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Placement Tests and Workshops

Do I need to take placement tests? Math and English placement tests determine your appropriate course placements. You cannot fail these tests! Math test results are valid for two years, and English test results never expire. There is no charge to take a placement test.

First, you must apply to the College. Plan to take the tests at least one week before registration opens.

Can I be exempt from these tests? Tests may be waived if you have taken math or English courses at another United States college or university. Bring proof of your college credit to the Advising and Counseling Center at either campus, Room 1130 (Des Plaines) or Room A105 (Skokie),

Can I use my ACT scores for placement? Official ACT scores must be submitted to the Enrollment Center at the Des Plaines campus.

  • Writing: A score of 20 or higher will place you into English 101 (College Composition), and will exempt you from the Oakton writing placement test.
  • Reading: A score of 20 or higher will exempt you from the Oakton reading placement test unless the COMPASS reading test is required for a limited enrollment program.
  • Math: Placement for recent graduates (two years or less) from the Glenbrook, Niles, Evanston Township, Northridge Prep, or Maine High Schools requires high school transcripts and ACT scores. Contact the Math Advisor at mathplace@oakton.edu or call 847.376.7110.

Why do I have to take placement tests? Your test results will help you and your advisor choose courses that will give you the best chance for success. All math and English course placements made through testing are mandatory. Be aware that your placement may be in a course that will not award college credit.

When will I need to take the tests? Testing is required

  • Before enrolling in your first math or English composition course;
  • Before new full-time students meet with an advisor or register for classes.

Full-time students who have not taken placement tests in their first semester will be restricted from registering at the start of their second semester.

Group testing begins mid-semester in November and April to coincide with registration.Schedules are available online and in the Testing Center and the Advising and Counseling Center at both campuses.

What can I expect? The English Placement Test has two parts: writing and reading. The writing is a 75 minute essay and the reading is untimed.  The Math Placement Test is untimed, but most students finish in 30 minutes to one hour. If you plan to take the reading, writing, and math tests on the same day, allow about three hours to complete them.

If you want to prepare for the tests (and we highly encourage it!) the Learning Center has made preparation packets to view, download and print!

What should I bring when I come to take my tests? You must bring photo identification such as a current official photo ID issued by a school, employer, or city/state/government agency (such as a driver's license or passport) on which your name and current photo appear. You may bring your own pen, pencil, and translation dictionary for the writing test and a calculator for the math test. Be sure you know your Oakton ID number.

What should I not bring when I come to take my tests? The Testing Center provides all the test materials you will need, including a calculator that can be used on the math test. Pagers, mobile phones, electronic or printed dictionaries, food, drinks, and children are not permitted in the testing room. Children may not be left unattended on campus.

When will I get my test results? You will receive your math and reading results immediately after the test. Writing test results will be available within three to five business days after the test. You may access your results through MyOakton, Student Services, Registration Status/Placement tests. You can also pick up your results in the Advising and Counseling Center, Room 1130 (Des Plaines) or A105 (Skokie).

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When classes are in session

Des Plaines
Room 2409
847.635.1939

Skokie
Room A135
847.635.1446

Fall Semester Hours
Monday - Thursday, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Summer Semester Hours (June & July)
Monday - Thursday, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Interim Hours (Between Semesters)
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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