Basic Skills Policy

All students pursuing a bachelor’s degree program at Montclair State must satisfy the minimum proficiency requirements in reading and math for the University and/or their specific program.  Proficiency may be established by the SAT, ACT, High School Grades or University established criteria. Students who meet these criteria will be exempt and will not be required to test unless specified by their program of study.  Students who do not meet the exemption criteria will be required to take a placement test in the appropriate area.

Basic Skills Competency Requirement in Math and Reading (subject to change)
Students who are determined to need coursework in basic skills on the basis of placement test results will be required to enroll in and successfully complete the requirement as indicated below.

NOTE: Submission of SAT or ACT scores is not required, but, if a student chooses to submit those scores to ASC, the scores will be considered in the assessment of the exemption from basic skills testing and remediation in math and/or reading.

  1. Basic Skills competency in Mathematics
  2. Basic Skills competency in Reading
  3. Placement into Writing

1. Basic Skills competency in Mathematics, effective Fall 2017, is determined by the following:

Students whose majors DO NOT fall in the School of Business (SBU) or College of Science and Mathematics (CSM) should confer with their academic advisors and enroll in the appropriate GenEd math (MATH 103, MATH 104, MATH 106 or MATH 109).

Montclair administers placement testing in upper level math and Chemistry as follows:

Students whose majors are in the School of Business (SBU) or College of Science and Mathematics (CSM) are required to take the College Level Math (CLM) section of ACCUPLACER in order to assess their readiness for math courses beyond Intermediate Algebra (MATH 100).  Undeclared students who plan to have a major in the School of Business (SBU) or College of Science and Mathematics (CSM) must contact the Academic Success Center (ASC) at 973-655-4476 to be evaluated for placement into Statistical Methods in Business, Precalculus or Calculus and schedule appropriate testing.  Students whose majors require CHEM 120 (General Chemistry I) must take the Chemistry Readiness Test to determine their placement into CHEM 120 or its prerequisite CHEM 106 (Principles of Chemistry).  Students whose majors require MATH 110, MATH 111, MATH 116, MATH 112 or INFO 240 are required to demonstrate competency on the Montclair State University placement test prior to enrolling into these courses.  These students will be notified for placement testing requirement upon receipt of their admission deposits. SBU and CSM students who did not attain a course numerical grade of 82 or better in Algebra II in high school, nor an SAT Math score greater than or equal to 500 (530 if taken in or after 2016) nor an ACT Math score greater than or equal to 22 may opt to enroll in MATH 100 should they feel placement testing is unlikely to elevate their placement to the subsequent math level.

Transfer students may be required to take the math and/or the Chemistry readiness tests if their majors require MATH 110, MATH 111, MATH 116/122, INFO 240 or Chemistry 120, provided that they did not transfer in equivalent coursework to these courses. Transfer students who have not transferred in equivalent coursework to these courses must contact the Academic Success Center (ASC) at 973-655-4476 for placement requirement in MATH 110, MATH 111, MATH 116/122, INFO 240 or Chemistry 120.


2. Basic Skills competency in Reading, effective fall 2017, is determined by the following:

  1. Submission of SAT or ACT scores is not required, but, if a student chooses to submit those scores to ASC, the scores will be considered in the assessment of the exemption from basic skills testing and remediation in reading.
  1. All students with SAT Critical Reading score greater than or equal to 27 (500 if taken prior to 2016) or ACT Reading score greater than or equal to 19 are exempt from all remedial and developmental coursework in reading, and do not need to take a reading placement test. These students should confer with their academic advisors and enroll in appropriate college-level courses.
  2. All students who completed BOTH high school English and History in their junior year with course numerical grade of 83 or better are exempt from remedial and developmental coursework in reading, and do not need to take a reading placement test. These students should confer with their academic advisors and enroll in the appropriate college-level courses.
  3. Students who fail to meet either of the two exemption criteria above are REQUIRED to take a reading placement test. Students who achieve a score greater than or equal to 72 on the reading section of ACCUPLACER ARE NOT required to enroll in any remedial or developmental coursework in reading, and should confer with their academic advisors and enroll in the appropriate college-level courses. Students who score below 72 on the reading placement test ARE REQUIRED to enroll in Precollege Reading.
  4. Transfer students with 24 or more college credits accepted by Montclair ARE NOT required to enroll in any remedial or developmental coursework in reading, and should confer with their academic advisors and enroll in the appropriate college-level courses.

Policy Regarding Completion of Reading Requirements: Precollege Reading

Students who are entering Montclair State in the fall semester and who are determined to need coursework in basic skills reading on the basis of placement test results MUST enroll in and successfully complete one of the following approved reading programs:

  1. An On-Line Precollege Reading; students choosing this option will go through an on-line program offered by Montclair State University over the summer. Students who are placed into Precollege Reading,  must register for the On-Line Precollege Reading  through the Academic Success Center and must successfully complete the program within 10 weeks or prior to the start of the Fall 2017 semester; whichever comes first or
  2. Successfully complete an approved equivalent course to MSU’s Precollege Reading at another college (contact the Academic Success Center for course approval) during the Summer Session.

Once enrolled in reading program either at Montclair State University or at a local college, students will be permitted to tentatively register in fall coursework with the understanding that their eligibility to remain enrolled for fall will be determined by their successful completion of the course.

Failure by regularly admitted students to successfully complete this requirement by the end of the summer prior to their first semester at Montclair State will result in the rescinding of admission to the University and the cancelation of any active fall courses.  Students will retain the right to reapply for admission once they have successfully completed an approved equivalent for Precollege Reading at a local college.

Spring Entrants – Students who are entering Montclair State in the spring semester and who are determined to need coursework in basic skills reading on the basis of placement test results MUST enroll in and successfully complete an On-Line Precollege Reading during the Winter Session or by successfully completing an approved equivalent course at a local college).  Students, once enrolled in the appropriate reading course either at Montclair State University or at a local college, will be permitted to tentatively register in spring coursework with the understanding that their eligibility to remain enrolled for spring will be determined by their successful completion of the course.

Failure to successfully complete the designated course by the end of the winter session will result in the rescinding of admission to the University and the cancelation of any active spring courses. Students will retain the right to reapply for admission once they have successfully completed an approved equivalent for the designated course at a local college.

3. Placement into Writing

Please refer to the following website: https://www.montclair.edu/chss/first-year-writing/first-year-writing-program-students/writing-placement/ for information about course placement into writing.