Aug 06, 2020  
2014-2015 Undergraduate Academic Catalog | Expires Aug. 2021 

Basic Skills Course Requirement and Course Placement Tests

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Each student must satisfy basic skills course requirements for mathematics, reading and writing. Placement into or exemption from the required courses in mathematics, reading and writing will be determined by results of the ACT and/or course placement tests. Students who feel they have received an inappropriate placement may request additional assessment from Academic Advisement Center and/or the appropriate department chairperson. For transfer students, placement into or exemption from these required courses also may be determined by the results of the Transfer Evaluation Report (TER).

Students should view entry and college-level basic skills as minimum standards and continue to develop their skills in reading, writing and mathematics throughout their college careers. Although computer literacy is not a basic skills requirement at Saginaw Valley State University, students are strongly advised to become computer literate.

A student must have completed basic skills requirements, or have appropriate courses in each of the three sequences in progress by the time the SVSU total of registered credits reaches 12, and continue in the appropriate courses each succeeding semester until the requirement is satisfied in full. Failure to meet this requirement will block registration. Authorization to register without meeting this requirement may be given, in extenuating circumstances, only by an advisor in the Academic Advisement Center.

Basic Skills Course Requirements

Math: MATH 081 - Basic Mathematical Skills  and MATH 082 - Beginning Algebra .

Reading: One of the three sets of the following courses, depending on placement: 1) ENGL 082 - Foundations for College Reading & Learn  and ENGL 103 - College Reading and Learning ; 2) ENGL 103 - College Reading and Learning ; 3) ENGL 104 - Strategies for Academic Success .

Writing: ENGL 080 - Writing Skills  and ENGL 111 - Composition I .

Students may satisfy the basic skills course requirements in one of the following ways:

  • Completing these courses with a satisfactory grade (“P” or minimum of “C”):
  • Transferring appropriate coursework from another college or university. Equivalent coursework for transfer students is indicated on the Transfer Evaluation Report (TER) provided by the Registrar’s Office upon completion of the review of transcripts from the previous institution(s). Early submission of transcripts from the previous institution(s) is encouraged for appropriate and timely course placement.
  • Meeting the required ACT College Assessment score for a course waiver.
  • Meeting the required SVSU course placement test score for a course waiver.

For more information on course placement, call the Academic Advisement Center, 117 Wickes Hall, at (989) 964-4286.

Math Course Placement

Students will be initially placed into mathematics courses by ACT math sub-score, as detailed below.

ACT Math Score   Minimum Course Placement
16 & below   MATH 081 - Basic Mathematical Skills 
17 - 20   MATH 082 - Beginning Algebra 
21 - 22   Courses requiring MATH 082  as a prerequisite.
23 - 25   Courses requiring MATH 103  as a prerequisite
26 - 27   MATH 140 - Introductory Mathematical Analysis (GE3) 
28 & above   MATH 161 - Calculus I (GE3) 

A student may request a mathematics placement test. If a sufficient score is made on this test, the student will be placed in a higher course than the minimum placement indicated above. Students may take this placement test no more than 2 times. Placement tests are coordinated by the Department of Mathematical Sciences  and the Math Resource Center, scheduled by the Math Resource Center, and given on specific dates.

Students without ACT Math sub-scores must take the mathematics placement test. These students may take the placement test no more than 2 times. Transfer students who do not transfer appropriate coursework to SVSU, but do submit ACT Math sub-scores, will follow the usual procedure for students with ACT scores as described above.

Reading and Learning Course Placement

Placement into ENGL 082 Foundations for College Reading & Learn , ENGL 103 College Reading and Learning  , or ENGL 104 Strategies for Academic Success  provides students with the opportunity to prepare for reading and learning from a variety of complex texts, which is essential to academic success in a university setting.

Students are placed according to the following criteria:

ACT Reading Sub-Score High School GPA Placement
21 or above Exempt from required reading courses
18-20  and 3.0 or above Exempt from required reading courses
16-17 and 3.0 or above ENGL 104 
18-20 and Below 3.0 ENGL 104 
16-17 and Below 3.0 ENGL 103 
15 or below ENGL 082 

Students completing ENGL 082  must subsequently pass ENGL 103  (except when placed in ENGL 104  with department permission).

Students who do not have an ACT score are required to take the ACT COMPASS test. Students placed into ENGL 103  or ENGL 104  may request reassessment using the ACT COMPASS test, up to two times. This testing is offered on specific dates, and students must sign up in advance for the test. The test must be taken prior to the beginning of classes.

Transfer students can fulfill the basic skills reading requirement by transferring appropriate course work. Those who do not transfer appropriate course work are to follow the placement procedures specified above. Students who transfer to SVSU with 25 or more transferable credits are exempted from ENGL 082  but otherwise follow the placement system above.

Writing Course Placement

Writing course placement will be based on appropriate scores on authorized assessments, such as ACT. All SVSU students (except those who transfer appropriate course work to SVSU) must submit a score on an authorized assessment to determine writing course placement.

Currently, students with ACT English scores of 16 or higher are placed in ENGL 111 ; students with scores below 16 are placed in ENGL 080  or in linked sections of ENGL 080  and ENGL 082 .

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