Academic and placement assessments

Applicants may need to write an academic or placement assessment to:

  • determine placement in academic upgrading or other foundational programs
  • determine whether they have the needed academic skills for program entrance

You have two options to write your assessment.

  1. Write online through NorQuest’s Eproctoring online testing service. This service lets you write at any time day or night, on any day of the week. You can write the exam without leaving your home!
  2. Write in person at the Edmonton or Wetaskiwin campus Test Centre. If you prefer to write in person, tell your student navigator or Testing Services. They will book an appointment for you.

Whether you write online or in person, make sure to book your exam well in advance of any relevant deadlines, such as funding deadlines.

Note: If you need any exam accommodations because of a disability, contact a Student navigator to make arrangements.

Academic Upgrading/English language training placement

When you apply for Academic Upgrading or English language programs, you may need to complete a placement assessment. The free placement assessment may include a standardized reading test, essay, and/or mathematics test.

Your student navigator will work with the Testing and Assessment Centre to set up your assessment. Once you have completed your assessment, your navigator will contact you to discuss your results and your program plan.

Academic assessment for post-secondary programs

If you have not passed courses that are needed for entrance into a certificate or diploma program or lack proof that you have completed the courses, you may be able to request to write an academic assessment after you have applied for admission.

An academic assessment is a free option provided to you as an alternative way to meet admission requirements. It is also an excellent way to verify your current knowledge of the specific subject area to support your success in your program. To be granted admission based on an academic assessment, you can test a maximum of twice per subject. If you are unsuccessful after two attempts, you will need to upgrade until you get the levels needed that specific program.

Once your official high school and/or post-secondary transcripts have been evaluated, email assessmentexams@norquest.ca for an appointment. After you have completed your academic assessment, we will provide your results to the Admissions team who will email you about your application.

If your scores meet admission standards, these may be accepted in place of the published admission requirements.

Note: The Social Work and Arts and Sciences programs do not accept academic assessment testing in place of academic requirements.

Frequently asked questions

How do I find out the results of my assessment?

A student navigator will contact you to discuss your results. The Testing and Assessment Centre cannot provide your results to you.

I have a disability and need exam writing accommodations. What do I do?

If you need any exam accommodations because of a disability, contact a student navigator so that the necessary arrangements can be made. To ensure you have a comfortable exam writing experience with all of your approved accommodations in place, you will be able to write your exam in our on-campus testing centre.

What are the technical requirements for writing my assessment online?

Visit ACCUPLACER. You can check if your computer or laptop has the basic requirements by clicking the “Verify System” button at the bottom of the page.

* We do not recommend a computer at a public library or other public place. Typically, these computers have security settings that will prevent you from opening your assessment. Your assessment also needs a private place with no one else visible around you.

You will need:

Browser:

  • Google Chrome v74 or later, Firefox v65 or later, Internet Explorer v11 or later, Microsoft Edge 15 or later, Apple Safari v11 or later. Disable your pop-up blocker.

Operating system:

  • Windows 10 or later, Mac OS 10.8 or later

Equipment:

  • desktop or laptop computer (tablets and Chromebooks are not supported)
  • built-in or external webcam, microphone, and speakers
  • 2GB or more of RAM

Internet connection:

  • An upload and download speed of 2 Mbps
What happens if I do not have access to a computer with a webcam and microphone to write an online assessment?

You can write in person at the Test Centre at the Edmonton or Wetaskiwin campus.

Questions specific to ACCUPLACER assessments

How much time do I have to complete the assessment?

The ACCUPLACER assessment is not time-sensitive, meaning you can take as much time as you need to complete it. We advise that you complete each individual subject test in one sitting. Most students complete both English and Math sections (if both are needed for you) in the same sitting.

I am having issues with ACCUPLACER and need to change my appointment. Who should I contact?

Phone Examity at 1.855.392.6489 or email support@examity.com. You can also use their live chat option, which is available in the Examity dashboard. If you have tried this and your issues have not been resolved, email testing@norquest.ca.

How do I prepare for the assessment?

We advise you to review the material before testing. You may also want to become more comfortable with the ACCUPLACER testing process. Visit collegeboard.org for information about ACCUPLACER, including practice tests.

Am I allowed to use a calculator? Where can I find review material for Math?

