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Placement

In order to accurately assess and prepare new students for the rigors of their first semester, the University of Baltimore requires placement testing to determine accurate writing and math courses for its new students. Newly admitted first-year students with valid SAT/ACT scores should consult their admission counselor to determine if placement is required.

Placement test scores are valid for two years, in accordance with state guidelines.

Transfer students requiring placement should register for placement tests no later than their second semester at UB. Failure to do so may impact a student’s intended graduation schedule and course registration.

If placement testing accommodations are required, please send current documentation of a disability (at least two weeks in advance) to the Center for Educational Access .

Writing Placement

  • First-Year Writing Placement

    Students with fewer than 24 credits must complete Directed Self Placement (DSP) if they did not transfer the equivalent of WRIT 101 College Composition.

    DSP provides students with information to place themselves into appropriate writing courses. Students complete an online assessment and compose two writing samples in response to a specific prompt. The writing samples are reviewed by a writing administrator who provides a placement recommendation to help students make a decision. With guidance from an adviser, the student decides which writing course provides the pathway to becoming a successful writer at the college level.Students will:

    • submit two impromptu essays
    • take an online writing self-inventory
    • complete the ACCUPLACER reading and writing assessments
    • consult with adviser and select the appropriate writing course.

    Current University of Baltimore students should refer to the FAQs section, or email Carey Miller at placement@ubalt.edu if they are unsure if they are required to sit for DSP.

  • Upper-Division Writing Placement Test (for WRIT 300)

    WRIT 300 Composition and Research is an upper-division general education writing course required for all majors. Transfer and upper-division students wishing to take WRIT 300 must have:

    • WRIT 101 or equivalent credit either through transferring credit or completing the course with a grade of C- or higher
    • received a score of 300 on the upper-division writing placement test.

    The 75-minute placement test consists of writing an essay response to a prompt. Faculty will evaluate the writing sample according to the rubric attached here.

    Current University of Baltimore students should email Carey Miller at placement@ubalt.edu if they are unsure if they are required to sit for upper-division writing placement test.

    *Please note: Transfer students requiring placement should do so no later than their second semester at UB. Failure to do so may impact intended graduation schedule and course registration.

    **If placement accommodations are required, please send current documentation of a disability (at least two weeks in advance) to the Center for Educational Access.

    Placement test scores are valid for two years in accordance with state guidelines.

Math Placement

  • First-Year Math Placement

    First-year students who are required to sit for the math placement will take the ACCUPLACER Diagnostic Elementary Algebra Test. The ACCUPLACER test is comprised of 40 questions testing a students’ knowledge of algebraic expressions, linear and quadratic equations, and real numbers. The test results are reviewed by the math coordinator and are given to students when they meet with their first-year adviser.

  • Transfer and Upper-Division Math Placement

    The Transfer and Upper-Division Math Placement Test consists of 16 questions which cover algebraic concepts. Test scores determine initial enrollment in MATH 115 Introductory Statistics, MATH 111 College Algebra or MATH 100 Foundational Mathematics.

    It is not unusual for students to place into developmental (foundational) courses that lead, in one or two terms, to credit classes in those subjects.

    Students will be advised to register for appropriate courses based on placement test scores.

Placement Test Schedules and RSVP

  • Upper-Division Writing Placement Testing Schedule

    RSVP is required through UB's Web calendar. To RSVP, choose the date below that you wish to sit for the placement test and click the corresponding RSVP link to reserve your seat.

