Placement Guidelines


Minimum College-Level Criteria

Tennessee State University is dedicated to help ensure student success.  All new students will undergo initial assessment to determine if minimum college-level requirements have been met.  If minimum college-level criteria are not met, students are required to undergo secondary diagnostic testing to determine appropriate Learning Support requirements to foster student success in college-level courses.  Minimum college-level criteria are listed below:


Discipline ACT SAT (before 3/2016) SAT - Evidence-based Scores ACCUPLACER
 Writing          18      450      490                 92                
 Reading   19  460  500  85
 Mathematics   19  460  500  92


Initial Assessment

  • Degree-seeking students under 21 :
    - Must present valid (less than 5 years old) ACT or SAT scores
    - If college-level criteria are not met, secondary diagnostic testing will determine Learning Support requirements

  • Degree-seeking students over 21 :
    - May present valid ACT or SAT scores
    - If there are no valid ACT or SAT scores, the student must undergo ACCUPLACER testing for initial assessment
    - If ACCUPLACER scores are not minimum college-level, secondary diagnostic testing will determine Learning Support

  • Transfer students :
    - Must be assessed in English if there is no transferable college-level English Composition
    - Must be assessed in Math if there is no transferable college-level Math course
    - Must be assessed in Reading if there is no transferable college-level reading-intensive General Education course
    - Valid ACT or SAT scores, if available, can be used for initial assessment in the area(s) with no transferable course
    - If no valid scores are available, ACCUPLACER testing is required in the area(s) with no transferable course
    - If initial assessment scores do not meet minimum criteria, secondary diagnostic testing will determine Learning Support

 
Secondary Diagnostic Testing

Secondary Diagnostic Testing is held during the first week of class each semester.   The student is tested in the classroom during the first meeting of  the Learning Support Workshop.  Meeting the required college-level scores on  the Diagnostic Test will show that the student has met the Learning Support competencies and the Learning Support workshop can be removed from the semester schedule.    Studebt Testing
Diagnostic test scores relating to Learning Support are below:
  • Writing Diagnostic (WritePlacer)
    - Scores 1 - 5: English 1011 Workshop required
    - Scores 6 - 8: No Learning Support required
  • Reading Diagnostic (Nelson-Denny)
    - Scores 1 - 89: UNIV 1011 required
    - Scores 90 - 156: No Learning Support required
  • Math Diagnostic (TSU Math Department Test)
    - Scores < 70%: Math 1013/1012 OR Math 1110/1109 required
    - Scores ≥ 70%: No Learning Support required
   


Prior Learning Assessment

Entering Freshmen can be awarded Prior Learning credit for English 1010 or English 1010 and 1020 based on the standard score on the English section of ACT or the Writing section of the SAT.  Official copies of the student's ACT or SAT scores must be submitted to the TSU Office of Admissions to verify Prior Learning credit eligibility.  Refer to the chart below to determine minimum scores and credit eligibility:

University Course Credit Hours Test Section Minimum Score
English 1010 3 Credit Hours ACT English 27
English 1010 & 1020 6 Credit Hours ACT English 31
       
English 1010 3 Credit Hours SAT Writing 610
English 1010 & 1020 6 Credit Hours SAT Writing 690