Assessment Tests

Contact Information

Kristen Lownds
Testing Center Manager

Testing Center Hours

Dowagiac Campus

David C. Briegel Building,
Room 1103

8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Niles Campus

Main Building
Room 141A

9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Students whose ACT or SAT scores are expired (English and Reading scores expire after 5 years and Math scores expire after 2) or who choose not to send us their ACT or SAT scores are required to take Next-Generation Accuplacer assessment tests in reading, writing and math to ensure that they are placed in the courses that best suit their present skill level.

Students who sent us their ACT or SAT scores may still wish to take assessment tests as an attempt to skip lower-level courses.

Assessment tests are free of charge.

For sample Accuplacer assessment test questions visit

Testing is done on a walk-in basis and requires a photo ID. Testing may take up to three hours to complete; please arrive at least three hours before the testing center closes to give yourself plenty of time to test.

Score Requirements

Below is a list of what classes your ACT or SAT scores will place you into.

A student with ACT scores of 17 in reading, 18 in English, and 21 in math would have to take Critical Thinking and Analytical Reading, English 103, and Math 127, 128, 150 or 153. However, if this student thought he could do better in, say, reading, he could take the Next-Generation Accuplacer reading test. If his score is high enough on the Next-Generation Accuplacer reading test, he would not have to take Critical Thinking and Analytical Reading, thereby “skipping” this class.

SAT Scores
Subject Score Required Class
Critical Reading/Writing    
  279+ Critical Thinking and Analytical Reading and English 103W
  370+ English 103
  370+ Math 102
  440+ Math 101
  510+ Math 127, 128, 150 or 153
  560+ Math 129, 131 or 136
  610+ Math 141
ACT Scores
Subject Score Required Class
  17+ Critical Thinking and Analytical Reading
  19+ None
  14+ English 103W
  18+ English 103
  16+ Math 102
  18-20 Math 101
  21-23 Math 127, 128, 150 or 153
  24-26 Math 129, 131 or 136
  27+ Math 141
Challenge Tests

Students may test out of a basic biology course by taking a challenge test. The first attempt is free; second attempts cost $20. Below are the classes students may currently attempt to test out of along with a description of the test.

Cell Biology for Health 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
College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Students may receive college credit for certain subject areas by demonstrating their knowledge on a CLEP exam. For example, if you already know a lot about American Literature, you can take the CLEP test on American literature. If your score is high enough, you will gain college credit and not have to take a course on American literature.

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 27 different CLEP tests.

College Board charges an $89 CLEP test fee per test, plus there is a $20 SMC service charge for each test taken. For more information, visit the CLEP website at