​
​111-120 ​College Ready

 

English Language Learner (ELL) Placement at DMACC

The assessment consists of 4 sections: Sentence Meaning, Language Use, Listening, and Reading. If both of the statements below are true, then you do not need to take the ACCUPLACER ESL, but you may need to take the standard ACCUPLACER depending on your program of study.

  • I speak a language other than English, but I have studied English for six (6) years or more where English is the primary language of instructions.
  • I speak, read, and write in English only.

Prior to beginning the assessment each tester will have to answer some background questions which includes their address. We recommend writing this information down and taking it to the testing center with you.

How is the ACCUPLACER ESL scored?

ACCUPLACER ESL Score Recommended DMACC Class
Less than 50 Noncredit ELL
50-81 Credit ELL 098 & 099
82-110 Credit ELL 108 & 109

Where can I find information about DMACC ELL Classes?

Visit the English Language Learners website to learn more about DMACC ELL classes.

  • Noncredit ELL: Register online
  • Credit ELL and DMACC Credit Class: Speak to a DMACC advisor before registering.

Can I retake the assessment?
The assessment can be taken every 2 weeks. We recommend practicing your language skills to improve your score.

Where can I practice for the assessment?
ESL Sample Questions.

 

Math Placement at DMACC

Mathematics is a critical discipline that serves as a foundation for many majors and programs. In order to be successful in math, it is important to determine which course you are ready to begin.

Subscription Course C​ode:
9FRHW-DYCTG
Resubscription Instructions

  1. New full-time students (12 credit hours or more Fall and Spring semesters and 8 credit hours Summer semester) who have not already taken ALEKS are highly encouraged to take ALEKS prior to registering for first-semester classes.
  2. New students must take ALEKS prior to attending Orientation if they plan to register for a math class during the Orientation session, as the Orientation advisor will need the ALEKS assessment results to provide guidance for enrollment.
  3. Transfer students and current DMACC students, including Postsecondary Secondary Enrollment Open (PSEO) and Career Advantage students, who have earned a C- or higher in a prerequisite math course​ within the previous 18 months from the date of enrollment will be exempt and do not need to take the ALEKS placement assessment.
  4. Students who have not already taken ALEKS and wish to enroll in a mathematics course at DMACC for the first time will be required to take the ALEKS mathematics placement assessment before registering in a math class.
  5. Students who only need MAT772 for their program of study are exempt and do not need to take the ALEKS placement assessment.
  6. Academic transcripts will be required to verify transfer credit/grade awarded.

What Does ALEKS Placement, Preparation, and Learning (PPL) include?

ALEKS consists of three parts:

  • An initial placement assessment (Required)
  • A self-paced online review module (PPL) and practice progress assessments (Optional)
  • Access to four additional assessments (Optional)

Students should take the assessment as soon as possible to determine which math courses they are prepared to begin. ALEKS may be taken wherever internet access is available.

Note: New students are again encouraged to complete ALEKS prior to attending DMACC Orientation.

Preparation Schedule

Semester Attending Dates
Fall Semester March 1 - August 1
Spring Semester July 1 - December 1
Summer Semester December 1 - May 1

Check out the Math Placement FAQ before you start your exam to make sure you understand how ALEKS works and get the ALEKS code. Your ALEKS score indicates which course you are ready to begin.

To begin ALEKS:

  1. Log into myDMACC using your DMACC username and password.
  2. Scroll down to the “Shortcuts” section on the left​ pane
  3. Click the ALEKS Math Assessment link

Preparation

Why must I take the ALEKS PPL Assessment?

The Placement Assessment is used to determine the mathematics course in which you will have the greatest success. Upon completion of the Placement Assessment, your scores are sent to your academic advisor. Your advisor will review your scores and help make appropriate recommendations for course registration.

Who is required to take ALEKS?

  1. New full-time students (12 credit hours or more Fall and Spring semesters and 8 credit hours Summer semester) who have not already taken ALEKS are highly encouraged to take ALEKS prior to registering for first-semester classes.
  2. New students must take ALEKS prior to attending Orientation if they plan to register for a math class during the Orientation session, as the Orientation advisor will need the ALEKS assessment results to provide guidance for enrollment.
  3. Transfer students and current DMACC students, including Postsecondary Secondary Enrollment Open (PSEO) and Career Advantage students, who have earned a C- or higher in a prerequisite math course​ within the previous 18 months from the date of enrollment will be exempt and do not need to take the ALEKS placement assessment.
  4. Students who have not already taken ALEKS and wish to enroll in a mathematics course at DMACC for the first time will be required to take the ALEKS mathematics placement assessment before registering in a math class.
  5. S​tudents who only need MAT772 for their program of study are exempt and do not need to take the ALEKS placement assessment.
  6. Academic transcripts will be required to verify transfer credit/grade awarded.

