New Student FAQs

Placement Assessment and basic skills courses

The placement assessments are meant to provide our University personnel with a survey of your skills in mathematics, reading, and writing. Based on your chosen degree program and your potential interest in pursuing a second language, an additional assessment may be administered.

Could I Be Exempt?

If you have participated in the SAT or ACT assessments, we ask that you please share these scores with us as soon as possible so we can assess whether you are eligible for auto-placement into mathematics and/or writing courses. 

You have two options when submitting either your SAT or ACT scores for placement-related purposes. You can pick one of the following two options that is most convenient for you: 

  1. You can request that scores be sent directly to FDU’s Admissions Office through the College Board’s website if you completed your SAT assessments or the ACT’s website, if you took the ACT assessments.
  2. You can also download an official score report that includes your full name, test scores and score breakdown, along with the College Board or ACT logo, and send the PDF directly to

Reading and Writing Placement Information

The FDU writing faculty have developed a survey to collect feedback regarding your past experiences with reading, writing, and study skills. 

The survey should take about 20 minutes unless a writing sample is needed. If you need to submit a writing sample, you will need to budget about 2 ½ hours to complete the survey and the essay portions. The instructions given below will help you determine if you need to complete the sample essay. Once you begin the survey, you will not be able to exit and return, so be sure that you have enough time to complete it before you begin. It is also a good idea to make sure that you will have a quiet, uninterrupted workspace for time needed.

In the survey, you will find questions that ask about your prior experiences with some of the key concepts that are covered in our writing courses. Please be sure to reflect carefully and to be honest with yourself when answering the questions.

On the first day of College Writing and College Reading courses, students will be given diagnostic assessments to confirm course placements.

Mathematics Placement Information

To be successful in our mathematics and other courses throughout your academic journey, the FDU mathematics faculty have developed an online, digital assessment. This tool will help our University assess your competency in mathematical concepts to which you may have been exposed in the past. This information will help us identify the course in which you can be most successful in your first semester of study, based on your chosen academic program.

The mathematics assessments are comprised of three timed tests that are designed to help assess your prior knowledge of several mathematical concepts. You may use scrap paper as needed.

  • Test A (35 questions) allows for a maximum of 50 minutes; no calculator use.
  • Test B (15 questions), if eligible, allows for a maximum of 25 minutes; built-in calculator available for select questions.
  • Test C (15 questions), if eligible, allows for a maximum of 25 minutes; built-in calculator available for select questions.

Your placement for mathematics will be based on your assessment results or SAT/ACT exemptions.

A valid photo ID is required to participate in the mathematics placement assessment activities.

What Should I Study To Prepare For The Math Placement Test?

Students can find and overview of the topics by clicking on “Topics to Study (PDF)“.

How Do I Take The Math Placement Test?

Students who are eligible to take a math placement assessment will receive information regarding scheduling their math assessment via email. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all assessments will be proctored online via Zoom. Students will need access to one of the following: computer, laptop, iPad, Android tablet, or Smartphone. The device you choose must have a webcam and internet access.

Is There A Deadline To Take the Placement Assessment?

Your math assessment should be completed by July 8th.

What If I Require Testing Accommodations Due To A Disability?

The mathematics assessments are timed. The built-in calculator is allowed for calculator-eligible questions in Tests B & C only; based on eligibility, the mathematics assessment platform might display Test(s) B or C. Therefore, students with documented disabilities who require testing accommodations must contact Disability Support Services at or (201) 692-2076 at least 2 weeks prior to their scheduled assessment.

Students who are accepted into the Regional Center for Learning Disabilities program and have been approved to receive academic adjustments/accommodations from said office must contact the Regional Center office (201-692-2716) to request that a list of their approved accommodations is sent to

How Do I Obtain My Placement Assessment Results?

Your placement assessment scores will be automatically sent to the designated academic advisors on campus who will review your scores against your selected academic programs.

