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Course Placement

Placement is determined by ACT or SAT Scores or transfer work which includes AP and IB exam results. Additionally, students may challenge their course placement for Reading, English, and Math by taking the ACCUPLACER Exam. ACT, SAT, and ACCUPLACER scores guide advisors for placement purposes, but students will not receive college credit based on those exams.

Multiple ACT/SAT/Next Generation ACCUPLACER Scores

Advisors ought to take the highest score from each attempt to determine placement. The registration system only recognizes scores that we have received directly from the testing source. An advisor can temporarily consider unofficial test scores as viewed, via the student, from the testing website; however, the student must provide the official scores to the University prior to the semester beginning or risk being dropped from the relevant course due to insufficient test scores.

Students may take the Next Generation ACCUPLACER multiple times as outlined and advisors will consider the highest score in course placement.

What if a student took the Next Generation ACCUPLACER somewhere other than UNM?

Have the student request the score(s) be sent to UNM from the testing center in which they took the exam. Instruct the student to include their UNM ID number to insure the scores are assigned to the student’s record.

How does transfer credit affect course placement?

Many new students come to UNM with transfer work from either Dual Credit or Early College work during high school, or because they began their college career elsewhere. UNM requires Official transcripts from each institutions attended and all transfer work is considered in course placement. Advisors may consider courses in progress by viewing class schedules, and may temporarily consider unofficial transcripts for registration. However, the student must provide the official transcripts to the University prior to the semester beginning or be dropped from the relevant course due to insufficient placement.

Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Credit

Students are encouraged to take challenging college prep high school classes including AP and IB. College credit may be awarded for certain scores as outlined. UNM typically receives scores in July for exams taken in May. The best practice for advising students before their scores arrives is to place them into courses based on the information at hand during the advising session. Students ought to contact their advisor when scores arrive and merit college credit to revise their semester plan of study.

Course Placement Table

The following is the University’s guide for course placement based on ACT, SAT, or ACCUPLACER scores.

placement table


The UNM Testing Center is tasked with administering exams to place students in appropriate courses. Recommendations for what exam(s) to take are conveyed by the advisors and not the testing center. Thus, the testing center relies on advisors to make recommendations to students. For example, if a student is thinking about which Next-Generation ACCUPLACER math test they should take, the test will vary based off their major/course selection. The following are some tips and tricks intended to inform and guide you in the process:

  • Next-Generation ACCUPLACER testing is accessible year-round and offers the following tests:
    • Mathematics & Statistics
    • English 1110x & 1110
    • Critical Text Analysis
  • UNM accepts Next-Generation ACCUPLACER scores from other schools; however, the scores must be emailed to
  • In order to test, students must have:
    • A UNM ID number
    • A valid picture ID
  • Each test administered will cost $5. Payment is accepted by credit card through their website (
    • If a student prefers to pay with cash, check, or money order, they will need contact the testing center first to get an invoice. The student will then pay their fee at the UNM Bursar’s office.
    • Students will not be able to add the cost of the test to their Bursar’s account.
  • After the first week of the each part of term or semester, Next-Generation ACCUPLACER scores are only applicable for a future part-of-terms or semesters.
  • Discourage students from taking Next-Generation ACCUPLACER for the purposes of adding, making level or section changes with the following considerations:
  • If the student begins with absences and they exceed the allowed absences as posted in the course syllabus, they may be dropped. The course syllabus explains the policy per 1H, 2H, 16-week, and online courses.
  • If a student places higher, they do not get credit for the courses below the level they placed into (refer to the Catalog for placement). Next-Generation ACCUPLACER testing is not a challenge process. Students will need to take the CLEP to get credit for courses.
  • The testing center is open on a walk-in basis, Monday-Friday, from 8am to 2pm. They are located at Casas del Rio, 420 Redondo East Bldg #2, on the west side of this building and north of Johnson Field.