Placement Testing

Newly admitted students for fall 2021 will not be required to complete a placement exam. Course placement in English and Mathematics will be discussed during the Academic Advising session. Students admitted prior years who did not complete placement testing upon entry will need to contact the Testing Services Team ( to address their placement testing needs.

Placement testing is part of New Student Orientation (NSO), which also includes academic advising, class registration, and Discover BSU activities. All first-time students and some transfer* students are required to take tests in writing, reading comprehension and math. Only students who have been admitted to Bowie State University are permitted to take the Placement Tests.

These tests will determine the most appropriate English and math courses that match your current knowledge and skills. You will then be placed in college-level courses or developmental courses to help you succeed at Bowie State University. You must register for sessions on the NSO web site.

You must take the test if you are:

  • A first-year freshman student. You must take the Placement Test before talking with your academic advisor and registering for classes.
  • A transfer* student who did not transfer English composition with a "C" or better. You must take the English Placement Test.
  • Any student who doesn't have an associate's degree is required to take Math Placement Testing. You must take the Math Placement Exam before being permitted to register for classes.
  • An in-state transfer student who has an associate’s degree. You are not required to take a Placement Test.

*If you are a transfer student, it is important for you to check with the Admissions Office at 301-860-3415 to find out which test you are required to take before you register for classes.

Special Accommodations

Students who have a disability and who need special accommodations for testing should call the coordinator of Disability Support Services at 301-860-4067.

What to Bring

If you have been admitted to the university and have registered for the Placement Test, you must bring a current photo ID, your student ID number, and two No. 2 pencils to the testing site. Electronic devices, calculators, and personal items (book bags, purses, etc.) are prohibited.

Preparing for the Placement Test

We’ve created a page with additional information while you prepare for your Placement Test, administered by ACCUPLACER. You’ll find information about the test, how it works and links to practice questions.


You may only retake the writing, mathematics, and reading sections of the Placement Test once. All retesting must be completed within two weeks of your initial placement testing date. Send an email to Testing Services at to make an appointment to take the test a second time.

Study Guide for Practicing Before You Retest

To obtain a study guide and additional placement prep resources please visit our Tutorials and Tips page.