What If I Have More Questions?

If you have any questions pertaining to the outlined placement assessment processes, please contact the Academic Resource Center at or 201-692-2076.

Your Semester Schedule

I completed a Schedule Planning Guide (SPG) asking me about my preferences for courses. Why aren’t those courses on my schedule?

When advisors create schedules your preferences are always taken into consideration. However, they cannot always be guaranteed due to course availability, curriculum requirements and placement assessment results.

I have AP credits and/or Middle College credits. How do I get credit for those courses?

In some cases, the University does not receive Advanced Placement (AP) scores until the middle of July. If you do not receive notification that your scores have been received by August 1st, please contact Coleen Curtis at or by telephone at 201-692-2732 to ensure your scores have been received. If you receive AP credits, please contact your academic department or the Advisement Center to make sure your fall semester schedule is correct. 

If you have questions regarding your Middle College credits, please contact Jordan Mitchell, Senior Program Director of the Middle College Program at 201-692-6504 or via email at

I have a course on my schedule called “Recitation”. What does that mean?

Recitation sections are used to compliment and supplement larger lecture sections. The primary goal of recitation is working in small groups to solve problems in an environment that is designed to foster collaboration and discussion among group members. The small class size promotes interactive learning opportunities and allows for more personalized interactions with a professor. This often fosters confidence in students to participate and ask questions, without the pressure of a large audience. Recitation activities may include group work, practice problems, homework, review, discussion, and quizzes. As such, student performance in recitation is a component of their lecture grade.

What is “Transitioning to University Life?”

Transitioning to University Life is a 1 credit course required for graduation by all students. This course helps students make a successful transition from high school to college. It provides entering students with a learning experience that supports them during their first semester at FDU.

Do I have to take a Foreign Language?

Students whose academic program requires a foreign language assessment will be given the option to continue studying the foreign language(s) they may have studied in high school or as a heritage speaker. Students may also elect to start a new foreign language. If a foreign language assessment is required, students will be notified accordingly.

I am interested in the QUEST Teacher Preparation program. Can I take an Education course my first semester?

Students already accepted into the QUEST program will be registered for EDUC1108 Seminar in Professional Practice I: The Teacher’s Role in School and community (3 credits). Students who place into developmental courses may be required to delay entrance into QUEST until completing developmental courses. If you are interested in QUEST but have not yet spoken to the QUEST Coordinator, please contact Dr. Kathryn Spence at 201-692-2863 or through email at

Engineering majors

I took the placement assessment for math and placed into MATH 1105: College Algebra. Does that class count towards graduation?

College Algebra is considered to be a lower math than Pre-calculus and therefore will not carry credit toward graduation and will be considered excess credit.

Why am I not registered for General Physics I if it is part of my requirements?

If you place in Pre-calculus or higher as determined by the placement assessment, you will be registered for General Physics I and its lab. If you placed below Pre-calculus, you will be registered for an alternate required course.

My schedule does not show any Engineering courses. Why?

If you placed in College Algebra or higher as determined by the placement assessment, you will be registered for ENGR 1301: Engineering Practices, Graphics, and Designs. If you placed below College Algebra (i.e. Algebra Skills or Computation and Algebra skills), you will be registered for an alternate required course.

Science Majors

I thought I needed to take CHEM 1201: General Chemistry I in my first semester. Why aren’t I registered for it?

In order to take General Chemistry I, you must have a specific math assessment score. If you did not receive that minimum score, you will be registered for an alternate course based on your assessment. 

Students interested in the Nursing major

Students who desire Nursing as their major must be accepted into the program. If you are not initially accepted into the program via your entrance into FDU through Admissions, your acceptance is then based on completing prerequisites along with attaining certain grades and GPA.

It is necessary for the student who desires entrance into the Nursing program to directly contact the School of Nursing regarding specific entrance requirements. Please contact the School of Nursing at 201-692-2880.