There are several optional tests that you may take as a current NIU student that will help you follow your course of study toward a bachelor's, master's, or law degree. To select what tests to take to enroll in the right classes or receive class credit, read through this page and follow the links for more details.
Students with disabilities should immediately contact the Disability Resource Center at (815) 753-1303 to see what documentation they need from you. Students with disabilities should work directly with the Disability Resource Center to set up placement exams with accommodations.
There are many national standardized tests available for current students. Some students may choose to re-take the ACT or SAT to qualify for specific courses of study. Other students may take a standardized test to apply for graduate school or continued education programs.
As a current student, you may choose to take one or more proficiency exams that allow you to get college credit for classes taken before enrollment at NIU. Proficiency tests are optional and are available in several subjects. View a complete list of proficiency exams available at NIU. Students can register for BIOS 103-105 and CHEM 110 exams online. To register for all other proficiency exams, contact Testing Services. For more information, read the Proficiency Exams page.
Though most students take placement exams before their first semester at NIU, some current students may need to test for placement in math, foreign language, and/or chemistry classes. The type of placement exam(s) you take depend on your course of study, major, and completed courses in high school or college. For some majors, placement exams are required. For more information, read the placement exams page or contact Testing Services. Register online for NIU placement exams. Math placement exams may also be taken at community colleges around the state of Illinois through the Math Accuplacer testing program.
Similar to proficiency exams, current students may earn course credit by achieving a passing score on several national standardized tests through AP, CLEP, DSST, and IB programs. More information about earning credit by examination can be found in NIU's CBE brochure and on the Credit by Examination page.
Students can be exempt from NIU core competency courses by passing exams in oral communications, English, and/or mathematics. These exams are optional. A passing grade reduces the number of general education hours necessary for a bachelor's degree at NIU, but it does not reduce the number of hours required for a degree. For more information about core competency testing, review the Core Competency Exams page or contact Testing Services.
English majors and minors may take the Grammar Exemption Exam.
Nursing students who received an ACT score of 23 or lower may take the Accuplacer Reading Comprehension exam to meet the reading standards of the School of Nursing. This exam may be taken at NIU or at community colleges throughout the state. For more information, read the Reading Accuplacer page.
Education students who received an ACT score of 21 or lower must pass the Test of Academic Proficiency before enrolling in the NIU initial teacher licensure program. For more information, read the Educator Licensure TAP page.
Accountancy majors may take the Accountancy Qualifying Exam if you have a grade lower than a B in ACCY 206 and ACCY 207.
Students entering the College of Business master's programs may take optional exams to waive Phase One requirements.
Credit by Exam Brochure (PDF)