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Placement guide for new students

Your placement into courses that are appropriate for your knowledge and skill level is an important step in assuring your success at Augustana. This is especially true for language and math courses.


If you speak or have studied a second language (even if you completed four years in high school), you are required to take a language placement test before you can sign up for an Orientation & Registration date.

You can take one of five tests: Chinese, French, German, Latin or Spanish.

You are not required to take a language placement test if you:

  • have experience in a language other than Chinese, French, German, Latin or Spanish
  • have not studied a second language
  • will transfer in at least one semester of college language

If any of these situations apply to you, please use this short form to notify us. When we hear from you, we will waive the language test requirement.

At Orientation & Registration, you will hear about our second language requirements and options. We offer Chinese, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Latin, Scandinavian and Spanish. Whether you continue studying a language or begin a new one, the placement exam helps us determine what level of coursework is best for you.

If you complete a placement test, allow three business days for us to process your score. Then you can see your score and placement by logging in to Arches and choosing “Check your placement scores.”


We do not require a math placement test.* Instead, we use your Math Index Score, based on your high school GPA and your ACT/SAT math score. You can see your Math Index Score by logging into Arches and choosing “Check your placement scores.”

What scores mean

After you've checked your language and math scores in Arches, please see "Understanding your placement scores."

If you have questions not addressed here, please email

Individualized Support Courses

Some students are recommended for placement in courses that provide individualized instruction to improve reading and writing skills or enhance study skills. If we recommend this for you, you’ll receive a personal email from the Advising office in late May.


* If you are an international student and do not have an SAT or ACT score on file with Augustana, you may be required to take a math placement test. The ALEKS (Assessment and Learning Knowledge Spaces) test for international students is scheduled during international student orientation. The Office of First-Year Advising will email students who need to take the test.

Fall schedule how-to

OrientationOrientation video