I took ALEKS at another institution, can I use this score at DMACC?

Transfer and guest students who have taken ALEKS PPL at another institution such as the University of Iowa, Iowa State University or University of Northern Iowa within 18 months, may submit their ALEKS scores to the Registrar's Office at DMACC. Students will be placed into courses based on DMACC's Placement scores.

When do I take the ALEKS PPL Assessment?

  1. Admitted students to DMACC wishing to take a math class are required to take the ALEKS math placement assessment prior to registering for a math class. Taking the assessment early will allow you to complete the Prep and Learning Modules and take another assessment if you do not perform as well as you think you should.
  2. The institution paid ALEKS account is valid for 12 months. Students are encouraged to utilize the Prep and Learning Modules as much as possible for six months. Additional access can be purchased for $15.00 once the account expires.

Preparation Schedule
Fall Semester: March 1 - August 1
Spring Semester: July 1 - December 1
Summer Semester: December 1 - May 1

Is there a fee for using ALEKS PPL and what is the ALEKS code?

DMACC students will have one year of account access from when they take the first Placement Assessment. Once a student begins their Prep and Learning Module, they will have six months of access.

If your account expires, you can re-subscribe for $15.

Course code: 9FRHW-DYCTG

Do I need to install any software of plug-ins prior to taking the ALEKS Placement Assessment?

No. There are no required plug-ins or applets required with your use of ALEKS PPL. As long as you have access to the internet and are using an updated browser, you should not experience any difficulties taking your placement assessment. For a list of preferred browsers, please review the ALEKS system requirements on the ALEKS support site.

All that you need is a pencil and paper to work out your answers and your DMACC ID number and six digit PIN. If you need help with your DMACC ID number of six digit PIN, contact DMACC Tech Support for assistance.

What topics are covered during the ALEKS PPL Assessment?

ALEKS is an online, adaptive system that covers a broad spectrum of mathematics topics. The length of the Placement Assessment will vary, but can be up to 30 questions. You will see some, but not all, of the math you learned in high school. It is a Placement Assessment, not a preview of math courses at DMACC. It is designed to identify if you are prepared for a particular course. After you take the first placement assessment, you will have the opportunity to review and master additional topics to reassess and improve your placement.

Topics covered:

  • Real numbers (including fractions, integers, and percentages)
  • Equations and inequalities (including linear equations, linear inequalities, systems of linear equations, and quadratic equations),
  • Linear and quadratic functions (including graphs and functions, linear functions, and parabolas), exponents and polynomials (including integer exponents, polynomial arithmetic, factoring, and polynomial equations), rational expressions (including rational equations and rational functions),
  • Radical expressions (including higher roots and rational exponents)
  • Exponentials and logarithms (including function compositions and inverse functions, properties of logarithms, and logarithmic equations.
  • Geometry and trigonometry (including perimeter, area, and volume, coordinate geometry, trigonometric functions, and identities and equations).

What is the difference between ACCUPLACER and ALEKS?

ACCUPLACER reading and writing may be part of the admission assessment for new full-time students. ALEKS math placement is designed to help determine which DMACC math course you are ready to begin.

Can I practice using the ALEKS input tools before I begin the placement assessment?

ALEKS will begin with a brief tutorial to make sure you are comfortable with the math palette tools before your Placement Assessment begins. The tutorial shows you how to enter different types of answers, how to use the ALEKS calculator, and how to graph. If you aren't sure how to input an answer, or need help while you are taking the ALEKS Placement Assessment, select the Help button below the answer palette tools. Going to the tutorial during your Placement Assessment will NOT impact your Placement Assessment results.

What if I am a person with a disability and need an accommodation for the ALEKS assessment?

Any person with a disability who would like to request an accommodation for the ALEKS Placement Assessment should visit the DMACC Disability Services website or call the Disability Services Office at 515-964-6234.

Taking the Placement Assessment

How do I access the ALEKS Assessment?

  1. Log into myDMACC using your DMACC username and password.
  2. Scroll down to the “Shortcuts” section on the left​ pane
  3. Click “ALEKS Math Assessment”
  4. Select “Begin Math Assessment”

What is the format of the questions on ALEKS?

ALEKS is not a multiple-choice Placement Assessment. It is open-response and requires you to work out solutions with paper and pencil, then enter them into ALEKS. Be sure you have scratch paper and pencil with you. Before the Assessment begins, complete the tutorial which shows you how to enter different types of answers, how to use the ALEKS calculator, and how to graph. If you need help while you are taking ALEKS, click on the "help" button at the top of the screen.

