Student Testing and Exams - NIU - Testing Services

Student Testing & Exams

NIU Testing Services

Adams Hall 128
DeKalb, IL 60115-2828

815-753-1203
815-753-3701 (fax)
testing@niu.edu

Regular Office Hours

Monday-Friday 8 a.m.- noon
1- 4:30 p.m.

Finals Week Office Hours

Monday, December 11 -Thursday, December 14
8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
(open during lunch)

Friday, December 15
8:30 a.m. -4:30 p.m.
(open during lunch)

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Student Testing and Exams

Student testing at NIU falls into three general categories: NIU Programs, Credit by Examination, and National Programs

Please note: A student needing special testing accommodations must register with NIU's Disability Resource Center (DRC). Phone (815) 753-1303. 

NIU Programs

required for most new students; optional for some current students

The results of these exams determine placement in courses and help students and advisors select appropriate course schedules that correspond with a student's level of achievement.

  • Placement exams and proficiency exams are required of new students before they register for first semester classes. On occasion, a current student may take a placement exam if they are changing their major or deciding to take courses where they could benefit from an advanced placement.
  • Core competency exams are optional and do not result in course credit. They allow a student to fulfill a requirement for oral communication, English, or mathematics. A passing score reduces the number of general education hours, but does not reduce the number of hours required for a degree.
  • Qualifying exams help determine whether students in certain areas of study have sufficient skill levels to advance within the program. Accountancy and Education students may take these exams.

Credit by Examination

optional for new students and current students

Students who receive a passing score on one or more of the following exams may obtain college credit.

  • Advanced Placement (AP) program
  • The DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST)
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) program
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP) - no longer administered by NIU
  • NIU proficiency examinations

National Standardized Testing Programs

optional for all new and current students

National testing programs are standardized testing programs developed by independent test companies. Examples include ACT, SAT, GMAT, LSAT and TOEFL. Students may take a national proficiency test before, during, or after their enrollment at NIU.