Placement Tests & Credit

There are multiple forms of Placement at ECU, but there are two primary areas of focus: Placement Tests and Placement Credit (e.g. Advanced Placement, DANTES,CLEP).

Placement Tests

Placement tests are given in mathematics, foreign language, and chemistry. However, placement tests will not be administered, nor will placement credit be awarded, in any of the three academic areas in which the student has earned any college credit. Credit earned through placement testing is awarded without grade and without quality points, and no fee is exacted for such credit. (See below.) The student should strive for a high score on placement tests because the resulting reduction in the number of credits to be earned to satisfy minimum requirements for graduation and the time made available for elective courses justify the effort. Tests are scheduled during the summer orientation program and at certain other times as determined by the department concerned. Distance education students may be required to visit the campus to take placement tests. Information pertinent to each area is included in the sections immediately following.


Students who score 540 or better on the mathematics sub-score of the SAT may be placed into MATH 1065 or 1066, all of which count toward the foundations curriculum mathematics requirement. MATH 1050, which also counts toward the foundations curriculum mathematics requirement, does not require a minimum SAT score. Students without the minimum SAT score will be placed into MATH 1065 or higher based on their score on the mathematics placement test. A student who earns a higher score on the math SAT or has taken AP calculus in high school can be placed into a higher level course with the consent of the department. Placement testing allows you into a certain math and does not waive that requirement.


Entering freshmen who present a score of 3 on the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) Advanced Placement Examination (language and composition or literature and composition) receive 3 semester hours credit and enroll in ENGL 1200 to complete the composition requirement. Students with scores of 4 or 5 receive 6 semester hours credit and have completed the composition requirement. Honors students who do not take the CEEB Advanced Placement Examination or who present a score below 3 may enroll in honors sections of ENGL 1100. Quality points will be granted only for those students who complete ENGL 1100 and/or 1200 through regular class attendance.

Foreign Language

To determine the university level of foreign language study at which students may most profitably continue the language(s) they took in high school, a placement test should be taken by all students who have only high school credit in foreign language(s) and wish to earn college level credit at ECU. (See Placement Testing, above.) Students exercising the option to take the foreign language placement test may enroll in a course one level lower than the placement indication without departmental approval or one level higher with permission of the chairperson of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures either during drop/add or by the fifth day of class. After successful completion of the course, students will, upon request, receive bypass credit for the course(s) sequentially preceding the one completed. This policy is to be applied to all students regardless of the date of their entry to the university. Students who take the placement test may also receive bypass credit for language levels 1001 through 1004, but only upon satisfactory completion of validating procedures administered on this campus, as follows:

  • Upon completion of level 1002 with a passing grade, students will receive bypass credit for level 1001.
  • Upon completion of level 1003 with a passing grade, students will receive bypass credit for levels 1001 and 1002.
  • Upon completion of level 1004 with a passing grade, students will receive bypass credit for levels 1001, 1002, and 1003.
  • Upon completion of a course above level 1004 with a passing grade, students will receive credit for levels 1001, 1002, 1003, and 1004.

Entering students who plan to continue language study are strongly advised to do so as soon as possible after admission to the university. Any questions concerning placement and bypass credit should be directed to the chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. Students who do not wish to take the placement test in the language they choose to study must enroll in level 1001. Please note, however, that a placement test is required for enrollment in all lower-level Spanish courses including level 1001. Students with college bypass credit in a particular foreign language from another institution are not eligible to take the placement test in that language. Students who wish to study a different language from the one studied in high school may earn credit beginning with level 1001. Foreign students are not eligible to take the placement test in their native language and receive bypass credit for basic elementary and intermediate level courses in that language. They are encouraged to take advanced courses in their native language; however, they should see the chairperson of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures before enrolling.

Placement Credit by Exam

Placement credit can be granted through CLEP, DANTES, AP, and other avenes. Placement credit in these forms equate certain tests to college credit. For a detailed description of each form of placement credit, please visit the ECU Admissions page here.

Testing out of Math 1065:
Students seeking to test-out of MATH 1065 may contact the math department ( for information about their 'credit by exam' process.