    Fall 2015 Dates and Times 

    • Thursday, October 15, 6 p.m. RSVP
    • Tuesday, October 20, 2 p.m. RSVP
    • Wednesday, October 21, 6 p.m. RSVP
    • Thursday, October 22, 10 a.m. RSVP
    • Thursday, October 29, 6 p.m. RSVP
    • Friday, October 30, 12 p.m. RSVP
    • Saturday, November 7, 10 a.m. RSVP and 11:30 a.m. RSVP
    • Wednesday, November 11, 2 p.m. RSVP
    • Thursday, November 12, 10 a.m. RSVP
    • Friday, November 20, 12 p.m. RSVP
    • Saturday, November 21, 10 a.m. RSVP and 11:30 a.m. RSVP
    • Saturday, December 5, 10 a.m. RSVP and 11:30 a.m. RSVP
    • Saturday, December 12, 10 a.m. RSVP and 11:30 a.m. RSVP
  • Transfer and Upper-Division Math Placement Testing Schedule

    The math placement test dates below are for transfer and upper-division students who either did not take the first-year math placement test (as a first-year student) or did not transfer in a math course. To RSVP, choose the date below that you wish to sit for the placement test and click the corresponding RSVP link to reserve your seat.

    2015-16 Dates and Times

    • Wednesday, July 29, 3 p.m. RSVP
    • Wednesday, August 19, 2 p.m. RSVP
    • Tuesday, September 22, 5:30 p.m. RSVP
    • Wednesday, October 7, 2 p.m. RSVP
    • Wednesday, October 28, 5:30 p.m. RSVP
    • Wednesday, November 11, 4 p.m. RSVP
    • Thursday, January 7, 10 a.m. RSVP
    • Wednesday, January 20, 5:30 p.m. RSVP
    • Tuesday, March 8, 3 p.m. RSVP
    • Wednesday, March 30, 5:30 p.m. RSVP
    • Wednesday, April 27, 5:30 p.m. RSVP

Placement FAQs

  • What is placement?

    Placement helps evaluate a students' current knowledge or skills.

  • Why do I need to take a placement test?

    At UB, we use placement tests to help determine what courses you need to ensure that you are successful and achieve your academic goals. Placement tests only measure your current skill level; they do not measure your intelligence or your ability. It may be a good idea to review basic algebra concepts before taking the math placement test.

  • What are the grading criteria for the Upper-Division Writing Placement?

    A student’s essay will be evaluated as a piece of formal writing using the following criteria:

    • The essay’s introduction clearly announces your topic and gives the reader sufficient background information.
    • The introduction includes a thesis statement that takes a position on the issue identified in the prompt.
    • Each body paragraph of the essay contains a topic sentence which provides unity and transitions that provide a smooth connection between sentences and paragraphs. Paragraphs are well developed with examples and details.
    • The essay contains a conclusion which provides closure to the essay.
    • The essay contains college-appropriate content which addresses the prompt and supports your position with examples or logic.
    • The essay demonstrates sufficiently correct grammar by avoiding sentence structure and writing errors.
    • The essay employs diction (word choice) appropriate to a college-educated audience.
    • Review the Upper-Division Writing Placement rubric.
  • What happens if my AP credits do not transfer in as WRIT 101?

    If a student’s AP credits do not transfer as our WRIT 101 College Composition, the student will be required to register for this course within his or her first two semesters at UB.

  • Can I transfer my course credit to replace the WRIT 300 course?

    Generally, no. It is unusual for a transfer student to have credit for an equivalent course. Exceptions are reviewed individually by the writing coordinator.

  • Can I retake the math and writing placement tests?

    Students will be allowed to request one math placement test retake. After taking the math placement test for the first time, it is recommended that students wait 60 calendar days to retake the test to allow for adequate preparation and review time. 

    Upper-division students are not permitted to retake the writing placement test. Exceptions are determined by the writing coordinator.

  • Do you offer any sample prompts or workshops for the Upper-Division Writing Placement Test?

    Sample Essay Prompts 
    These essay prompts are samples only. They reflect the type of question or statement to which you will be expected to respond in a placement exam.

    1. Some say the main role of the arts is to upset social conventions or “shake things up." Others argue that the arts serve primarily to calm and soothe us during trying times. What function do you believe the arts play in our society? Write an essay in which you take a position on this issue, supporting your position with reasons and examples from your own experiences, observations or reading.
     
