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Skills Assessment

Getting Started at SFC

All accepted first-year and transfer students who have committed to SFC are invited to take a skills assessment to help advisors place them into the correct Writing and Math class. See below for frequently asked questions and information about why we offer the test and how to prepare for it.

Who is invited to take the Skills Assessment?

All accepted students (first-year and transfer students) who have committed to SFC are invited to take the skills assessment. Once you commit to St. Francis College you will receive communication about taking the skills assessment.

What is on the Skills Assessment?

The exam includes a Writing section, a Math section and asks all students to complete Smarter Measure an online assessment section.

Within the Writing section, you are expected to provide a writing sample that provides the student's perspective in relation to the prompt question.

The essay should include a clear introduction, a thesis statement, at least 3 supporting arguments, organized paragraphs with a clearly identifiable topic sentence, examples and supporting evidence and a strong conclusion. Make sure that the essay reflects your best attempt at grammar usage, vocabulary, and critical thinking and be at least 500 words.

Each essay is read by a CLL Writing Coach. Students will be placed into WRI 1000 (score range 0-20) or WRI 1100 (score range 21-28).

The Math section is a non-adaptive test. Students will be tested on Algebra, Precalculus and Calculus questions.

The first part will test you on your Algebra proficiency. If you meet the proficiency level then you will move on to the second part which is Precalculus followed by Calculus. If proficiency at one of the parts is not met then you will not move on to the other part(s) and your exam will be over. You will then be provided a score that is aligned to the appropriate Math class for your major.

Prior to taking the assessment, CLL provides practice questions and prep sessions to incoming students as well, as Prep Workshops offered by the CLL to help increase foundational skills before starting the Math class in the fall.

It is important that you start the assessment when you have time to complete all parts since the assessment should be completed in one sitting and it needs to be completed before you register for your SFC classes!

What is the purpose of taking the Skills Assessment?

The scores from the Skills Assessment will provide your Center for Student Success advisor an indication of your abilities so that they can guide and register you appropriately. The exam is not pass/fail, but your scores will determine the appropriate placement in your college courses.

How do I prepare for the placement exam?

You can review these resources and attend a CLL Math and Writing Prep Workshop that is offered.

Skills Assessment Writing Placement Practice Question

SFC College Algebra Placement Test sample1 1

SFC Precalculus Placement Test sample1 1

SFC Calculus Placement Test sample1 1

How is the Skills Assessment scored?

The exam is not pass/fail. The Writing section is scored out of 28 and the Math section is scored out of 30. When you meet with your Center for Student Success advisor you will learn your score and where you placed for Writing and Math.

Can you retake the Skills Assessment if you are unhappy with your score?

Unfortunately, no. So, prepare and take the assessment when you feel confident, ready and have the time to concentrate.

What should I do if I need testing accommodations?

The placement exam is a timed exam. If in high school or at another institution you received extended time or other accommodations on exams, it is important that you contact the Office of Accessibility & Accommodations (OAA) at [email protected] prior to starting and taking the exam. OAA and CLL will work together to assist you with the requested accommodation(s). For more information please visit OAA’s web page

Does a Transfer student need to take the Skills Assessment?

If you are transferring in a Math and/or Writing college-level class you should speak with your Admissions Counselor to see if you qualify for an exemption.

If you do not have the appropriate transfer credit for a Math and/or Writing course equivalent to our required curriculum here at St. Francis College, then you must complete the Skills Assessment.

Tips for doing your best when you take the skills assessment:

  • Start the assessment in an environment that is conducive to test taking (quiet room, no distractions, good lighting). You know the setting that works best for you.
  • Take the assessment on a computer or laptop. Working off your phone will be very difficult. Make sure your internet connection is dependable too!
  • Have a pencil and scrap paper next to you for the Math section. You never know if it is needed and you do not want to waste time getting the items.
If you have any questions or concerns about the exam or taking the test online, please email the Center for Learning and Leadership at [email protected].

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