Place for Success

Understanding course placement at Saint Mary's

We want you to begin your Saint Mary’s career in the appropriate courses based on your current skills and abilities. The information below will help you understand your initial placement in English, math, and Spanish, as well as options to challenge that placement for English and math.

English Placement

The English placement procedure at Saint Mary’s helps place you in the English course that is most likely to set you up for success in college-level reading and writing. Your initial English placement is determined by your English ACT subscore and your SAT reading and writing scores:

ACT 19/SAT 461 and above = English 130
ACT 18/SAT 460 and below = English 105

Students placed into English 105 have the option to challenge their placement.  The placement test must be taken in person during NSOR (morning) or by appointment with the English Department Chair through the first week of classes.

The test will include meeting a faculty member to discuss writing background and composing a short essay in a timed environment.

Mathematics Placement

Your initial placement is determined by your Math ACT/SAT subscore. You have the opportunity to challenge your initial placement if you do not believe it is the appropriate course for you.

Math ACT 20/SAT 490 and below = Math 100 or Math 102 to demonstrate competency.

Students placed into Math 100 or Math 102 have the option to challenge their placement.  The placement challenge test must be taken in person during NSOR (morning or afternoon) or by appointment with the Math Department Chair through the first week of classes.

Initial Math Placement Exam Example

Math ACT 21/SAT 500 and above = Initial competency satisfied.

See math requirements by major for additional coursework. 

Calculus Placement

If you would like to study calculus, there are two options to complete Calculus I.
Option 1: A two-semester sequence (M148-M149) which integrates precalculus topics with the standard content of Calculus I. Students with Math ACT scores of 21-25 are placed in M148. You may challenge your M148 placement by successfully completing a precalculus competency exam. The exam may be taken in person during NSOR (morning or afternoon) or by appointment with the Math Department Chair through the first week of classes.
 
 
Option 2: A one semester Calculus I course (M151).
Students with Math ACT scores of 26 and above are placed in M151.
 

Spanish Placement

You should consider Spanish placement if:

  • you have taken Spanish in high school or before
  • you regularly use Spanish at home
  • you are planning to complete a Spanish major or minor
  • you wish to apply Spanish study to Integrated General Education requirements
  • you plan to take Spanish classes as electives

Meet with a Modern Languages faculty member to discuss the your background in Spanish or Spanish study. Placement occurs in-person during NSOR (8:30-9:00 am) and during registration. It is also possible to obtain your placement via phone with the department chair or any member of the Spanish faculty.

Questions?

If you have questions about NSOR or placement/challenge exams, contact your admission counselor.