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Academic Preparation & Placement

Academic Prep Program

The Academic Preparation and Placement (APP) program provides free placement testing for UK students and supplemental instruction for admitted students who do not meet state minimum test score requirements for college readiness to help prepare for college classes.

If you have any questions regarding placement testing please contact us at thestudy@uky.edu.

Who needs to take a placement test?

  • Admitted first-time, first-year students who have not met the Kentucky Council of Postsecondary Education (CPE) minimum test score requirements for college readiness. 

NOTE: College readiness is based on the Kentucky System-Wide Standards of Assessment and Placement (http://www.lrc.ky.gov/kar/013/002/020.htm) and Performance Indicators are agreed upon by Kentucky institutions can be found at the Council for Postsecondary Education’s website at http://tinyurl.com/ohwaaye

  • Admitted transfer students who do not provide test scores and/or do not have equivalent college-level transfer credit 
  • International students who have an ACT reading sub-score below 20 (SAT critical reading below 470), or an ACT English sub-score below 18 (SAT writing below 430), or a TOEFL score below 100, or any TOEFL sub-score below 20.

  • All admitted first time first year students with ACT Math sub-score under 30.

Students MUST take Placement Test(s) before their summer Registration date and/or before registering for classes.  Students with documented physical, learning, or temporary disabilities may receive assistance and support from the UK Disability Resource Center.

Which test do I take?

  • ALEKS Online Math Placement Test for students with ACT Math sub-score under 30.

  • COMPASS* for Reading for students with ACT Reading sub-score under 20.

  • COMPASS* for Writing for students with ACT Writing sub-score under 18 

  • COMPASS-ESL for international undergraduates who qualify for English proficiency testing (a version of COMPASS designed for students whose native language is not English.)

*These tests are free at UK, but students can take the test remotely at a testing site near home for a fee.

Please note: The University of Kentucky accepts placement testing scores for COMPASS math, reading and writing. As well as, KYOTE math, reading, and writing.

What happens next?

Based on your placement testing scores, you will be registered automatically for reading, writing, and/or math classes as appropriate (see below).  You will also be referred to a range of resources that support your success including tutoring and individualized academic coaching. You will continue to receive support by APP program staff throughout your first semesters to ensure successful transition into your chosen major.  Individual colleges may require additional college-specific programming for APP students.  

UK120 APP Reading 

UK120 is a proactive co-requisite course designed to enhance students’ mastery of critical college reading concepts and strategies while including multiple points of intervention and access to resources in support of students’ regular course work in the UK Core. UK120 is a one-credit course that meets once a week with additional open drop-in hours for academic coaching. Trained learning specialists guide the workshops in support of academic success and are available for inside and outside of classroom support. (The COMPASS Reading exam is available for students who wish to test out of UK120.)  

UK130 APP Writing

This writing workshop is designed to coach students to master critical college analytical writing concepts while including multiple points of intervention and access to resources in support of students’ regular course work. Workshops are held twice a week and earn one hour of academic credit. Trained learning specialists guide the workshops in support of academic success. and are available for inside and outside of classroom support. (The COMPASS Writing exam is available for students who wish to test out of UK130 and be eligible in their first semester for WRD/CIS110).  

UK095 & UK096 APP Math 

These math prep courses are designed as self-paced supplemental instruction for students to master math concepts. Students work directly with a math learning specialist and peer educator in a classroom setting twice a week with additional open drop-in lab hours available to complete required hours of out-of-class work.

  • Students in UK095 APP Quantitative Reasoning master math concepts in preparation for placement in MA111 Quantitative Reasoning (required for UK Core)
  • Students in UK096 APP College Algebra master math concepts in preparation for placement in MA109 College Algebra (this is an accelerated preparation path)

Students may continue working in UK095 for as long as needed until students complete mastery of the required topics to place into credit bearing college math courses (an additional ALEKS placement test is required prior to placement in credit bearing UK math courses).