How long will an ALEKS placement assessment take to complete?

Placement assessments require approximately 60-90 minutes to complete, but the amount of time will vary by student.

What can I expect when I complete the ALEKS placement assessment?

Once you register with ALEKS PPL, the system will guide you through your next steps. First, you will complete a Survey. Its purpose is for DMACC to collect information about you as a student. It does not impact your Placement Assessment.

First, you will complete a Survey.

Next you will take a brief tutorial to show you how to use the tools you will encounter while using ALEKS.

Next you will take a brief tutorial to show you how to use the tools you will encounter while using ALEKS.

During the Placement Assessment, click the “?" in the tools palette if you need assistance on using the tools. It will not affect your results.

During the Placement Assessment, click the “?" in the tools palette if you need assistance on using the tools. It will not affect your results.

Are the placement assessments timed?

No, you are free to complete the Placement Assessment at your own pace. The system will allow you to access your Placement Assessment for one week. If you need to exit the Placement Assessment for any reason, you will be able to log back in and pick up where you left off. Assessments that are started but not completed within one week will be deleted and will not count as an assessment attempt.

How many questions are on ALEKS?

There will be a maximum of 30 questions. The exact number of questions will vary due to the adaptive format. It is likely you will be asked questions on material you have not yet learned. On such questions it is appropriate to answer, “I don't know." On any question that you have familiarity with, however, it is important to do your best. “I don't know" is interpreted by ALEKS to mean you do not know to solve the topic, and this will be reflected in your Placement Assessment results. There is no penalty for incorrectly answering a question on the placement assessment, it only helps ALEKS understand what you know and don't know.

Can I review a question after I've answered it?

Because ALEKS is adaptive, once you submit an answer, you cannot change it. Be sure to carefully check your answer before submitting your response.

May I use a calculator while using ALEKS?

ALEKS provides an on-screen calculator if you need one to complete a particular problem. Otherwise, you may not use a calculator.

May I use any other resources during a placement?

You may only use a pen or pencil, paper and the resources provided within ALEKS. You should not receive assistance from friends, family, other websites, textbooks, or any other resource not provided by ALEKS. Using outside resources may lead to improper course placement and ultimately course failure. It is also a violation of DMACC's Student Conduct Policy.

Placement Results

What is my Placement Result?

Your placement result (overall score) is a number between 0 and 100. It represents the percentage of topics ALEKS has identified you have mastered.

Your ALEKS score indicates which course you are ready to begin. If you have questions about which course is required for your program of study, consult with an Academic Advisor. See the Placement Score Table and check the math requirements for your program.

Where can I see my score?

You will receive your score immediately upon completion of your Placement Assessment. Your scores are automatically added into the DMACC student record system and are accessible by your advisor.

You will receive your score immediately upon completion of your Placement Assessment.

How long is my ALEKS Placement Assessment score valid?

The ALEKS assessment score is valid at DMACC for 18 months from the last completion date.

What if I do not place into the course I wanted?

This is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the Prep and Learning modules offered within ALEKS PPL. An individualized study plan will be created based on your performance on the initial placement assessment. ALEKS will identify what you know and what you are ready to learn next so you can brush-up on lost knowledge. The Prep and Learning module is available for twelve months from the date you begin.

Students can retake the ALEKS Placement Assessment up to four additional times to improve score and/or review for math class. (The highest score will be used to for math placement) Students are required to complete a specific amount of time on the Prep and Learning Modules prior to each assessment to increase success.

Students are required to complete a specific amount of time on the Prep and Learning Modules prior to each assessment to increase success.

The Prep and Learning module is available for twelve months from the date you begin.

What course did I place into?

The math course(s) for which you are eligible to enroll will depend upon your ALEKS score. See the Placement Score Table and check the math requirements for your program.

What if I placed into the class I wanted?

Congratulations! Continue to use your Prep and Learning Module to improve your chances for success. The placement result required is the minimum for your course. Take advantage of the individualized review and learning features in ALEKS to get a better grade in your class.

How do I know if math is required for my program?

Review program descriptions and course requirements.

Do I have to take the course into which my ALEKS score places me?

You can register for a course at or below your ALEKS score. See your Program Information Brief for math requirements or an academic advisor.

Can I retake my ALEKS PPL Assessment?

Yes, you may take up to four Placement Assessments. However, to make each attempt worthwhile, it is important that you spend time working in your ALEKS Prep and Learning Module between Placement Assessments so you can improve your skills.

Students are also required to complete a specific amount of time on the Prep and Learning Modules prior to each assessment to increase success.

