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Assessment of Core Proficiencies


Please contact the Assessment Office about taking the Assessment of Core Proficiencies.


What is this and why do I have to take it?

The Assessment of Core Proficiencies (ACP) is a multiple-choice computer-based test.  It tests general college-level reading, writing, critical thinking and mathematics.  It includes material usually covered in core courses.  You should plan to spend two hours completing the assessment.

The State of Missouri requires we administer this assessment.  It is part of the performance funding formula and factors into the funding Northwest receives from the state.    

It is also commonly referred to as the junior assessment.

Students at or reaching junior status (around 60 credit hours) will receive an email to their Northwest student email when they should complete the exam with instructions about registering for a session.

Is this an excused absence from class?

No, you should not miss class in order to complete the ACP.  Please pick a time that does not interfere with your class schedule.

How do I study for this exam?

You are not expected to study for this exam.  It is designed to assess skills that have been developed through your core courses.  If you'd like more information about the exam used for the Assessment of Core Proficiencies, (the ETS Proficiency Profile), you may visit the following site to view test content description and sample questions,

What do I need to bring?

You need to bring your Bearcat Card.  You will test in our computer lab so there is no need to bring a computer.  We will provide scratch paper, pencil and approved calculator.  If you've lost or misplaced your Bearcat Card, other government issued ID (driver's license or passport) can be used instead of a the Bearcat Card.  However, Bearcat Card is preferred.

What score do I have to get?

Regardless of school/department/major requirement, Northwest expects you to do your very best.  

Different schools/departments/majors at Northwest have different requirements.  If you have questions regarding those, please contact your advisor or department chair.  

Will the score impact my academic standing?

If your completion and score do not demonstrate your best effort, which is less than a hour taking assessment and score in the bottom 25% of students, you will be asked to return and retake the assessment.  However, it will not impact your academic standing.  You will not have to retake courses based on the results.

At the end of each semester, student scores are reported to each department.  If the department has a requirement and the advisee has not met the requirement then the advisor should let the advisee know that it is necessary for them to retake the exam. 

For performance funding purposes, at least 60% of the students must score at or above the 50th percentile.  For sophomores that means a score of 438.  For juniors and up that means a score of 442.  However, that does not mean every student below those scores must retake.  

Do I need to take this if I transferred into Northwest or an education major?

If you transferred from another institution with an associate's degree or 60 or more hours, you are exempt from completing this requirement.  Please contact the Assessment Office ( so the proper waiver can be placed on your account.

As an education major, you are required to complete the MoGEA in lieu of the ACP.  However, if you are a double major with a major outside of education, you will be required to complete the ACP.

If you were an education major, completed the MoGEA, but have changed majors and are no longer an education major, you will need to complete the ACP.

Why is there a hold on my account, and when will it be taken off?

You have a hold because you have not completed the Assessment of Core Proficiencies.  Once you complete the ACP, the hold will be removed.  Please contact Assessment Office ( to schedule time to take the assessment to be able to remove the hold.

What if I don’t take the assessment at all?

Your pre-registration will be blocked.  You will not be able to pre-register if you do not complete the ACP.

What do I do if I have accommodations?

Please email ( your accommodation approval letter to the Assessment Office if you are requesting accommodations for the ACP.  Please indicate which accommodations you wish to use.  We will share what accommodations can be granted on this assessment and we will arrange a time you can test using those accommodations.