Alternative Placement Testing

Incoming freshman students who have requested a higher course placement than originally recommended must be retested before their placement is finalized. Parents will be emailed information to select a date and time slot for retesting in June). 

World Language (Spanish)

Math OR English/Theology/World History

If you have questions about a particular test or placement, contact:

Mathematics: Mrs. Katherine Walls

English: Mrs. Patricia Rozanski

Theology: Mrs. Lisa St. John

World Language: Mrs. Jennifer Kazmerski

World History: Mrs. Louise Basile

General Inquiries: Mrs. Penny Yurkew


The exam is a holistic exam consisting of 30 listening and 30 reading questions along with writing about oneself. The vocabulary includes, but is not limited to time, weather, numbers, sports, pastimes, clothing, classroom articles, colors, places, days of the week, months, seasons, and parts of the body. Grammar includes, but is not limited to the present & present progressive tenses, usage of ser and estar, definite articles, possessives, adverbs of time, prepositions, contractions, expressions of tener.


The Math placement tests are designed to ensure that students have the background skills necessary to be successful in the various classes at Boylan. Calculators may not be used for the Algebra placement tests. They are allowed for the Geometry placement tests. 

Algebra Students (312A, 314, 315, and 317)

The Algebra placement tests includes the following topics:

  • Basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) of 2 and 3 digit numbers
  • Basic operations with decimals and fractions.
  • Ability to change numbers from decimals to fractions to percents and vice versa
  • Solve simple percentage problems
  • Basic operations with positive and negative numbers
  • Translate words into algebraic expressions
  • Find the Greatest Common Factor (GCF) and Least Common Multiple (LCM)
  • Evaluate basic algebraic expressions
  • Set up and solve basic ratio and area problems
  • Solve a linear equation


Students wishing to take Honors Algebra (317) should also be familiar with:

  • Order of operations
  • Rules for exponents
  • Equation solving to include proportions
  • Solve inequality problems
  • Find solutions to linear equations
  • Identify the slope and intercepts of a linear equation
  • Simplify basic square roots

Geometry Students (327)

Students should be familiar with the topics covered in the Geometry placement test (linked below)



Incoming freshman students who have requested a higher English, History and/or Theology placement than originally recommended must be retested before their placement is finalized. This assessment consists of a vocabulary test, a reading comprehension test, and a brief writing sample.


The 20 minute vocabulary test measures the student's reading vocabulary. Each test question presents a word in a brief context followed by five other words or phrases. Students choose the one word or phrase that means the same or nearly the same as the test word. The first questions involve easy and commonly used words. In the later questions, the words are more difficult. Below is an example of a vocabulary question:

SAMPLE QUESTION: a big "shout"

a. boy
b. yell
c. fun thing to see
d. game
e. shoe

The correct response is "b". Yell means the same as shout.


The 30 minute comprehension test measures the student's ability to read and understand passages of prose and verse. The passages are of varying length and get progressively more difficult. The questions which follow each passage require the student to select the best answer. Answers are based on information that is stated or implied in the passage. Below is an example of a comprehension questions:

SAMPLE PASSAGE: Wild cats warn other cats to stay away by marking the place that is theirs. And so do house cats. A cat may rub the side of its head against a chair leg. Some oil from a gland on the cat's head comes off. The smell of the oil tells other cats, "This place is mine."

SAMPLE QUESION: How does the cat get the oil on the chair?

a. It jumps up on the chair.
b. It licks the chair.
c. It scratches the chair.
d. It rubs against the chair.

The correct response is "d".


In addition to the Reading and Vocabulary tests, all students testing for English, History and/or Theology placement will be required to write a short composition based on a prompt.

  • Students testing for Academic English (215), Academic World History (415), and/or Academic Theology (115) will read a very short excerpt from a narrative story. These students will then have the choice of either continuing the story OR creating an original short narrative based on the narrative’s topic.
  • Students testing for Honors English (217) will face a two part prompt. The first question asks students to respond analytically to a brief reading passage. The second part of the prompt asks them to use their imagination to continue the story begun in the excerpt.
  • Students testing for Honors History (417) and/or Honors Theology (117) (but not English) will be presented with a historical document or Biblical passage and directed to respond in writing to a question about the document or passage. If a student is testing for both courses the student will write only one response, and the score will be used to determine both placements.
  • If a student is testing for ALL three Honors courses: English (217), History (417), and Theology (117), then the student will take the English test and the score will be used to determine the History and Theology placement

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