information icon

Summer public business hours will be in effect from May 22, 2024, to July 30, 2024. Learn more.

Student Orientation, Assessment & Registration (SOAR)

SOAR is a required program for new Northland Community and Technical College students. Research shows students who participate in orientation programs are more likely to be successful in college. High school graduates should plan to attend even if they have taken college classes in high school. SOAR will introduce students to important campus resources and the essential tools. Students will not only be able to take the required assessment during SOAR but will also have the opportunity to:

  • Tour the campus
  • Create an ID card
  • Meet a program advisor and register for courses
  • Meet a Financial Aid officer and complete FAFSA enrollment
  • Meet Academic Success Center staff to learn how Northland supports students through their entire college career
  • Meet other students
  • Discover student clubs and organizations, ex. Student Senate
  • Ask questions

Assessment & Placement

All Northland students take an assessment called the Accuplacer before enrolling in classes. While other schools may also use the Accuplacer, the assessment at Northland may include the following sections: Reading Comprehension, Arithmetic, Elementary Algebra, Intermediate Algebra and/or English as a Second Language (ESL). Because the assessment is adaptive, each student may open up different sections depending on ability. The scores will be used by advisors to ensure placement in a math and/or English course best suited to a student’s current ability.

All students must complete the Accuplacer unless exempt per the following score minimums:

Reading21ERW 4801047
English18ERW 480N/A
Mathematics22530College Algebra: 1158
Statistics: 1148
Contemporary Math: 1150

*Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment – taken by Minnesota high school students.

ACT, SAT and MCA test scores are valid for a limited time of five calendar years, inclusive of the current calendar year. With a valid score, a student will be advised about their placement options.

Accuplacer scores are valid as outlined in the table below:

Reading Comprehension5 years5 years
Mathematics2 years3 years

SOAR Schedule

New and returning students with a current, photo ID, should register for SOAR using the online SOAR Scheduler below. Plan to attend SOAR at the campus where you are attending classes. To register for a SOAR day through the link below, enter your Student ID (8 digits long, not your StarID), select either the East Grand Forks, MN or Thief River Falls, MN campus, then choose a date from the calendar by selecting a white circle.

Students may request accessible accommodations (i.e. 504 plan, IEP, Vocational Rehabilitation, disability) by contacting the Academic Success Center prior to their test date.

Call 218-793-2800 if you have questions about scheduling or contact the Academic Success Center for further assistance.

What to Expect on SOAR Day

Arrive on campus early with a current, official government-issued photo ID. Students will not be allowed to test if they do not have a physical, valid copy of their ID in hand.

Acceptable forms of photo identification with current name:

  • Current (unexpired) driver’s license
  • State-approved ID
  • Current passport
  • Naturalization card or certificate of citizenship
  • Current state or federal ID (military)
  • Current other state-issued driver’s license/ID card
  • Middle school/high school/college photo ID
  • Tribal ID

After checking in at Student Services (the front desk area), students can complete online orientation and then will be directed to the testing area, where the testing proctor will check your required photo ID. After completing the assessment in the computer lab, academic advisors and admissions staff will be available to help finish any remaining paperwork and/or register for classes. After registering for classes, a student ID card can be issued.

The Accuplacer has no time limit, allowing you to earn the best score possible. Please allow several hours minimum to complete your assessment(s) and the registration process—the average time to complete the test is 2-2.5 hours.

Retesting Students

Students who are retesting may register at their preferred campus. Please call 218-793-2800 to register.

It is highly recommended to practice in-depth before testing, because students may only retest each section of the assessment twice. During a retest session, a student may choose to schedule one or more sections. Each retest session costs $10, payable on campus at the Northland Bookstore or Business Office. A waiver to test for free may be obtained from the Academic Success Center or Adult Basic Education staff after providing evidence of studying. Reasonable accommodations are available for students with documented disabilities.

How Can I Study?

Accuplacer is an adaptive, internet-based assessment. As you answer each individual question, the assessment will provide another question best suited to your ability. