Placement Exams

MWSU studentPlacement in math, reading, and writing courses at Missouri Western is determined by ACT subscores. Depending on your scores, you may be required to take development courses before completing your general education requirements in these areas.

If you have not taken the ACT or if you are unsatisfied with your ACT score placement, we encourage you to consider any of the placement tests listed below. Taking these exams could save you time and money as you complete your degree, because they often allow students to test into higher-level courses. Missouri Western placement exams are free, and they are all available for students to take on New Student Registration (NSR) days.

Jump to: Mathematics | Reading | Writing | Foreign Language


The Mathematics Placement Exam

The Mathematics Placement Exam (MPE) was created by Missouri Western faculty using institutional data to more accurately place students into courses where they will have a higher chance of success. The MPE is a 50-minute proctored exam that may be taken/retaken once per week, with the highest score credited to the student record.

Prior to taking the MPE, students are encouraged to review the topics assessed by the MPE by visiting the Mathematics Placement website. Available resources include video tutorials, downloadable worksheets, sample online problems identical to the problems appearing on the MPE, as well as a sample exam.

Learn More and Register for the Mathematics Placement Exam

Refer to the chart below for the necessary ACT Math subscore OR MPE scores needed to place into Missouri Western general studies math courses.

ACT Math Subset Score MPE Score Course Placement
1 – 17 0 – 39 MAT 081
18 – 21 40 – 69 MAT 110E
22 – 36 70 – 100 MAT 110, 112, or 116

The Reading Placement Exam

The Reading Placement Exam is administered by the Center for Academic Support. The exam is through Accuplacer, a nationally administered, computerized placement test designed to provide placement and advising information for students entering college. The Accuplacer reading comprehension exam is a self-paced test given on a computer, and it consists of questions related to reading comprehension and sentence skills. If you scored a 17 or below on the Reading ACT but you believe you have strong critical reading skills, then you should consider taking the Reading Placement Exam. This exam is available on several days prior to the start of the semester.

ENG 104 College Writing and Rhetoric, a required general studies course, also requires an 18 ACT Reading Subset Score or an 85 on the Reading Placement Exam as a prerequisite. Students who do not have an 18 ACT reading subset score or have not passed the Accuplacer Reading Comprehension Exam with an 85 or higher, must take RDG 095 Reading Skills Improvement and pass with a C or higher to advance to ENG 104.

Learn More and Register for the Reading Placement Exam

Refer to the chart below for the necessary ACT reading OR Reading Placement Exam scores needed to test out of RDG 095.

ACT Reading Subset Score Reading Placement Exam Score Course Placement
1 – 17 0 – 84 RDG 095
18 – 36 85 or higher No RDG course required

The Writing Placement Exam

The Writing Placement Exam (WPE) is administered and scored by the English and Modern Languages (EML) Department. The test consists of one essay written on the assigned topic during a 45-minute period. You will be asked to read a brief article and then write a text-based response, in academic essay format, to that article. The WPE can be taken only once, and it is for the students who have not yet been enrolled in/attempted an English composition course. The WPE will be given only on scheduled days and times during registration sessions. There will be no additional or make-up sessions. In addition, the WPE will not be given once classes begin. If your English ACT is below 18, but you believe you have strong critical thinking, reading and writing skills, then you should consider taking the WPE. Also, if you do not have an ACT score then you should consider taking the WPE. If not, you will be placed in ENG 100.

Placement in ENG 100 Introduction to College Writing: If your score is below our cut-off, you will enroll in ENG 100 Introduction to College Writing. This is a three-credit, college level course which counts toward graduation in all two-year and four-year programs. It prepares students to succeed in ENG 104 and ENG 108 as well as many other classes that require academic writing. In this course, students will refine their writing process, engage in critical reading, thinking and writing and be required to write both personal and text-based essays.

Placement in ENG 104 College Writing and Rhetoric: If your score is above our cut-off, you will enroll in ENG 104 College Writing and Rhetoric. ENG 104 counts toward graduation, fulfilling the General Studies composition requirement for a two-year degree. For a four-year degree, you will also need to take ENG 108 College Writing and Research.

Learn More about Dates and Guidelines for the Writing Placement Exam

Refer to the chart below for the necessary ACT English OR WPE scores needed to place into Missouri Western composition courses.

ACT English Subset Score WPE Score Course Placement
1 – 17 1 – 3 ENG 100
18 or higher 4 – 5 ENG 104
26 or higher 6 ENG 112

The Foreign Language Placement Exam

Missouri Western also offers the Foreign Language Placement Exam, administered by the EML Department. If you have studied French, German, Spanish, or Chinese in high school or college and wish to receive credit, or if you are unsure which course level is the best one for you to continue your language studies, then we encourage you to take the standardized placement test. Depending on the results, you may be eligible for 3 to 12 hours of credit. This exam is available on several days prior to the start of the semester.

Learn More and Register for the Foreign Language Placement Exam