New students take placement tests after applying for admission, and must complete placement requirements according to the degree, certificate, or course they intend to register in. Please note that all Degree Seeking students must complete placement requirements before registering for courses, and all students must satisfy course prerequisites before registering in a specific course. All placement testing occurs in the college’s Testing Center, located in Building G, Room 231.

When Do I Take The Placement Tests?

Placement tests are required for all Degree Seeking students, some Certificates (please see this list for more details), and for any student seeking to register in a course that has a placement prerequisite (such as English Composition, Mathematics, and many other classes). Students may not register for the placement test until they have completed a Moraine Valley admission application.

Students may be exempted from all, or portions of the placement test based on SAT/ACT scores. More information on SAT/ACT scores is below. Students with previous college credit, AP scores, IB scores, and/or State Seal of Biliteracy should send a copy of their documents for review through the Prerequisite Override Form, or by visiting Academic Advising in Building S, Room S201. Any coursework that meets college-level placement will be entered as an exemption so the student will not need to complete that portion of the placement test.

The Moraine Valley Testing Center offers placement exams in Math (ALEKS), as well as Reading, Communications, and Intensive English Language (Accuplacer).  ALEKS and Accuplacer exams are taken on computer in the Testing Center.

Accuplacer exams take on average about one hour to complete.  ALEKS exams typically take 60-90 minutes to complete.  Students taking both Accuplacer and ALEKS at a single visit should plan to spend a minimum of 2 ½ hours testing.  Results of placement exams are available immediately after testing.

How Do I Register For Placement Testing?

Pre-registration and pre-payment is required for placement testing. Registration can be done either online or in person.


  1. Login to MVConnect using your assigned Moraine Valley username and password:

Your assigned username and password can be found in your Moraine Valley Welcome Letter.

  1. On the Self-Service menu, click Registration.
  2. Select Search, Register, and Pay for Non-Credit classes.
  3. Select Placement Testing in the Topic Code drop-down box and click Submit.
  4. Click the box next to the section you would like to register for and click Submit.
  5. Continue through the remaining screens and submit your payment of $25.

In Person: 

You may choose to register for any scheduled Accuplacer placement test session that will be offered Monday-Friday. Stop by the Registration Office, Building S, Room S103, to register.

A non-refundable payment of $25 is due at the time of registration. Please proceed to the Cashier’s Office, Building S, Room S105.

Bring your receipt to the Testing Center, Building G, Room G231.

New students who are required to attend New Student Orientation must complete English composition, reading and math placement testing prior to scheduling an orientation program.

What Will The Placement Test Cover?

Accuplacer and ALEKS are web-based, computer-adaptive exams.  Exam questions are selected and the level of item difficulty is adjusted for each individual student based on the student’s answers as the student progresses through the exam.

The ACCUPLACER Reading test is designed to assess students’ reading comprehension. Identifying main ideas, secondary/supporting ideas, inference, applications, and sentence relationship are tested with 20 multiple-choice items. Results of the test will determine student placement in MVCC Reading (RDG) courses.  Students may be required to complete developmental reading courses in addition to regular college-credit courses.

The Accuplacer Writing Test is designed to assess students’ ability to revise and edit a range of prose texts for effective expression of ideas and for conformity to the conventions of Standard Written English sentence structure, usage, and punctuation.  The test contains 25 multiple-choice items.  Results of the test will determine student placement in MVCC English composition (COM) courses. Students may be required to complete developmental composition courses prior to enrolling in a college-level composition course.

The Accuplacer IEL Test is designed to assess the academic English ability of students for whom English is a second or other language.  The IEL test is comprised of four sections:  Listening, Reading Skills, Language Use, and Sentence Meaning.  Students may be placed into one or more of several MVCC IEL courses based on the specific combination of section scores.

The ALEKS assessment covers a wide range of Math topics from Whole Numbers, Fractions and Decimals through Geometry, Linear Equations, Exponents, and Trigonometry.  Each student starts with a question of average difficulty, and is then presented with selected questions and levels of difficulty determined by the student’s answers to previous questions.  The exam consists of 30 questions. 

At the conclusion of the assessment, the student is presented with a score report showing the assessment score, and the corresponding MVCC Math (MTH) course placement.  The student is also invited to work in a custom-tailored program of study (ALEKS Prep & Learning), based on the student’s individual areas of strength and weakness.  

Can I Prepare For The Placement Test?

Moraine Valley strongly encourages students to prepare for their placement exams, and there are several options for doing so:

  • Accuplacer offers study guides and sample questions, along with on online study app. Visit the Accuplacer website for details.
  • ALEKS offers information on exam content and format, along with videos illustrating how the assessment works:  
  • The Academic Skills Center offers a free two-day ALEKS/Accuplacer Workshop, covering exam preparation, test-taking tips, and free online exam preparation. Most workshop sessions are offered in the evening.  To register for a workshop, or for more information, visit the ALEKS/Accuplacer Workshop web page.

Will I Be Allowed To Retest?

Yes, students are allowed one retest in each subject area, provided that the student has not started the corresponding course sequence.

Course placement will be determined by the highest score achieved.  There is no additional fee for retesting and no appointment is necessary.

Retests may be taken at any of the three Moraine Valley locations:

Placement Test Exemptions

Previously Earned College Credit – 
If you’ve previously earned college credit, you may be exempt from some or all of the placement tests. Submit a college transcript showing a “C” or better in a college-level (101 or higher) English composition/rhetoric course and/or mathematics course to the Academic Advising Center located in Building S, Room S201.

SAT Scores

Students who score a 480 or above on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing portion of the SAT test are exempt from the Reading and Writing portion of the placement test. Students who score a 520 or above on the SAT math test are exempt from the mathematics portion of the placement test.

ACT Scores

An ACT score of 20 or above in English, reading and/or mathematics may be used in place of some or all of the placement tests. Students who score a 20 or above in English and reading are exempt from the English/reading placement test. Students who score a 20 or above in mathematics are exempt from the mathematics placement test.

To receive a placement exemption, students should bring a copy of their SAT and/or ACT score report to the Academic Advising Center located in Building S, Room S201.

How Will I Get My Scores?

Score reports for placement exams are available immediately after testing.  Students receive a printed copy of their ALEKS and Accuplacer scores, along with an explanation of their course placement(s).

Course placements for Math, Reading and Composition are listed online.

How Long Will My Placement Scores Be Valid?

Effective October 1, 2018 all ACT, SAT, and Placement Exam scores are considered valid for placement for a maximum of 18 months from the date the exam was taken.

Scores for exam taken prior to October 1, 2018 will be considered valid for placement until April 1, 2020.

What If I Test Into Developmental Reading?

The college has a policy for mandatory placement into reading courses based on ACCUPLACER scores:

Students who place into RDG-041, RDG-071 or RDG-091 must enroll in that reading course their first semester and continue in the reading sequence until RDG-091 is successfully completed with a grade of “C” or better. COS-100 is a co-requisite to RDG-041.

Students who place into RDG-041 or RDG-071 must work with an academic advisor or counselor for assistance in planning course selections.