Academic Assessment

Placement Assessments

Students are required to take three different assessments to determine their placement in courses for the Fall.  The English/Writing assessment must be completed online PRIOR to attending SOAR.  Information about this assessment is emailed to students within 72 hours of receiving confirmation of their SOAR program.  Two of the assessments (Modern Foreign Language and Math) are completed at SOAR. The assessments are described below. 

If you are a student with a documented disability requiring testing accommodations, please contact the Dean of Students Office at (708) 524-6822.

Required Writing Assessment in English/Writing

Incoming students will be required to take an online writing assessment to determine their placement in our composition sequence.  You will have 75 minutes in which to write an essay in response to an assigned topic, making use of two short articles as sources. Both the assignment and the articles are provided online, along with a set of guidelines for citing the source articles.
Students MUST complete the online writing assessment PRIOR to attending their SOAR session. 

Following are the possible English placements:

  • English 100/101/102 Students whose writing indicates that they need additional instruction in the conventions of essay writing or in English syntax and vocabulary are placed into this sequence. Students who pass English 100 enroll in English 101 and English 102 to complete the college's writing requirement. Students whose writing indicates that they need additional support in order to pass English 100 are also placed into English 103 (see description below).  Students must pass English 100 with a grade of C- or better to advance into English 101, the next course in the sequence.
  • English 101/102 Students whose writing indicates that they need two semesters of writing instruction are placed into this sequence. Students who pass English 101 may then take English 102 to complete the college’s writing requirement. Students must pass English 101 with a grade of C- or better to advance into English 102, the next course in the sequence.
  • English 102 Students whose writing indicates that they are ready for the level of writing and reading required in English 102 are placed directly into this course. Passing English 102 with a grade of C- or better fulfills the college’s writing requirement.
  • English 103 English 103 is a one-credit-hour, pass/fail small-group writing tutorial taught by an instructor of English. Students enroll in English 103 in conjunction with English 100, 101, or 102 based on their placement tests or instructor recommendation. In addition, students who earn a D in any composition course will be required to take English 103 along with the next course in the composition sequence.

Students with very advanced writing skills may place out of the sequence.

Academic Integrity Statement
Students of Dominican University must conduct themselves in accordance with the highest standards of academic honesty and integrity. Failure to maintain academic integrity is detrimental to the values of Dominican, which prepares students to pursue truth and participate in the creation of a more just and humane world. All members of the Dominican community share the responsibility for creating the conditions of truth and justice. Therefore, any instance of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. You must take this online placement exam without any assistance and to the best of your ability. By taking the exam, you have agreed to these conditions. Individuals who are found to have committed academic dishonesty will be sanctioned; the highest penalty for academic dishonesty is academic dismissal.

For more information about the English writing requirement or placement test, please contact Sheila Bauer-Gatsos, Director of Composition, at (708) 524-6547 or

Modern Foreign Language

All students must study a language and its culture to fulfill the university's language foundation requirement.  You may sign up to take the assessment in French, German, Italian, or Spanish. The assessment will determine your level of proficiency in order to place you in the appropriate course.  There is also the possibility of taking the placement assessment in Polish, please note that there is a $50 fee for the Polish assessment because it is sent to an outside evaluator.

Even if you complete an assessment in one language, you can choose to study a different language when you meet with your advisor. If you would like to take an assessment in more than one language, arrangements can be made through your advisor.

If you place at the intermediate level (or above) on the language assessment, you have met the University’s language requirement. Students who meet the requirement by way of placement are encouraged to continue their language studies since multilingual graduates have a competitive edge in many of today’s professions. If you place at the elementary level you may take a course in the language you have studied previously; you are also free to begin the study of a new language.

Heritage speakers of a language may choose to take the assessment of the foreign language most familiar to them or the heritage language that is spoken at home.  If you are a heritage speaker of Spanish, there are courses available that are specifically designed with you in mind; these courses develop fluency and include a survey of U.S. Latino culture and identity.

If you speak or have studied a language that Dominican University does not offer, you may take an independently administered proficiency test (for a fee) and, depending on the results, fulfill the language foundation requirement in this way.

If you did not take a foreign language in high school, please select “None” on the registration form.

For more information about the modern foreign language requirement or placement assessment, please contact Tonia Triggiano at (708) 524-6637 or; or you can contact the Rosary College of Arts & Sciences at (708) 524-6814.


You will have 60 minutes to complete a test including all aspects of high school math except calculus.

The test will include 36 multiple choice questions. You are not allowed to use a calculator; scratch paper will be provided for you to work out the problems. Please bring a pencil with you for the test.  For more information about the Mathematics requirement or placement test, please contact Paul Coe, chair and professor of mathematics, at (708) 524-6640 or