Class Placement

SAT and/or ACT scores along with placement exam results will be used by academic advisors to help place new freshmen in appropriate level English, math, chemistry and foreign language classes.

Placement exams for English, math and foreign language are available online and need to be taken at least seven days before attending SOAR. The chemistry placement exam will be taken on campus during orientation. Additional information for each subject area can be found below.

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    Writing will be a key feature of your college career. Regardless of your major or career interest, you will do some form of writing in every class. Therefore, the English Department wants to make sure you are placed into the first-year writing class that will most benefit you over the long haul.

    Unlike many schools that place students into first-year writing classes based only on SAT/ACT scores, your placement at Detroit Mercy is carefully considered by full-time faculty members who teach first-year writing courses. Based on your essay, self-assessment exercise, and your SAT/ACT score, you will be placed in one of the following course options:

    1. English 1310: Academic Writing (3 credits)

    In this placement, you will take ENL 1310: Academic Writing, which satisfies your Core Curriculum Requirement (A2): Written Communication.

    ENL 1310 is a course that goes into more depth about inquiry and rhetorical strategies with the added layer of using research and other evidence to support claims and reasoning.  This course engages students in the critical elements of academic inquiry: designing research questions; locating, evaluating, and synthesizing secondary research; performing primary research to construct new knowledge; and employing critical thinking strategies to develop arguments with purpose, meaning, and significance.

    Note: Students who place into ENL 1310 should already be able to read and analyze college-level texts, summarize and synthesize ideas and opinions from multiple authors, and be familiar with some conventions of academic and research-based writing. 

    2. English 1300: College Writing (3 credits)

    With this placement, you will take ENL 1300: College Writing. ENL 1300: College Writing is a course that trains writers to explore different types of writing and develop good inquiry skills. This course emphasizes critical thinking and argumentation: understanding and representing multiple analytical perspectives fairly; applying analytical reasoning; and engaging with college-level texts from multiple disciplines, genres, and media.

    Once you have completed this course, you will then take ENL 1310: Academic Writing, which will satisfy your Core Curriculum Requirement (A2): Written Communication.

    3a. English 1300: College Writing + English 1000: College Writing Lab (6 credits total)

    In this placement option, you will take ENL 1300: College Writing as well as a second course, ENL 1000: College Writing Lab.

    ENL 1000 is a 3-credit hour course open to students enrolled in ENL 1300: College Writing. This course provides students with additional writing instruction and structured writing time during all stages of the writing process, including prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing. Additionally, this course focuses on foundational writing skills related to grammar and mechanics and the development of fundamental habits needed to be successful in writing at the University level.  This course will give you additional time and assistance with your College Writing assignments as well as more focused attention from instructors and Writing Center consultants.

    Note: This placement option will gain you 6 credit hours toward graduation.


    3b. UAS 0990: Basic Writing (3 credit hours; 0 earned credits)

    In this placement option, you will take UAS 0990: Basic Writing.

    UAS 0990 provides instruction and practice in effective writing, including extensive practice in fundamentals of critical thinking and college writing in preparation for English 1300 and 1310. Special attention is paid to generating, organizing, and developing ideas, as well as editing for syntax, mechanics, and style. Completion of this course with a grade of "C" or better is required in order to enroll in ENL 1300.

    Note: This course does not generate earned hours toward graduation requirements.



    Your SAT and/or ACT math subscores will be used to place you into the math class appropriate for your skill level and major. Below you’ll see a chart of SAT/ACT subscores and the corresponding math class placement.

    If you believe your test scores do not accurately reflect your math ability, you may choose to take the math placement exam.  If your intended major is Mathematics or Engineering, it is recommended that you take the placement exam.

    To prepare for the placement exam review your high school math particularly algebra and graphs.  Students hoping to place into calculus should also review trigonometry.  For additional review check out or

    Standardized Test Score

    Detroit Mercy Math Class Placement

    ACT MATH: 16 or less
    SAT MATH: 430 or less
    UAS 0800
    ACT MATH: 17-19
    SAT MATH: 440-500
    UAS 0950
    ACT MATH: 20-23
    SAT MATH: 510-570
    MTH 1020/1030/1040 or MTH 1010
    ACT MATH: 24-26
    SAT MATH: 580-630
    MTH 1400 or MTH 1110
    ACT MATH: 27+
    SAT MATH: 640+
    MTH 1410 or MTH 1120


    The chemistry placement exam is administered on campus during orientation only.  The test is not available online.  Students majoring in one of the following programs are required to take the chemistry placement exam:

    • Biochemistry
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Pre-Dental
    • Pre-Medical
    • Pre-Occupational Therapy
    • Pre-Optometry
    • Pre-Pharmacy
    • Pre-Physical Therapy
    • Pre-Physician Assistant
    • Pre-Podiatry
    • Pre-Veterinary 
    • 5-Year Physician Assistant
    • 7-Year Dental

    Depending on educational goals, students majoring in mathematics may also need to take the chemistry placement exam.

    Detroit Mercy administers the 2010 Toledo Chemistry Placement Exam (TCPE). The TCPE is written by the American Chemical Society and evaluates a student's general math and algebra skills, as well as overall knowledge of chemistry. It is designed and used to evaluate how well a student is prepared for freshman chemistry courses taught at Detroit Mercy. Results will be used to ensure that the student's background in chemistry and math is adequate for success.  Reviewing high school chemistry and study guides for the Toledo Chemistry Placement exam may help improve placement.

    The chemistry exam consists of 60 math and chemistry questions. Part 1 is 20 math-based questions, Part 2 is 20 general chemistry questions and Part 3 is 20 specific chemistry questions. The math questions cover math skills up to and including college-level algebra. The chemistry questions cover topics including measurements, unit conversions, classifications of matter (elements, isotopes, ions, compounds) and change (chemical/physical), trends of the periodic table, ionic and covalent bonding, moles, writing/balancing chemical formulas/equations, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, oxidation/reduction, states of matter, pressure/volume/temperature relationships (gas laws), quantum theory, solubility and solutions, equilibria, acids and bases, kinetics and thermodynamics.

    Students will have 55 minutes to complete the test. A scientific calculator may be used, but students are responsible for bringing one.  Scrap paper, pencil and a Periodic Table of the Elements will be provided.

    The following types of calculators are not permitted:

    • Pocket organizers, handheld or laptop computers, or cell phones
    • Electronic writing pads or pen-input devices
    • Models with a QWERTY (typewriter) keypad.
    • Models with built-in capability to simplify algebraic expressions, multiply polynomials, or factor polynomials (often called Computer Algebra Systems), for example, CFX-9970G, TI-89, and TI-92

    Foreign Language

    Online placement exams are available for Arabic, Chinese, French, Korean, Japanese and Spanish.  The exams are multiple choice and/or fill-in-the-blank and take approximately one hour.  Students who wish to earn credit in or to take a placement exam in a language other than those mentioned above should contact the Language Cultural Training Department at 313-993-1102.


    Placement Exam Instructions

    Placement exams in English, math and foreign language are online and must be completed at least seven days prior to attending SOAR.  You can take placement exams as soon as you submit your enrollment deposit.  The exams are administered through Blackboard, Detroit Mercy’s course management software.  You can access Blackboard at  Your My Portal username and password will be needed to log in and were part of an earlier email.  

    Note: You will have access to log in to Blackboard 48 hours after submitting your enrollment deposit.  

     A Blackboard video tutorial is available.


    Special Testing Accommodations

    If you require special testing accommodations please contact Disability Services at least one week prior to your SOAR session:

    Laura Bagdady
    Assistant Director
    Student Disability & Accessibility Support Services