New Student Orientation Placement TestingThe New Student Orientation (NSO) conducted by Penn State's Division of Undergraduate Studies assists first-year students in evaluating their educational plans by providing them with a comprehensive program of testing and individualized educational planning and academic advising prior to initial registration.
The testing component of NSO involves placement testing in mathematics and chemistry. The results are used to determine a student's appropriate starting levels in mathematics and chemistry courses at the University. Students receive their placements during the NSO advising day campus visit.
English composition course placement is determined by the SAT-W score. Advisers will assist students without SAT-W scores during the NSO campus visit to determine appropriate English composition placement.
Click on the links below for more information about the mathematics and chemistry tests and English placement:
Mathematics testing is required of all entering first-year students and is important because all majors at the University require courses in quantification. This test measures a student's knowledge of various algebra and trigonometry topics. The test is particularly important for students entering programs of study that require calculus, since the results will indicate which courses to schedule in calculus, algebra, and/or trigonometry.
Two versions of the mathematics test are offered: one version requires the use of a calculator; the other does not. You may choose either version of the test. If you choose the calculator version of the test, you may use any four-function, scientific, or graphing calculator. No matter which test you decide to take, please be aware that calculators are not allowed for quizzes and exams in calculus courses (MATH 110 and 140) and pre-calculus courses (MATH 021, 022, 026 and 041) at Penn State.
New Student Orientation Advising
The advising component of NSO also provides each student with an individual interview with an NSO advisor in order to discuss the student's educational plans. The program also familiarizes students and families with Penn State's wide range of degree programs, acquaints them with the campus and its procedures, and helps students select courses for their first semester of study.
The information provided here is intended to give students an indication of when they can expect to receive an invitation from the Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) to participate in NSO.
After your completed testing materials are processed, you will be scheduled to participate in NSO which will be held on dates to be announced in June, July, and August. Typically, students are notified two weeks in advance of the date they are scheduled for NSO. Details about this counseling and advising portion of NSO are included with the notification of your advising date. You will not be scheduled for advising until you have completed NSO testing.
This program assists first-year students in evaluating their educational plans and is the first stage of the academic advising experience. You will have an opportunity to interact with various staff, faculty, and administrators who represent University areas that will impact your success at Penn State. The NSO events will go a long way to enhance your knowledge of Penn State and to help you make a successful transition to the University.
Please dress comfortably on your scheduled day, but please be aware that photos will be taken for your Penn State student id+ card. Also, please be sure to bring your driver's license or other photo ID.
The faculty, staff, Division of Undergraduate Studies, and Office of Student Affairs welcome you to Penn State Beaver, and we look forward to spending the day with you!
The NSO program is mandatory for all new students, and families are encouraged to attend and participate as well. If students or families have questions prior to the student's scheduled NSO appointment, please contact the Division of Undergraduate Studies, or contact Ms. Gretchen Samchuck, coordinator of the Division of Undergraduate Studies, (724) 773-3789.