Assessment Tests

Contact Information

Charlotte McGowan
Director of Academic Assessment and Testing Services

Testing Center Hours

Dowagiac Campus
David C. Briegel Building,
Room 1103

Fall Hours
8 a.m.-5 p.m.
8 a.m.-6 p.m.

Southwestern Michigan College requires all students who plan to complete a certificate or associate degree to take the college’s assessment tests.

Accuplacer Basic Skills Assessment

Students new to SMC who are pursuing certificates and associate degree programs must take basic skills assessment tests in reading, writing and math before registering for classes. These tests help ensure that students are placed in the courses that best suit their present skill level. Basic skills assessment testing is free of charge. In some circumstances you may be permitted to take the test a second time for a $20 fee.

For sample test questions, go to

ACT & SAT Score Requirements

Southwestern Michigan College accepts the following standardized test scores:


Reading – 17+ (Critical Thinking and Analytical Reading required)
Reading – 19+ (Critical Thinking and Analytical Reading not required)
English – 14+ (English 103 with workshop required)
English – 18+ (English 103 required)
Math - 16+ (Math 102 required)
Math -18-20 (Math 101 required)
Math - 21-23 (Math 127, Math 128, Math 150 or Math 153 required)
Math – 24-26 (Math 129, Math 131 or Math 136 required)
Math – 27+ (Math 141 required)


Critical Reading/Writing– 279+ (Critical Thinking and Analytical Reading and English 103 with workshop required)
Critical Reading/Writing – 370+ (Critical Thinking and Analytical Reading not required; English 103 required)
Math -370+ (Math 102 required)
Math- 440+ (Math 101 required)
Math – 510+ (Math 127, Math 128, Math 150 or Math 153 required)
Math - 560+ (Math 129, Math 131 or Math 136 required)
Math – 610+ (Math 141 required)
** Reading and English test scores older than five years and Math scores older than two years will not be accepted.

Challenge Tests

You may attempt to test out of a basic level course and into a higher level course by taking a Challenge Test. The first attempt is free; second attempts cost $20.

Cell Biology for Heath Careers     BIOL 098

An introduction to the fundamental biological concepts of cell structural organization and functions, including energy metabolism, protein synthesis and genetics.

  • 60 minutes, 50 multiple-choice questions, 37+ correct to pass
  • Must wait 24 hours before retesting

Fundamentals of Chemistry     CHEM 100

Provides a basic overview of chemical principles for students with little or no background in chemistry, includes fundamentals of general chemistry, organic chemistry and biochemistry.

  • Prerequisite: CRIT 100 or Co-requisite of CRIT 103 and Co-requisite of Math 101 or math 102 or satisfactory test score
  • 45 minutes, 44 multiple-choice questions, 21+ correct to pass
  • Calculators are allowed but not necessary
  • A periodic table is included
  • Must wait 24 hours before retesting

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Southwestern Michigan College is a testing site for CLEP. You do not have to be a student at SMC to take a CLEP test. If you are planning to send your scores to another institution, it is important that you contact the school and ask if they accept credit for the tests, what course it is for, and what score they consider as passing. If you are planning on attending SMC, we accept CLEP credit for all 34 CLEP tests.

CLEP test fees are $80 per test plus a $20 SMC service charge for each test taken. For more information, visit the CLEP website at