Placement Exams

Iowa Lakes Community College requires all students to complete a placement exam. These exams are assessments that place students into appropriate academic courses.

Iowa Lakes currently accepts the following placement exams:

  • Accuplacer Next Generation Exams
  • ACT
  • SAT
Accuplacer Next Generation Exams

The Next-Generation ACCUPLACER test is an assessment system for measuring students' readiness for college courses in reading, writing, and mathematics. The test is a multiple-choice format and is used to precisely placing you at the correct level of introductory classes. None of these exams are timed, so students are able to test at their own speed.

Iowa Lakes offers Accuplacer Next Generation Exams though our Advising & Success Centers on any of our five campuses. These assessments are administered in person through an online testing platform. It typically takes about one to two hours to take all three exams.

Students needing to take the Accuplacer exam should schedule a time with one of our Advising & Success Centers to complete the assessment(s).

Information about the Accuplacer exams can be found at the Accuplacer site:

ACT & SAT Assessments

ACT Assessment

The ACT is a standardized test used for college admission and is administered by ACT. The ACT covers four academic skill areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science reasoning.

opens in a new windowRegister for take the ACT

SAT Assessment

The SAT is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. The SAT is a multiple-choice, pencil-and-paper test created and administered by the College Board.

The SAT's purpose is to measure a high school student's readiness for college and provide colleges with one common data point.

Placement Exam Score Guide

Iowa Lakes uses a placement exam score guide to determine the appropriate academic course placement based on exam scores.

opens in a new windowPlacement Exam Score Guideopens PDF file

Did you take your Accuplacer Exam at Iowa Lakes and need your Test Scores Sent to Another College or University?

We are happy to help. Simply contact the Advising and Success Center near you and request to take a Placement test. There is a $15 administration fee. 

Dr. Laurie Schmidt
Professor, Success/Advising Center
712-852-5275 Ext: 5275 | lschmidt@iowalakes.educreate new email

Molly Struve
Associate Professor, Success/Advising Center
712-362-7935 Ext: 7935 | mstruve@iowalakes.educreate new email

Sandy Garber
Success/Advising Center Instructional Assistant
712-362-8362 Ext: 8362 | sgarber@iowalakes.educreate new email

Contact an Advising & Success Center

List contacts   

Placement Exam Score Guide

Iowa Lakes uses a placement exam score guide to determine the appropriate academic course placement based on exam scores.

opens in a new windowPlacement Exam Score Guideopens PDF file

Frequently Asked Questions About Placement Exams

How long are placement tests valid?

Assessments must have been taken within two-years of registration to qualify. (Exception for this is ACT scores for nursing programs.)

How can I take the Accuplacer exam if I plan to attend Iowa Lakes, but I do not live near an Iowa Lakes Campus?

Accuplacer are offered at most community colleges in the United States. To schedule a remote proctored test, please contact an Advising & Success Center instructor. A voucher will be created and emailed to you. This voucher will allow you to take the exam at a college near you.

  • You must have applied and been accepted to Iowa Lakes to receive a voucher.
  • Proctor fees may apply, based on the remote testing college’s policy.
What is the cost for this exam?

Current and accepted students may take the Accuplacer exam free of charge (one time) on any Iowa Lakes campus. Students may test in the areas of reading, writing (sentence skills only) and mathematics.

If a student chooses to re-test in any three areas, a $10 re-test fee is required before testing. *It is highly recommended that students do preparatory work before re-testing.

When will I get my results?

Test results are given immediately upon completion of the exam(s). The score report will contain a placement message, which informs the student which course(s) they are eligible to enroll in.  

Can I receive accommodations for the Accuplacer exam?

Yes. Students with an approved accommodation plan (with either Iowa Lakes or local high school) may request Accuplacer assessment accommodations. These can include a reader for the exams, Braille exams and larger print exams. *Please call in advance to schedule an appointment that requires accommodations.

How do I study for these exams?

The best way to prepare is to use the Accuplacer practice app. opens in a new windowYou can find it here: