The ACCUPLACER Test is the approved test for entry into Southwestern’s practical nursing (PN) and registered nursing (RN) programs. All applicants for the program will need to meet or exceed the following cut off scores for entrance into either program. Scores will be good for three years from the date the test is taken.

Required Minimum ACCUPLACER Test Scores:

  • Writing - 86
  • Reading - 80
  • Arithmetic - 85 or
  • Elementary Algebra - 43

NOTE:  The college moved from COMPASS testing to ACCUPLACER testing in December 2016.  Adequate COMPASS scores, that aren't expired, can be used until 2019.

An alternative option to the ACCUPLACER math requirement is to substitute a three credit higher level math course with a grade of B or above. The course must have been taken within the last three years. Acceptance Southwestern math courses include the following:

  • MAT 120 College Algebra
  • MAT 121 College Algebra (online)
  • MAT 127 College Algebra & Trigonometry

Retake Policy

The ACCUPLACER Test is administered free of charge the first time it is taken.  Retakes are administered at a fee of $5 per individual test. Prospective nursing students will be allowed to retake the test in its entirety or retake the individual components--math, reading, or writing--twice in an academic year. There shall be a waiting period of one week between testing sessions. Each component may be taken only three times in an academic year.

If the prospective student is unsuccessful in obtaining the necessary scores needed to enter the program after taking the initial test and two retests, entrance into either the PN or RN programs will be denied. At this point, the student will be encouraged to visit with an admissions representative to discuss his or her options.

PN Exit HESI Exam (for ADN applicants only)

HESI Exam scores are good for three years.  Three forms of the HESI Exam exist. The test may be taken a total of three times in a three-year period. The student may take a different form of the test to improve his/her score. A minimum test score of 800 is required. 

The HESI Exam is administered in the SWCC Assessment Center.  Preparation for testing is encouraged. Costs are associated with testing.