Placement Tests

What is Directed Self-Placement?

The University of Washington Bothell uses Directed Self-Placement (DSP) to determine which math or composition course students should enroll in. The “self-placement” part of this is that you will decide for yourself what class you will enroll in.

This is a guided process where you will be asked a series of questions in order to reflect on your background in mathematics and/or composition. Based on your responses to these questions, you will receive an initial suggestion for which course to take. You will then have an opportunity to read more about the class that has been suggested for you. Based on what you read, and what you know about yourself and your own background, you may decide that the class before or after that would be a better fit for you.

The goal here is to determine which class will allow you to be most successful – the class where you will feel challenged and stimulated, but not overwhelmed. In the end, the decision will be yours. This process may take up to 20 minutes, and the more honest you are with yourself, the more likely you will be to determine the class that will be the best fit for you. We hope that your direct involvement and control in this process will help foster your sense of agency as a student and will lead to a successful educational experience at UW Bothell.

Math course placement test

Learn more about the math placement test. You should complete the Math Directed Self-Placement if both the following are true:

  • You’re interested in a program that requires college math – this includes engineering, sciences (biology, chemistry, math, etc.), pre-medicine, computer science, and business; and
  • You don’t already have college credit for algebra or calculus, or a Calculus Advanced Placement (AP) score of 2 or higher, or an International Baccalaureate (IB) Mathematics (Higher Level) score of 5 or higher.
  • Questions? Contact

Composition course placement test

Learn more about first year composition and courses. This is a 20-minute process, please complete the following steps:

  • Review the course options and the successful student profiles for each course option
  • Read a few examples of typical student writing from each option
  • Complete a 5-minute writing prompt
  • Make a course selection

This process will produce a course placement only; ultimately, you make the final decision.