Placement Testing

What are placement tests?

These are not entrance exams. You have already been admitted to Hawai‘i Pacific University, and test results do not affect admission. You cannot fail placement tests. Your scores are a measure of your educational development in English (writing), mathematics, and/or other areas. They enable us to determine which courses you need in order to progress and succeed in your studies. Because scores do affect your placement, you should try to do your very best.

Placement exams are provided free of charge to all Hawaii Pacific University students.

Depending on ACT, SAT, or other test results, you may be exempt from testing.  Generally speaking, if you are placing into a math or writing course which is NOT earning general education credit, you are strongly encouraged to attempt to place higher.  Moreover, students pursuing math- or science-related majors may also benefit from placing into a more advanced math course.

If you are placing into MATH 1101, MATH 1105, WRI 1000, or WRI 1050, you are strongly encouraged to attempt to place higher. 

Students can check available testing dates/times and register for placement exams via our REGISTRATION PORTAL.  Students can only register for one day/time per exam.

We highly recommend that you take some time to prepare PRIOR to testing.  Placing higher equates to time and money saved, usually $2,000 - $3,000 per class.  The following resources should be helpful:

Offered through MyFoundationsLab, you are able to purchase access to extensive training materials for 10 full weeks throughout the summer.  Modules include a thorough review of math and writing concepts in addition to reading comprehension practice and study skills. Students who participated consistently and regularly last summer were able to achieve significant gains, often jumping up one or even two-course levels.  More information will be available very soon about this exciting and inexpensive way to Leap Ahead in your college experience. 


Information about the computer skills, math, and writing placement exams

A few resources for study guides and practice tests


A good site to review key concepts, especially in math

Tutoring services
If you live on Oahu, HPU offers tutoring services throughout the summer to help you prepare for your college placement exams.  Come in to the Center for Academic Success (CAS) and work with a tutor to review key concepts.  The CAS can be reached by email at or by phone at 808-544-9334.

Generally, placement tests for are administered in the Center for Academic Success on the downtown campus (Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana Boulevard, Building 6, Suite 440).

Bring a picture ID to the testing location. Paper and #2 pencils will be provided.


Accuplacer English Writing ExaM

TIME: 50 minutes
This is an essay typed on a computer. You will be given a short essay prompt and asked to compose a well-organized, cohesive essay of 300-600 words.


Accuplacer Math Placement Exam

TIME: Un-timed
Total time could range from 1.5 to 2.5 hours. You will be provided paper for making calculations, which will be collected at the end of the test. No calculator is permitted.

Modern Language Placement Exam

TIME: 90-100 minutes
Placement tests are available for French, Hawaiian, Korean, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish.

Bring a photo ID. Test proctors may refuse admittance to those without a photo ID. Do not bring cellular phones, calculators, dictionaries or other aids. Results are usually available immediately with rare delays.

Students accepted into Hawaii Pacific University from the neighbor islands, mainland, or international locations may take their placement exams from a school, independent testing center, or other educational organization in their hometown. Students are encouraged to take advantage of this option, and register early for the most desirable class times.

A proctor must monitor your exam. You are required to find your own proctor. A suitable proctor cannot be a relative, and must meet at least one of the following:

  • High school or college guidance counselor or academic advisor
  • High school or college instructor
  • Commissioned Officer, Warrant Officer, or NCO (E-5 and above) in the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Civilian educational advisor on U.S. Military Base
  • Public librarian
  • Testing staff at a professional testing or tutoring center
  • Hawaii Pacific University faculty or staff

NOTE: All proctors must have a professional or business/government-assigned email. Commercial services such as Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook will not be processed.

Basic Procedure

  1. Student secures a proctor and a testing location. 
    • Testing location cannot be a dwelling.
    • Although placement exams are free to Hawaii Pacific University student, the proctoring organization may charge for their services.
  2. The proctor requests authorization by filling out and submitting the online Proctor Approval Form.
    • Approval may take 3 to 4 business days. (We will not process Proctor Approval Forms from December 21st through January 7.)
  3. HPU sends test administration instructions and login information to proctor via email.
  4. Proctor confirms the place and time of exam(s) with student.
  5. The proctor reviews test procedures before the exam start time.
  6. The proctor notifies the Center for Academic Success of completion of the exam at
  7. Students contact their academic advisor 1 to 2 business days after exam completion to register.

Please direct any procedural questions to the Assessment Specialist in the Center for Academic Success at (808) 544-9334, Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM (HAST), or email

Students who qualify for accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should contact HPU’s Accessibility Services at (808) 544-1197 or e-mail:  before taking the test.