  • 2nd attempt—required to complete 3 hours of Prep and Learning Modules before attempting assessment.
  • 3rd attempt—required to complete 3 additional hours of Prep and Learning Module before attempting assessment.
  • 4th attempt—required to complete 5 additional hours of Prep and Learning module before attempting assessment.
  • 5th attempt(final attempt permitted by DMACC)—required to complete 8 additional hours of Prep and Learning Module before attempting assessment.

Can I retake ALEKS immediately?

On the menu to the left, you will be able to access your learning path, or your next placement assessment.

On the menu to the left, you will be able to access your learning path, or your next placement assessment.

There is generally no benefit to retaking the assessment immediately after completing a prior attempt. Unlike the ACT or SAT, you cannot improve your results by simply re-taking the assessment without spending time in the Prep and Learning Module to refresh material that you may have forgotten or to learn new material.

Prep and Learning Modules

What is the ALEKS Prep and Learning Module and how can it help me?

After completing your initial ALEKS Placement Assessment, you will have a 6 month access to Prep and Learning Module. Access to the prep course will not begin until you select start on top of the screen. DO NOT select into the Prep and Learning Module until you are ready to start working.

If your account expires, you can re-subscribe for $15. 

Course code:  9FRHW-DYCTG

How long do I have access to my Prep and Learning Modules?

You will have 6 months of access from the time that you start using your Prep and Learning Module. Access to the prep course will not begin until you select start on top of the screen. DO NOT select into the Prep and Learning Module until you are ready to start working.

If your account expires, you can re-subscribe for $15.
Course code: 9FRHW-DYCTG

Is there an additional fee for my Prep and Learning Module?

Access to a Prep and Learning Module is included along with the additional placement assessments. Once a student begins their Prep and Learning Module, they will have twelve months of access.

If your account expires, you can re-subscribe for $15.
Course code: 9FRHW-DYCTG

Must I work in my ALEKS Prep and Learning Module between Placement Assessments?

You can retake the Placement Assessment up to four additional times to improve your score. (The highest score will be used for math placement) Students are required to work in the Prep and Learning Module to make each attempt worthwhile so you can improve your skills.

  • 2nd attempt—required to complete 3 hours of Prep and Learning Modules before attempting assessment.
  • 3rd attempt—required to complete 3 additional hours of Prep and Learning Module before attempting assessment.
  • 4th attempt—required to complete 5 additional hours of Prep and Learning module before attempting assessment.
  • 5th attempt—required to complete 8 additional hours of Prep and Learning Module before attempting assessment.

What are ALEKS Knowledge Checks?

While working in a Prep and Learning Module, you will periodically complete a Knowledge Check to make sure you have mastered the topics you gained in the Learning Module. If you do not show mastery during the Knowledge Check, the topics will be added back into your Learning Pie so you can review them again.

Does progress in an ALEKS Prep and Learning Module count toward placement?

No. You must complete a new Placement Assessment to change your placement result. Select the placement tab in the upper right side of the ALEKS page to start a new Placement Assessment.

Technical Support

What do I do if my web browser gets stuck or my computer crashes while I am taking the Placement Assessment?

Simply close the browser, or log out and log back in. ALEKS will resume the Placement Assessment exactly where you left off, with no loss of your previous answers for up to one week from the date you begin.

Where can I get technical support for ALEKS?


Reading Placement at DMACC 

The Reading test consists of 20 questions related to humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The test presents reading passages in narrative, expository, or argumentative forms, and you must identify what is requested, using the following skills: close reading and inference, theme identification, main ideas and support details differentiation, summary concepts, idea relationships, rhetorical devices, synthesis, and vocabulary​.​

  1. ACCUPLACER​ “Inside the Test" explains the components of the test. Skip down to the description for Reading.
  2. Access the ACCUPLACER app. When finished with the practice test, you receive a summary of the results and recommended areas to study. You can revisit questions and concepts measured in the app and use the Reading Resources below to study independently or with an Academic Achievement Center Instructor.​
  3. Another resource is a link to the ​​“Next-Generation Reading Sample Questions​," which you can download, print, and use to study. Complete the practice test and review your answers. Take the guide and your answers to the Academic Achievement Center to review with an instructor.
  4. The Union Test Prep site also has Reading resources and a learn-as-you-go practice test that can be used in the same fashion. Click to the Next Generation Reading.​
  5. Finally, the Academic Achievement Center (AAC) has resources to help you improve your reading skills. Check with the AAC on your campus.

Reading Study Resources

Reading Reviews and Courses

  • ​Reading Review, Austin Community College: Use it to study multiple reading concepts
  • Reading, Cuesta College: Use it to study multiple reading concepts, too

Main Ideas and Supporting Details

Inferences

Sentence Relationships

Author's Purpose and Rhetorical Strategies

When Ready, Take the Test!