1. A small calculator picture/icon will appear on the top right corner of the screen for certain questions.

You can use that calculator for that question only. No external calculators are allowed. You need to solve the question by hand if there is no calculator icon.

2. Arithmetic

The following knowledge and skill categories are assessed:

  • whole numbers, fractions, decimal operations
  • percentages
  • number comparisons and equivalents

Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics

The following knowledge and skill categories are assessed:

  • Rational numbers
  • Ratio and proportional relationships
  • Exponents
  • Algebraic expressions
  • Linear equations
  • Linear applications and graphs
  • Probability and sets
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Geometry concepts for Pre-Algebra
  • Geometry concepts for Algebra 1

Advanced Algebra and Functions

The following knowledge and skill categories are assessed:

  • linear equations, linear applications and graphs
  • factoring
  • quadratics
  • functions
  • radical and rational equations
  • polynomial equations
  • exponential and logarithmic equations
  • geometry concepts for Algebra 1 and Algebra 2
  • trigonometry

Practice for Advanced Algebra and Functions

Math 20 and 30 review and practice resources:

  • solaro.ca.
  • Anyone with an Edmonton Public Library card can create a free account by going to epl.ca/resource/solaro.
  • Buy or borrow a copy of The Key for Math 20 and 30 for review and practice.
Where can I find review material for Biology 30?

You can refer to “The Key Diploma Preparation Guide for Biology 30”. You can also access Biology 30 practice material through solaro.com, which is available for free to anyone with an Edmonton Public Library membership. This guide is also available at most bookstores. Or, you can find some sample questions and practice material from the following sites:

Sample Biology 30 Diploma Exams:

Where can I find review material for English?

The GED Study Guide is a very useful tool for reviewing before taking Accuplacer English tests. Take some time with the Reading portion of the manual as well as the grammar section of the Writing material. Focus on the following skills:

1. Reading

Four broad knowledge and skill categories are assessed:

  • information and ideas (reading closely, determining central ideas and themes, summarizing, understanding relationships).
  • rhetoric (analyzing - word choice rhetorically, text structure, point of view, purpose, arguments).
  • synthesis (synthesize information and ideas from multiple texts).
  • vocabulary (determining the meaning of words and phrases).

Practice for Reading

  • For more reading practice, review the reading comprehension chapter of a TOEFL study guide. Borrow this from the public library, or buy it from a bookstore or online. If English is your second language, work through the vocabulary exercises.

2. Writing

Two broad knowledge and skill categories are assessed:

  • Expression of ideas
  • Development – proposition, support, focus
  • Organization – logical sequence, introductions, conclusions, and transitions
  • Effective language use – precision, concision, style and tone, syntax
  • Standard English conventions
  • Sentence structure – sentence boundaries, Subordination and coordination, parallel structure, modifier placement, inappropriate shifts in verb tense, verb voice & mood and pronoun person & number
  • Conventions of Usage – possessive determiners, noun agreement, pronoun clarity, pronoun-antecedent agreement, subject-verb agreement, frequently confused words, logical comparison, conventional expression
  • Conventions of punctuation – end-of-sentence and within-sentence punctuation, possessive nouns and pronouns, items in a series, nonrestrictive and parenthetical elements, hyphenation conventions, unnecessary punctuation

Practice for Writing

  • In the GED study guide, work through the Writing chapter to review grammar. This section will help polish the skills you need to pass the Writing portion of the test.

3. WritePlacer (Essay)

Five characteristics of writing are assessed:

  • Focus: the clarity with which you maintain your main idea or point of view.
  • Organization: the clarity with which you structure your response and present a logical sequence of ideas.
  • Development and support: the extent to which you elaborate on your ideas and the extent to which you present supporting details.
  • Sentence structure: the effectiveness of your sentence structure.
  • Mechanical conventions: the extent to which your writing is free of errors in usage and mechanics.

Practice for WritePlacer (Essay)

In the GED study guide, refer to the Writing section. You should also do the practice essays. Have someone with a background in teaching English go over them with you. Write several essays (five or more) before booking your retest.

Testing and Assessment Centre

Room 2-070, Singhmar Centre for Learning, Edmonton campus
testing@norquest.ca 780.644.6055
Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
By appointment only
Closed: Weekends and statutory holidays.