    2. Scientific advances in disease prevention and aging may soon expand the human life expectancy to more than 100 years. Do you feel this development will have a positive or negative impact on society? Write an essay in which you take a position on this issue, supporting your position with reasons and examples from your own experiences, observations or reading.
     
    3. Some say that the best preparation for employment is learning to work with others and be cooperative. Others say it is better to learn how to work by yourself and be competitive. What kind of training do you think is best: cooperative, competitive, a little bit of both? Write an essay in which you take a position on this issue, supporting your position with reasons and examples from your own experiences, observations or reading.
     
    4. Whether or not public school children should wear uniforms is a heated contemporary debate. Educators and sociology experts believe that school uniforms improve the social climate of a school by removing the pressure to fit in caused by fashion statements. Those opposed to school uniforms believe that wearing uniforms strip students of their individuality and self-expression, thus causing them to find more inappropriate ways to express themselves. Where do you stand on this issue? Write an essay in which you take a position on this issue, supporting your position with reasons and examples from your own experiences, observations or reading.
     
    5. Every industrialized country except the United States and Canada now prohibits corporal punishment (spanking) in schools while fifteen European countries also ban the use of corporal punishment by parents in their homes. Should the United States prohibit parents from spanking their children? Write an essay in which you take a position on this issue, supporting your position with reasons and examples from your own experiences, observations or reading.

    You can also view the test instructions and the rubric.

    Get tips and strategies to prepare for this test by attending the Achievement and Learning Center’s free Upper-Division Writing Placement Test Preparation Workshop.

  • What is WRIT 200, and why do I need to take it?

    WRIT 200 Practicum in Writing is a 3-credit course which helps students prepare for WRIT 300 with an additional semester of writing instruction. 

  • How do I take a placement test if I'm a Shady Grove student?

    If you are a Shady Grove student needing to sit for the Upper-Division Writing Placement Test, please contact Toyette Sullivan at tsullivan@ubalt.edu or 301.738.6352.

  • Are there prep workshops for writing?

    The Achievement and Learning Center offers a free Upper-Division Writing Placement Test Preparation Workshop which provides tips and strategies for success on the writing placement test. The writing placement test is required of all UB students registering for WRIT 200 Practicum in Writing or WRIT 300 Advanced Expository Writing. 

  • When should I take the Upper-Division Writing Placement Test?

    All students must take the writing placement test before their second registration at UB. Students are also encouraged to take this placement test early in order to register for the appropriate writing course. Failure to do so may affect their ability to get into a desired class section.

  • How do I RSVP for a placement test date?

    RSVP is required through UB's Web calendar . Bring a pen or pencil and photo ID to the designated test room before the start time. Late arrivals will not be admitted. The test is 75 minutes. If you are a Web Bachelors student (online only student), click here to request off-site testing.

  • How do I obtain my results after taking the Upper-Division Writing Placement Test?

    Students' placement results are available through the MyUB Portal. Log in to MyUB and follow this path: My Self Service>   Placement Test Scores

  • What do my math placement test results mean (transfer and upper-division students)?

    • If the score is between 0-82 a student will be required to register for MATH 100A
    • If the score is between 83-109 a student will be required to register for MATH100 B
    • If the score is 110 or higher a student can select MATH 111 or MATH 115 to fulfill the math requirement.

    **MATH 100A and MATH 100B are the same course; however, they are populated based on skill level.

  • How do I prepare for the First-Year Math Placement Test?

    In order to prepare for the First-Year Math Placement Test, you can a take sample test by going to ACCUPLACER Tests and clicking on Elementary Algebra. This will redirect you to some sample algebra problems which are similar to the ones you will encounter on the placement test. 

    You can also bring your sample problems to the Math Learning Center, where a math coach can walk you through solving the problems. 

    Students should also plan to review math material prior to taking the placement test. The CUNY Compass Math Review site offers helpful practice tests in both pre-algebra and algebra.

Last Published 8/26/15