Relax! ACCUPLACER​  is a well-designed test to help you assess your readiness for college. The following tips will help you do your best.

  1. Get a good night's rest the night before the test. Eat a healthy breakfast and drink some water that morning to nourish your body and mind.
  2. Arrive a couple of minutes early so you can gather your thoughts and locate the Testing Center.
  3. Ask questions if you don't understand the process of ​ACCUPLACER.
  4. During the test, read the questions carefully.
  5. Work to answer all the questions.

 

Writing Placement at DMACC

Welcome to DMACC’s Choosing Composition Success site, created by the DMACC Writing Placement Task Force and English Department. It describes how students place into their writing classes and offers options for students scoring at certain levels.

Choosing success in college starts with taking writing courses that fit your current writing skills. Most colleges and universities in the United States have a first-year writing course required for a degree. At DMACC, that class is Composition I (ENG 105). However, not everyone is ready to take ENG 105, so the first step is to see into which class you place.

Part-time and full-time students who need to take a composition class need to submit ACT, COMPASS Reading and Writing Skills, ACCUPLACER Classic Reading and Sentence, or ACCUPLACER Reading and Writing scores to the Admissions Office as part of the admissions requirements. If you have taken these exams, bring the results to your advisor to help determine your writing placement. If you have not taken any of these tests, then you should schedule ACCUPLACER Reading and Writing exams with the Testing Center and talk about the results with an advisor to find the best writing path for you. Guest students and current DMACC students, including Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) and Career Advantage students, who have already passed a prerequisite writing course prior to enrolling in Fall 2018 will be exempt. Academic transcripts will be required to verify transfer credit/grade awarded.

Examples

  • A student who has an ACT composite score of 20 places into ENG 105.
  • Another student who does not have ACT scores but took COMPASS a couple of years ago and scored a 45 on the Writing test places in ENG 061.
  • A student who did not bring scores but takes ACCUPLACER Classic and scores a 68 in Sentence Skills is placed in ENG 061.
  • A student with an ACCUPLACER Reading score in the 239-248 range but a 249 or higher Writing score should still consider taking ENG 145 and ENG 105. Reading skills are part of the ALP class.

Writing Course Options

Look at the ACT range of 16-18. What do you see? You see that students who score in the middle through upper ranges of the ACT or who score in certain ranges on the Reading and Writing placement exams for COMPASS, ACCUPLACER Classic and ACCUPLACER have different options.

Students who score 16-18 on the ACT, have a COMPASS Reading score range of 48-80 and Writing score of 54-69, or an ACCUPLACER Classic Reading score of 59-72 and Sentence score of 74-81 have two course options: 1) take ENG 061 then ENG 105 the next semester, or 2) partner ENG 145 with ENG 105.

Because reading and writing skills are so important to composition, we look at both scores to qualify students for an option of courses. Students who score 16-18 on the ACT, have a COMPASS Reading score range of 48-80 and Writing score of 54-69, or an ACCUPLACER Classic Reading score of 59-72 and Sentence score of 74-81 have two course options: 1) take ENG 061 then ENG 105 the next semester, or 2) partner ENG 145 with ENG 105.

What is the Difference Between the Paths?

College Preparatory Writing II (ENG 061) is a tried-and-true developmental class at DMACC, helping students meet their writing goals for more than a decade. Students receive individualized attention while practicing specific reading and writing skills in the classroom. Students who earn a passing grade can move on to ENG 105. Pass and success rates for this course are higher than the national average across DMACC’s campuses.

Strategies for Composition (ENG 145) is taken with Composition I (ENG 105) and is a two credit, corequisite/accelerated learning program (ALP) model course. If your placement scores fall within the appropriate ranges, you may advance to ENG 105, but you must also enroll in ENG 145. The ENG 145 class meets immediately after ENG 105 and includes some of the same students you encounter in ENG 105. It is designed to provide a smaller class size (limited to 10-12 students) with individualized support and practice with assignments that reinforce the writing concepts addressed in ENG 105. By taking ENG 145 with ENG 105, you can move forward with writing coursework and gain two general elective credits. If you qualify for this option, you must complete both ENG 145 and ENG 105 successfully with a passing grade to continue to the next writing class, Composition II (ENG 106).

What Path Should You Take?

Deciding which path to take depends a lot on if you have the credits, desire, and money needed to take two writing classes at the same time, which is the 145/105 option, or whether you want to focus on one class at a time, which is the ENG 061 option. If you choose the 145/105 option and do not pass, then you can retake both classes or take 061 alone, waiting to take ENG 105 after you pass 061.

What Should You Do Next?

