Contact Info

Placement Testing Office
Melissa C. Murphy
Director of Placement Testing
School of Academic Programs and Services
Horton Hall, room 019
Shippensburg University
Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1014
mcmurphy@ship.edu

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Frequently Asked Questions

What if I need additional testing time?  

Only students with a documented disability requiring additional testing time can request this accommodation. Because the Developmental Reading Challenge Test (Nelson Denny Reading Test) is the only timed test, you will only need to contact the Office of Disability Services prior to testing if you choose to take this test. If you are taking either the English (writing) or Math placement tests, you do not need to contact the Office of Disability Services because both tests are untimed. If you feel that you may need more than three hours, we encourage you to register for the 10:00am placement testing session.

The placement tests for math and reading are on-line. Does this mean I can take the test from home?  

It is correct that these tests are web-based, computerized on-line assessments. However, because they are placement tests, they must be completed in a proctored environment. Subsequently, you must test at Shippensburg University or one of the alternate test sites. 

I passed all parts of the PSSA tests. Do I still need to complete placement testing?  

Congratulations on passing all parts of the PSSA (Pennsylvania System of School Assessment). We do not use PSSA scores to determine placement testing requirements. We only use nationally normed tests such as the SAT or ACT. If testing is required based on your SAT scores, you are still required to complete your placement testing. 

I am not required to take the placement tests. Should I take the optional math test?  

If you choose to take the math test, you are not eligible to receive course credit for testing into the respective Advanced level. 

If your math SAT is between 540 and 605 and you wish to be eligible for Calculus I, you must take the optional test and test into Math Level 6. In addition, for certain majors (generally B.A. degrees), testing into the Math Level will satisfy the university's math competency. When you satisfy the competency with the placement test, those 3 credits can be used for any college class. In essence, it can count as an additional free elective. If you are majoring in Teacher Education, taking the optional math test is unnecessary because this major requires a minimum of 2 college level math courses. 

What if my SAT scores are incorrectly reported?  

If there is a discrepancy with the SAT scores posted on your Test Reservation Form (gold sheet), please contact the Office of Admissions. The information posted on the Test Reservation From comes directly from the Office of Admissions. Generally, a correct/updated SAT score report can be faxed or mailed to their office. 

If you only completed the ACT, your ACT scores are converted into SAT scores. These converted scores subsequently are posted on your Test Reservation Form. If you are interested in the conversion of ACT scores to SAT scores, please contact the Office of Admissions. The Placement Testing Office does not have any information on the conversion. 

If you plan to test at an alternate site, please contact the Placement Testing Office so that we can notify the site of your correct scores and placement testing requirements. If you are testing on the Ship campus, no further action is necessary as your corrected SAT scores will get posted and we will readily have access to that information.  

Do I have to take the Developmental Placement Challenge Test if I am placed into Developmental Reading? 

No. Only students who feel confident in challenging their placement into Developmental Reading are encouraged to take the challenge test (the Nelson Denny Reading Test). If you are placed into Developmental Reading and you do not feel completely confident in your reading skills, it is suggested to take a Developmental Reading course. Keep in mind that most college text books are written at a grade level of 14. Also, college-level work requires an extensive amount of reading.

 How do I register for the Developmental Placement Challenge Test? 

 Registration for this test is just like any other placement test at Shippensburg University. Click on the Register for Placement Testing tab on our website and follow the instructions provided. Keep in mind that you can only take the Developmental Placement Challenge Test at Shippensburg University’s campus. Alternate testing sites are not an option for this particular test.

 How do I determine whether or not to take the Developmental Placement Challenge Test? 

 Take inventory of your current reading skills. Ask yourself, “Do I feel confident in my vocabulary, comprehension, and reading rate skills?” Also, keep in mind that most college text books are written at a grade level of 14 and that collegerequires an extensive amount of reading. Some other considerations: How frequently do you read? Did you complete many reading assignments in high school? Do you do any leisure reading? If you answer no to all three questions, it is recommended to take a Developmental Reading course rather than the challenge test.

 What if I am late for the Developmental Placement Challenge Test? 

 Because this test is timed, it is imperative to approximately arrive 15 minutes early to sign in so you can begin the test on time. The test will be given at the beginning of each testing session. Therefore if you are late for one session you will have to wait for the next to complete the Developmental Placement Challenge Test. For example, if you are scheduled to complete the challenge test and you arrive ten minutes late, you will have to wait until the 1:00 testing session (if it is offered) to complete the challenge test. 

What are the dates of placement testing on the Shippensburg campus? 

To view the dates and register for one of the testing dates at Ship, please select the Register for Placement Testing tab, click on the Register@Ship link, and input the requested information. You will be given your Ship ID# and e-mail address. Your Ship ID# is also your Library ID#. Proceed by selecting URL link and entering requested information. 

Testing is also available at the alternate test sites which are posted on the Alternative Testing Sites tab. Directions for testing at an alternate site can be accessed by selecting the appropriate alternate site link. FYI: If you decide to complete placement testing at an alternate site, you will NOT receive registration confirmation from Ship’s placement testing office.   

What are the dates of placement testing at the alternate sites?  

Information is on the Alternative Testing Sites page.   

Does placement testing have any impact on my admissions?  

For students already admitted to the University, placement testing does not have an impact on admissions. Placement testing is designed to aid in the selection of appropriate courses your first semester. 

What do I need to bring to testing?  

You will need to bring a photo ID,  your SU ID number, and your Ship email and password to testing. If testing at an alternate site, you will need to bring a photo ID, your SUI ID number, Ship email and password as well as your placement testing requirements (which you can print off of the online registration system).   Please do not bring calculators. They are not allowed for testing. Also, please arrive about 15 minutes prior to your testing session to sign in. 

 What should I do if I have earned course credits or I am taking an AP course/test?  

If you have taken a course in which you earned college credit, please send official transcripts to the Admission's Office. If the college credit is for a math or English class, please inform the Placement Testing Office. If you already have your AP score, please send an official transcript to the Admission's Office. If you will be taking the test, generally we will still recommend completing testing. 

If I have to complete both the English (writing) and Math tests, do I have to register for 2 different testing sessions?  

No, whether you need one, two, or all three (Developmental Placement Challenge Test) tests, all testing is completed in one testing session. 

How do I determine whether or not to take optional placement testing? 

Please see Optional Placement Testing for further information on optional placement tests.  

Do I have to take the Developmental Placement Challenge Test if I am placed into Developmental Reading? 

No. Only students who feel confident in challenging their placement into Developmental Reading are encouraged to take the challenge test (the Nelson Denny Reading Test). If you are placed into Developmental Reading and you do not feel completely confident in your reading skills, it is suggested to take a Developmental Reading course. Keep in mind, most college text books are written at a grade level 14. Also, college-level work requires an extensive amount of reading.