Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I know whether I need placement testing? 

Please visit your myShip portal to determine whether you need placement testing. You will have a Checklist item if you do. You will also receive an email from us. If you still are unsure, contact us via email or call us at (717) 477-1014. 

The placement tests for reading, math, and writing are online. 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 testing environment. Subsequently, you must test at Ship or one of the alternate test sites. If you only need to take the Math placement test, it is available to be taken online (for a fee). Contact us to learn more. 

Waiver or Optional Math Testing (options given to increase initial placement testing math scores) can be completed at home.

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 ACT or SAT. 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 the Advanced level. In addition, for certain majors (generally B.A. degrees), testing into the Advanced 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 two college-level math courses.

What if my ACT or SAT scores are incorrectly reported?

If your ACT or SAT scores are different from what is posted on your Test Reservation Form, 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 ACT or SAT score report can be faxed, scanned or mailed to their office.

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.

What are the dates of placement testing?

Placement testing is available throughout the year.

When should I take the placement test(s)?

We recommend that you complete testing as soon as possible, ideally within 30 days of your admission. Testing early will allow ample time to prepare yourself academically before you begin classes.

What if I can not complete testing within 30 days?

If you are unable to complete testing within 30 days, please contact testing@ship.edu. Completing your testing aids in proper course placement and the creation of your schedule.Testing must be completed before you arrive on campus for orientation.

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 SU ID number, Ship email and password as well as your placement testing requirements (which will be listed on the email you received letting you know you need placement testing). 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 all three tests, do I have to register for three different testing sessions?

No, whether you need one, two, or all three tests, all testing is completed in one testing session.

How long is testing?

The Townsend Press Reading Challenge Test is timed and takes no more than 50 minutes, writing takes about 90 minutes, and math is not timed. Students who take all three tests generally spend about 2-3 hours here.

What if I need additional testing time? 

Only students with a documented disability requiring additional testing time can request this accommodation. Because the Townsend Press Reading Challenge Test is the only timed test, you will only need to contact the Shippensburg University Testing Center 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 Shippensburg University Testing Center because both tests are untimed. If you feel that you may need more than 3 hours, we encourage you to register for the 9:00 am placement testing session.

When will I get my results?

Math and Reading results are available immediately after placement testing is completed. If testing is completed at Shippensburg University, results will be reviewed with you. The English (writing) essay result will be available through your myShip portal after the English department assesses your essay.

I tested at Shippensburg University. Can I get my results sent to another university?

Yes. We can forward your results to another university. Please complete this form.