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» Placement & Proficiency Tests

Placement & Proficiency Tests

What’s the difference between proficiency tests and placement tests?
In general, proficiency tests measure your knowledge and skill in a content area, and placement tests indicate the appropriate level to begin taking courses in a specific subject. Proficiency tests are tied to the Elmhurst College Integrated Curriculum requirements, while placement tests help you choose courses appropriate for your level of learning.

What proficiencies are required in the Elmhurst College Integrated Curriculum?
The Integrated Curriculum requires students to demonstrate proficiency in writing, mathematics, foreign language and computer technology. Students may demonstrate proficiency in the following ways:


  • Completing English 105 Composition I with a grade of D or better
  • Bringing in transfer credit for English 105 with a grade of D or better
  • Taking the writing placement test on the first-year summer advising & registration day and placing into English 106
  • AP credit [score of 3 or higher] for the English Language & Composition exam (official test scores required)
  • ACT composite of 29 or SAT score of 1900 or higher


  • ACT Mathematics score of 22 or SAT Mathematics score of 560
  • Completing an approved college-level math course (required for a major or as an elective) with a grade D or better
  • Passing the Mathematics proficiency test (offered in the Fall and Spring Terms; watch for email announcements about dates, times and location); students are encouraged to study before taking the math proficiency test

Foreign language

  • Completing two or more years of the same language in high school with a grade of D or higher
  • Completing one year of the same language in college with a grade of D or better (equivalent to the 102 level)
  • Taking the Elmhurst College placement test [Spanish, French, German] and scoring at the 201 level or above
  • AP credit [score of 3 or higher] for the appropriate language exam (official test scores required)

Computer technology

  • Passing the computer technology proficiency test offered on the summer advising & registration day
  • Completing a college-level class, CS 111 Introduction to Software Applications and Digital Technology with a grade of D or better
  • Bringing in transfer credit for a 3 semester course covering Microsoft Office with a grade of D or better

You will learn much more about the whole Elmhurst College Integrated Curriculum program on your advising and registration day.

What tests should I take?
If you are a transfer student, the tests you’ll take depend on the courses you’ve already taken and the courses you plan to take at Elmhurst. Check your Transfer Credit Evaluation and speak with your admission counselor for more information.

If you are a first-year student, you will take both placement and proficiency tests. In the morning you will take a proficiency test in computer technology, and required placement tests in foreign language and math. Taking these tests in the morning ensures that you will have the results for the afternoon advising session, which may affect your course selections for the Fall Term. 

Should I take the optional writing test?
The College requires two composition courses, Eng 105 Composition I and Eng 106 Composition II, for all undergraduates. Many students will take both composition courses, usually during their first year in College.

If you have exceptionally strong writing skills, you may want to take the writing test on the first-year advising and registration day. Because the writing test is optional, it is scheduled at the end of the first-year summer advising day.

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