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by Students at UWO


In order to get ready to attend UW Oshkosh, you’ll be required to take placement tests in English and math, and have the option to take a placement test in Spanish, German or French. These tests will put you in appropriate college-level courses based on your current knowledge proficiency.

Placement tests for the UW System are scheduled throughout March and April, usually on Saturdays and Sundays. Taking the test during these months will ensure that your results are ready at your Advisement and Registration day!

Even though these tests are meant to help you, they are definitely still tests, so I understand if you’re a bit apprehensive! But fear not, we’ve compiled 11 tips and tricks to help make these tests a breeze.

1. Register early. Placement testing locations and dates may have a limited number of spots available, so be sure to sign up early and reserve a date that is the most convenient for you.

2. Location, Location, Location. If you don’t live in the Oshkosh area, you can take your test at any UW System college! And for our Illinois and Minnesota friends, there are locations near Minneapolis and Chicago, as well. If you like in another state, please call our office for more information about your testing options.

3. Plan ahead. On your testing day be sure to plan accordingly for the day ahead of you. The math and English portions will take 90 minutes each, and if you decide to take the foreign language test as well, this will take an additional 60 minutes. Be sure to arrive on time and know where you’re going. Placement testing sites will provide directions in your confirmation email.

4. Brush up on your skills. Knowing some good testing techniques, like skipping and returning to difficult questions, double checking your answers, and eliminating wrong answers can help you answer more effectively and ease that testing anxiety most of us have. Reviewing your ACT prep book for some basic grammar rules and common math principles isn’t a bad idea either. Study up!

5. What to bring. Be sure to bring a non-graphing calculator, a few  No. 2 pencils, your driver’s license, a bottle of water, and some snacks. These things will reduce your test day stress and prepare you for success (hey, that rhymed)!

6. Rest up. Placement testing will begin early, so make sure you get a good night’s rest the day before! Don’t stay up binge watching that last season… save it for when you’re done! You’ll enjoy it more. 🙂

7. Eat a healthy breakfast. The morning of the exam eat a well-balanced breakfast! Eating healthy the morning of the exam will give you a boost of energy to make it through the tests. Yogurt with granola, milk and cereal, a fruit smoothie, scrambled eggs, etc. are all good choices!

8. R-E-L-A-X. You most likely won’t know the answer to every question because these tests are designed to test your skill levels in multiple areas. So don’t stress, just breathe. Take an educated guess and then come back to it later if you have time.

9. Get your retro on. Well, retro credits anyway! If you have taken two or more years of a foreign language (Spanish, German or French) at your high school you may be eligible to earn retroactive credits at UW Oshkosh based on your placement testing score and grades here on campus. If you test into a higher level of your desired foreign language and earn a B or higher in that class, you will receive credit for that class — AND the previous courses — without taking them! Pretty cool, huh?!

10. Don’t worry about your admissions status. Take a deep breath. These placement tests will simply help to place you in the correct levels of math, English, and foreign language classes (if applicable) and won’t impact your admissions status. Do your best!

11. Don’t worry about your score. I know it might seem a little different from what you’re used to, but you don’t actually see your official score for your placement tests! Your scores are only used by academic advising to place you into the right classes. Even if you see the score, it won’t mean anything to you. So just relax and go with the flow. 🙂

When these tests are completed, congrats! You’re one step closer to college! For more info on these exams or to find practice resources, visit this link. If you have questions or any tips of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments below! Thanks for checking out our tips and tricks, and best of luck in your placement tests!