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Fundamental Skills Assessment / Orientation Course Placement

Entering students are placed into academic skill building courses based on information supplied at admission (such as SAT and/or ACT scores, and/or approved transfer courses).

University of the Pacific students are required to demonstrate competency in the areas of writing and quantitative analysis (math). For first-year course placement information, click here.


To satisfy the University’s quantitative analysis (math) fundamental skills requirement, a student must score 540 or above on the Mathematics Level 1 SAT Subject Test, 520 or above on the Mathematics Level 2 SAT Subject Test, pass Pacific’s Intermediate Algebra placement test (COMPASS or paper test), successfully complete MATH 005 (Intermediate College Algebra), MATH 035 (Elementary Statistical Inference), or PSYC 103 (Statistical Inference in Behavioral Sciences) with a C- or higher (or an equivalent course from another college or university with a grade of C or better) during his/her first full year of study including summer sessions.


To view COMPASS sample test questions, click here.

View additional information about which math test you should take.


A student can satisfy the University's writing fundamental skills requirement in one of the following ways:

*score 510 or above on the SAT Writing test

*score 22 or above on the ACT English/Writing test 

*pass Pacific's Writing Diagnostic Exam (Transfer students only)

*complete WRIT 093Z Accelerated Academic Reading & Writing (transfer students only or continuing students who have already taken PACS 001) with a grade of C- or higher

*an equivalent Writing course from another college or university with a grade of C or higher

*complete PACS 1 Plus (PACS 093, Co-Req with PACS 1 Pacific Seminar) 

A SAT Writing Score of 440 and below or an ACT score of 18 or below places a student into WRIT 093X Academic Reading & Writing I during the first semester, followed by WRIT 093Y Academic Reading & Writing II during the second semester.  The following year, the student will take PACS 1 Plus (PACS 093, co-req with PACS 1 Pacific Seminar).



Students who are not native English speakers are expected to demonstrate evidence of proficiency in the English language.  Such proficiency may be demonstrated through the academic record itself, by means of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or by means of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).  The University reserves the right to administer its own English Language test to new students and to adjust a student's academic program on the basis of test results.  



For more information about fundamental skills tests and courses, please contact ERC@pacific.edu or call (209) 946-2458.

Students with documented disabilities may contact Mr. Daniel Nuss at (209) 946-2879, www.pacific.edu/disabilities, or ssd@pacific.edu for further assistance.