  1. Study for the placement exams, Reading and Writing exams. Study guides and practice tests are available. You can take a practice test at home and bring your responses to the Academic Achievement Center Reading Lab or Writing Lab to review with an instructor before taking the test.
  2. Get a good night’s sleep, eat a healthy meal, and take the exams.
  3. Based on your exam results, talk with an advisor to see which class you qualify to take, and register for that class. If you are unhappy with the exam score, you can retake the test after waiting two weeks. In that time, study and seek assistance in the Academic Achievement Center.
  4. When you begin classes, attend every class session to help you move forward with writing.

Choosing success means talking with advisors when registering for classes and your instructors when needing help. Using DMACC’s support services like Academic Achievement Centers and the Library Professionals will also help you succeed in college.

For questions regarding placement, contact an advisor.

  • Ankeny 515-964-6200
  • Boone 515-432-7209
  • Carroll 712-792-1755
  • Newton 641-791-3622
  • Urban 515-244-4226
  • West 515-633-2408

How do I schedule the ACCUPLACER test?

Testing is available at multiple DMACC locations. If you require an accommodation for testing, call the Disabilities Services Coordinator at 515-964-6850.

What is ACCUPLACER?

ACCUPLACER is a computer-based test with a series of basic skill assessments in reading and writing. The test indicates areas where you might need strengthening and suggests courses that might be a starting point for your college career. Most questions require a multiple choice answer.

How much time will the test take?

Generally, it takes an hour to complete the ACCUPLACER Reading and Writing assessments and two hours to complete the ACCUPLACER Classic ELL assessments.

What subjects are tested?

There are two areas of focus for ACCUPLACER:

  1. Reading: The reading assessment determine what skills students have to succeed in entry-level college courses.
  2. Writing & Sentence Skills: The writing assessment requires students to find and correct errors in essays. This includes grammar, punctuation, sentence structure as well as strategy, organization assessment and style in effective writing.

Also available is ELL ACCUPLACER Classic. Written in standard English, ELL ACCUPLACER Classic will assess appropriate levels of ELL classes or regular course work.

I Have No Computer Experience. Can I still take the ACCUPLACER Test?

ACCUPLACER is user friendly and was designed for those with little or no computer experience. DMACC staff are on hand to walk you through the directions and assist you with getting started.

The amount of time you spend on each area is recorded, but there is no time limit, so you can relax and do your best!

 

Other Testing Services

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a rigorous College Board program that allows students of a wide range of ages to demonstrate their mastery of college-level material in introductory subjects and earn college credit. CLEP offers examinations that represent courses typical of the first two years of college study.

CLEP may be for you if…

  • You have done college level work outside the college setting
  • You want to save time and money
  • You want to bypass introductory classes in a subject area you already know

How will CLEP credit be awarded for DMACC students?

  • Students must be admitted or enrolled in a program of study at DMACC.
  • Scores on the exam must equal or surpass the minimum required by DMACC.
  • After a student has earned 12 semester hours of credit in residence, the credit earned by examination will recorded on the transcript.
  • A maximum of 30 credits earned by examination may be used to meet degree requirements at DMACC.
  • CLEP Procedure - ES4544​

Will credit earned by CLEP while attending DMACC transfer to other institutions:
CLEP credit earned while attending DMACC usually transfers to other colleges or universities; however, you must meet the minimum score requirements of the school to which you are transferring. DMACC does not assume responsibility for the transferability of CLEP credits.

When and where are examinations given?
Exams are given by appointment throughout the year at the Urban, Boone and Ankeny Campuses. Students must register with College Board and pay for an exam before contacting a DMACC campus to take a CLEP exam. The examinations take 90 minutes. Not all CLEP exams are available. Essay Sections not offered for CLEP exams.

How much does the CLEP exam cost?
College Board accesses an $89 exam fee, payable to CLEP when you create a login and register for an exam. A $33 proctor fee will be assessed at the DMACC testing locations in Ankeny, Urban Campus, or Boone Academic Achievement Center when you arrive to take your scheduled exam.

How can I make an appointment for the CLEP exam?
You may make an appointment for CLEP on the Boone Campus by calling 515-433-5095, Ankeny Campus by calling 515-964-6595, or Urban Campus by calling 515-697-7807​.

What can I do to study for these tests?
Books are available through local libraries and book-stores to help prepare for the CLEP examinations. These are comprehensive and contain sample test questions and other helpful information. Copies are available in the DMACC library. There is also material located at the CLEP website. 

When are you allowed to retest?
Students must wait 3 months before retesting.

For official CLEP transcripts contact College Board.

