What is Placement?

Placing into courses allows students to start their college career on the right foot. CSN allows students to place into courses to allow.

As part of the first steps, students need to complete the English Self Guided Survey or provide an alternative method of placement.

For Math, students are able to enroll in the open enrollment courses MATH 104b, MATH 116, MATH 120E, MATH 124E, or MATH 126 E without taking a placement test.

Please see www.csn.edu/newstudentadvising for the latest information on the steps for new students

Completing Placements

Online Placement Options

The following Placements can be completed online:

  • English
    • For the English Placement Survey, you are able to complete on any device. Make sure you complete the survey all the way to the end where you get a breakdown of your answers and a percentage score.


    English Placement Survey



  • Math
    • For the Math ALEKS exam, you will need to set up a non-Chromebook computer with a working Microphone and Webcam.
    • The test is timed for 2.5 hours and cannot be paused or continued if you leave the exam and do not complete the assessment in the allotted time, no score will be given.


    Math Placement Information


Unfortunately, at this time, the ACCUPLACER Next Generation Reading for the CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) nor the Chemistry Diagnostic can be taken remotely.



On-Campus Options

To take the tests or complete the survey on campus you may make an appointment or show up before the cut off times of the Testing Center.

To make an appointment please follow these instructions:

  • Please make an appointment using RegisterBlast at the Testing Center you will attend:
  • After you complete and submit your RegisterBlast appointment, you will receive an email acknowledging your appointment instantly.
  • You will need a valid Photo ID and your student number.
    • For the Math, you will also need to have authenticated your goCSN account and have your log-in credentials to access the exam.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who Needs the Placements?
    1. New students need to complete the English Survey as a part of their first steps
    2. If you wish to take a higher course than the open enrollment Math courses, you will need to Place into the course.
  2. Do I need an ID?
    1. Yes
      1. If you take the test on campus we will be checking your ID
      2. If you take the test online the test will require you to provide an ID during check in
  3. How long are Placement Scores Valid
    1. CSN ALEKS and Self Guided Surveys are good for 2 years from the date you completed the Assessment
    2. ACT and SAT scores are valid for 2 years based on the Date of the Exam or the Month (if a specific date is not provided in the score report)
  4. Are retakes available?
    1. Yes
      1. The English Survey can be completed again at your convenience
      2. The ALEKS allows for 5 attempts within one year.
        1. Each attempt can be taken once per 24 hours
        2. After the first attempt you must study within the ALEKS study paths before you may attempt another Placement
  5. Are there waivers for the Placements
    1. Yes, Please see “Alternative Placement Options”
  6. Do I really need my NSHE (CSN) ID student number?
    1. Yes, for both Math ALEKs and the English Survey.
      1. Your NSHE is your user name for the goCSN which accesses the ALEKS test for CSN.
      2. Your Self Guided Survey is uploaded into myCSN based on your Name and NSHE number
  7. How long is the tests?
    1. The Self Guided Survey is not timed, but usually takes a few minutes
    2. The ALEKS has a time limit of 2.5 hours, though most finish within an hour to an hour and a half.
  8. What is the format of the tests?
    1. The Self Guided Survey is a set of background questions designed to place you into the proper course work
    2. The ALEKS test is an adaptive test up to 30 questions.
  9. Where can I find Study materials?
    1. For the English, no studying is required as it is an online survey
    2. For the Math, the ALEKS test is designed to also provide learning paths after the placement so all the studying can be found in the follow up learning paths.
  10. When can I take the Exam?
    1. You may take the online versions at any time.
    2. On campus:
      1. You may come into the Testing Centers Monday through Friday
        1. We recommend appointments
        2. You may come in as a walk in at the three main Testing Centers located at the main campuses.
        3. Please see “Hours an Locations” for specific times and procedures
          1. Rural sites may only have Appointments available and/or limited times.

Alternative Placement Options

Students wishing to not have to take a placement can provide CSN with alternative placement information in place of the ALEKS or the English Self Guided Survey.

For English courses:

An ACT (English) score of 18 or higher or SAT (ESRW) of 500 or higher places students into English 101 or English 113 (for international/English as Second Language) students. Please see an advisor on which course is best suited for your college career.

For scores ACT (English) 17 or lower or SAT (ESRW) 499 and lower, you may select to take English 100 or English 110 (for international/English as Second Language) students. Please see an advisor on which course is best suited for your college career.

You may send your SAT/ACT scans of score reports to the Testing Center either in person or via email. Your scores housed onto a high school transcript need be sealed in an envelope. You may also have your High School Counselor or Administrator email your Transcript directly to us.

Please email the attachments to: [email protected] | [email protected] | [email protected]

Also, you may show English Competency through the use of High School Transcripts and GPA data or a successful AP course grade. Please submit AP scores and High School Transcripts to the Registrar for evaluation.

For Math Courses:

The minimum score on ACT to place into a Math course is 19 and the Minimum for SAT is 450 to place into Math 120. For higher courses please see the provided chart from the Math Department here.

You may send your SAT/ACT scans of score reports to the Testing Center either in person or via email. Your scores housed onto a high school transcript need to be sealed in an envelope. You may also have your High School Counselor or Administrator email your Transcript directly to us.

Please email the attachments to: [email protected] | [email protected] | [email protected]

Other Placements

CSN also allows placement for specific programs.

The Chemistry Diagnostic exam and the ACCUPLACER Next Generation Reading are not a part of the holds for new students.

These exams are taken for their specific course entry.

  • Chemistry Diagnostic
    • The Chemistry Diagnostic is a tool to allow students to go into CHEM 121 without the need for CHEM 103. This test, however, does not remove the co-requisite of Math 126, just the need for the CHEM 103 course, and as such, students will still need the Math course for entry.
    • May only be taken on Campus at this time, please follow the instructions under “Completing Placements” with the “On Campus Options.

  • ACCUPLACER – Next Generation Reading
    • The ACCUPLACER next Generation Reading is a comprehension exam, this allows students to enter into CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) courses at CSN.
    • English Courses no longer require the Reading Placement, so only the English Self Guided Survey is needed to complete that step for students.
    • May only be taken on Campus at this time, please follow the instructions under “Completing Placements” with the “On-Campus Options".

For Another College

We will proctor placement exams for other institutions. The cost of proctoring is $40.00 for placement exams.

Each college/university has varying requirements and placement exams. You will need to contact your institution for information on testing.

Students are responsible for knowing what tests are needed before going to the Testing Center.

You will need to make an appointment through our online system.