Placement Testing

Marian University has four online placement tests. Incoming students may be assigned any combination of these based on standardized test scores and courses taken prior.

  • Math
  • English/writing
  • Reading
  • World languages

Placement testing info and access are shared with students at the email address 4 weeks before the New Student Orientation program they are registered for. They are due the Friday before your orientation. You will be able to access your online placement tests through Canvas.

If you are assigned and do not complete the math, reading, or English placement test, you will automatically be placed in a prerequisite course, so we HIGHLY recommend you take the time to complete these to the best of your ability so you can potentially bypass these extra courses.

If you are an incoming transfer student, please see the "transfer students" section at the bottom of this page.


  • A writing placement test is required for incoming freshmen with an ACT English score below 21 and composite score below 23 or an SAT total score below 1200
  • A one-hour timed writing prompt essay must be completed online before your orientation.
  • The writing placement test determines whether you are required to complete English courses before enrolling in ENG 112.

Reading comprehension 

  • A reading comprehension placement test is required for incoming freshmen with an ACT reading score below 19 or an SAT evidence-based reasoning/verbal score below 530.
  • The placement test determines whether you are required to take COL 099, College Reading and Learning Strategies.


  • A math placement test is required for incoming freshmen who meet the following criteria.
  1. ACT math score: Below 19
  2. SAT math score: Below 530
  • The one-hour timed math test must be completed online before your orientation. 
  • If you are not required to take math placement testing, your advisor will recommend a math course appropriate for your major and ability level based on your ACT/SAT scores.

Foreign language 

  • All students are required to take one foreign language course according to their current ability level. Marian University offers French, German, Latin, and Spanish.
  • If you want to continue taking courses in a previously studied foreign language, you will complete foreign language placement testing online before your orientation. You must complete the foreign language course in which you are placed to fulfill the graduation requirement. Additional back credit may be awarded if that course is taken and passed with a C or higher.
  • If you choose to take a foreign language at Marian University that you did NOT previously study, you are required to take the introductory 101 course for that language.
  • Foreign language placement testing is also offered to current students in October and March.
  • Results are valid for two years from the test date.

More info about the language placement test

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about placement testing

Wondering how your dual or AP credit for English, math, or a foreign language will affect your placement testing needs? Want more information on our foreign language back credit policy? Review these placement testing FAQs for answers to these questions and more.

Transfer students

  • If you are an incoming transfer student less than 30 transfer credit hours, you are required to complete math, writing, and reading comprehension placement testing unless you have equivalent transfer coursework which fulfills these requirements.
  • Transfer students with 30 or more transfer credit hours are NOT required to complete placement testing. 
  • Foreign language placement testing is not required for transfer students, though you are encouraged to talk with your advisor about the foreign language placement exam if you have previous coursework in French, German, Latin, or Spanish, as you must still complete the foreign language general education requirement.

Dual credit, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and Project Lead the Way (PLTW) students

  • Bring a list of dual credit, Advanced Placement (AP), or International Baccalaureate (IB) credits that you have or anticipate receiving to orientation. Share this information with your advisor during your advising appointment. 
  • If you have completed dual credit courses, we must have an official transcript from the college or university granting that credit. You must request the school send a copy of your official transcript to Marian University electronically or via U.S. mail well in advance of your orientation. Typically, you'll do this as part of your admission application.
  • Marian University does not accept dual credits recorded on your high school transcript. If you are in the process of completing a dual credit course, you must request the college or university send an official transcript to Marian University after the course(s) is complete.
  • AP score reports are received by Marian University in July and the student and advisor are notified of credit awarded at that time. If you have previously taken AP or IB exams but did not request that the scores be sent to us, please have an official AP score report/IB transcript sent directly to Marian University from (AP) or (IB).
  • If you have successfully completed all four exams from IUPUI's Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculum can be awarded credit. The official certification letter from IUPUI must be presented to the Marian University Office of the Registrar in order to receive this credit.

For more information

First Year Experience
(317) 955-6354

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