Tennessee Promise

Testing Center

Announcement: Effective immediately, the Testing Center cannot store large items for examinees testing. If your personal items do not fit into the lockers provided, Testing Staff cannot store large items; nor can these items be taken in to the Testing rooms.

Placement Testing

In order to evaluate your educational background, Southwest administers placement tests designed to help you and the College determine which courses are most appropriate for you. An Online Admissions Application must be submitted five (5) business days prior to testing. The type of Placement Test that you will take depends on the following criteria:

Students Under Age 21

One valid photo ID is required for all testing.

ACT® is the placement test required for any student who is under age 21. Students must have national test scores sent to Southwest. Southwest will accept the "Best" score for each test category if you send scores for more than one test date.

Southwest offers the Residual ACT® test for students who have not taken the ACT® exam on a national test date. While the Residual ACT® test can be used to enroll at Southwest, the scores will not transfer to another institution nor can the score be used to qualify for the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship program.

**Students under age 21 who have taken a national SAT exam may use those scores in place of ACT.

Students Over Age 21

Students who are 21 years of age or older and/or have no transfer credits from another institution are required to take all areas of the COMPASS® placement test. This is a computer based test that will determine placement into college level courses.

To learn more about the COMPASS® test and to view sample questions, visit the Compass for Students website.

Transfer and Summer Visiting Students

Students may be exempt from placement testing if they:

  • Have college level coursework in English or Mathematics with a "C" or better from a regionally accredited institution
  • Have valid ACT/SAT score that places him/her in college level courses.

Next Step

After you have completed your placement test, the next step is to visit Advising and Counseling.