Subject Exams

DMACC Equivalent Minimum Score Needed Credit Hours
American Government POL 111 50​ 3
Analysis & Interpretive Literature LIT 101 51 4
Biology, General TRF 225 50​ 3
Business Law, Introductory BUS 185 50​ 3
Chemistry TRF 225 ​50 3
College French FLF 151 50 5
  FLF 151/152 62 10
College German TRF 230 50 4
  TRF 230 63 8
College Spanish FLS 151 50 5
  FLS 151/152 66 10
English Literature LIT 142 50 3
Financial Accounting ACC 131 50 4
History of the US I HIS 151 50 3
History of the US II HIS 152 50 3
Human Growth & Development PSY 121 50 3
Humanities TRF 230 50 6
Information Systems & Computer Applications CSC 116 50 3
Macroeconomics ECN 120 50 3
​Microeconomics ECN 130 50 3
Management, Principles of MGT 101 50 3
Marketing, Principles of​ MKT 110 50 3
Mathematics, College TRF 215 50 6
Natural Science TRF 225 50 6
Psychology, Introductory PSY 111 50 3
Social Science & History TRF 273 50 6
Sociology, Introductory SOC 110 50 3
Trigonometry MAT 130 54 3
Western Civ I HIS 110 50 3
Western Civ II HIS 111 50 3

Updated August 2022

Other CLEP exams offered, but not accepted for credit by DMACC:

  • American Literature
  • College Composition
  • College Composition Modular (test not offered at DMACC)
  • Educational Psychology, Intro
  • Pre-Calculus and Calculus
  • College Algebra

  1. Review the list of approved Departmental Challenge Exams with the relevant Testing Center, Dean, Provost, or Associate Provost to determine if the course has an approved challenge exam and your eligibility.​
     
  2. If eligible, complete a Departmental Challenge Exam Request Form​​, complete Part 2, and submit to the appropriate academic dean for approval.
     
  3. The Academic Dean verifies is an appropriate Challenge Test​ available for you to complete the desired course. If so, and if you have not previously completed the Challenge Exam, the Dean may approve (Part 3).
     
  4. If approved by the Dean, the Challenge Exam form goes through the Registration office (Part 4). You will be assessed the $50 non-refundable administration fee through Student Accounts at this time. (Part 5).
     
  5. Once you pay the fee, the form is returned to the appropriate Academic Dean (Part 6) who will identify a faculty member who will arrange the exam and coordinate with you. (Should additional proctoring be necessary, you will be responsible for the cost).
     
  6. The Faculty Examiner will complete Part 6 of the form and  deliver it along with a copy of the graded exam to the appropriate Academic Dean for signature. (Grading occurs within 10 days of test date).
     
  7. Once graded, the Academic Dean will let you know of the outcome in writing.
     
  8. The completed form is then forwarded to the Registrar's Office for processing.
     
  9. You will be notified that the Form is complete and that you may use the credits as pre-requisites for appropriate higher-level coursework. Registration may override the prior course requirement until the earned credits have been transcribed.

Appeals Process

If you do not pass Departmental Challenge Exam, you will be notified in writing by the program chair within 10 days of the test date.

Once notified, you can appeal the decision to the Vice President, Academic Affairs. You must make the  appeal in writing and submit it within 10 business days of the denial.

What Is LASSI?

The Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI) is a survey that aids students, advisors, and instructors in understanding college-ready study habits, comprehension skills, and motivation characteristics. Weinstein, Palmer, and Acee pull those areas into the characteristics of “skill, will, and self-regulation” (2016, p. 6). Learning is more than academic—It involves your ability to persist, be confident in your knowledge, and manage your studies effectively.

What does this mean? LASSI is a survey that helps you understand more about what learning skills are areas of strength and what you could improve. If you work with an advisor, counselor, instructor, tutor, or peer mentor to improve your skills, you are likely to improve them.

Who Should Take LASSI?

If you need to take Composition I (ENG 105) for your degree program, you are strongly encouraged to take LASSI so that you and your advisor have a better picture of your learning needs and which college courses to recommend. 

  • ​​You have likely sent your ACT composition scores to the college, and if you have, then you could take LASSI so that you and your advisor could gain additional insight to your learning needs. 
  • If you need to take the ACCUPLACER® Next Generation assessment, then you are encouraged to take LASSI, too.
  • If you sent in ACT scores and would like to take LASSI to help you and your advisor to decide what writing class to take, too. 
You also might be encouraged to take LASSI if you are taking The College Experience (SDV 108), Study Strategies (SDV 115), or other classes. It is available for any instructor to use in their classes as a pre-/post-test.
 
Who Should NOT Take LASSI? 
 
If you do not plan to take Composition I (ENG 105) to meet the communication requirement for your degree, then you should NOT take LASSI. To clarify, if you plan to take Communication Skills (COM 703) or Business English (ADM 157), then you do NOT need to take LASSI unless your instructor guides you to complete it for an assignment.
 
How Do I Take LASSI?
 
You must be a DMACC student to take LASSI. If you are, then you can click the button below, which requires you to type in your DMACC username and password.
 

When you click the above button, a pop-up will request your username and password. You'll be ​directed to the protected LASSI page. If you don't remember your sign-in credentials, please contact Tech Support via form or call them at 515-965-7300.​

How Do I Request Testing A​ccommodations?

Any student with a documented disability who requires reasonable accommodation should contact the Disability Services Coordinator at 515-964-6850. For more information, visit the Disabilities Services site​.

Is LASSI Required for Admission or Placement?

No, taking LASSI is optional until we have finished piloting LASSI.  You will be asked whether you would like to take it, and you can refuse to take it. However, it is a pretty neat tool to use to gain insight about your study skills.

How Do I Get My Results? 

Before the test begins, you will enter your first and last name, your DMACC Student ID, your email address into a form, and on that screen, you will also check a box if you want to receive a copy of the report by email. Make sure the information you add is accurate because it must match the information we have for you in student records. Also, if your email address is incorrect, then you will not receive a copy of your results.  If you know you entered your email correctly but you cannot find the results in your inbox, then check your junk mail or clutter boxes. 
 
Additionally, when the assessment is finished, then you are presented with the report immediately, and you can save or print the report at that time.
 
Finally, if you still cannot find the results, please email Shannon McGregor (515-697-7813 or sdmcgregor@dmacc.edu​), and she will download or email a report to you or an advisor. If you are unsure what your DMACC Student ID is, log onto MyDMACC, click WebInfo, then look in the upper-right corner of the screen.
 
How Do I Read My LASSI Results?
 
After you have completed the assessment, visit the LASSI page (must be signed in to the DMACC website) for more information about reading the results.
 
How Can I Use My LASSI Results?
 
If you are a student who wants to improve your skills, reflecting upon them is a great approach to understanding them. 
 
  • ​Scores below the 50th percentile are areas that would benefit from some attention.
  • Scores between the 50th and 75th percentile have room to grow but are probably assets to your learning.
  • Scores above the 75th percentile are strong, but there is always room for improvement. 
The table below the graphic has explanations of each item in LASSI, and they also have suggestions for addressing areas of concern. Read the whole document – graphic, table, and details, and highlight what you could improve.
 
A few reflection questions to consider include:
 
  • ​In what areas are my numbers the highest? (This means they are strengths.) Why are those numbers high? What do I do that makes those areas strengths? Why do I do that? 
  • In what area​s are my numbers the lowest? (This means they possibly weak areas that can be improved upon with awareness and practice.) Why are those numbers low? What do I do (or not do) that makes those areas weak? Why do I do that?
  • What areas are similar in score and in concept? Are those scores high or low? Why?
  • What areas do I need to work on? Can you use any of your strengths to improve weaknesses? Which ones can you use to improve which weaknesses? How can you use them? Make a plan of action to work on those areas. 
A Case Study Example
 
For example, Marianna is a 1st-semester freshman taking a biological science course.  She might have high scores in Information Processing (INP score of 90) and Selecting the Main Idea (SMI score of 75), but she might not be good at Self-testing Strategies (SFT score of 50) and Test-taking Strategies (TST score of 45). Such scores could indicate that Marianna understands what she reads, but she might need help studying and retaining information for tests or for use in her future career as a surgical technician. She also might have a low score for Using Academic Resources (UAR score of 25), which means she might not be good at asking the instructor, a tutor, or a peer for help.
 
To improve her learning awareness, test-taking skills, and use of academic resources, she could review her chapter notes after each study session or at least once each week; create questions from her notes, readings, and class sessions that help her quiz herself over the content; use the questions at the back of the chapter to test what she knows; or form a weekly study group with other students to ensure they are understanding and thinking about the material. She also could reach out to her instructor or to an Academic Achievement Center instructor for professional guidance. If Marianna regularly reviews her questions and notes, talks with knowledgeable people, and attends study group, then she will be more likely to perform much better on the assignments, tests, and projects in class.

TEAS is used to determine placement for several Health and Public Services programs: Nursing, Surgical Tech, and Vet Tech. Click on the Testing Center links on the right or below to view in-person Testing Center hours and scheduling options for each campus and center.

  • A Remote Testing option is available for students who require a more flexible testing arrangement.
  • To test remotely, students must have a desktop or laptop computer with a microphone and webcam, as well as a Chrome extension (Proctorio) installed. Remote testing is unavailable through a phone or tablet. Schedule a TEAS testing appointment for the Nursing, Surgical Tech, or Vet Tech program.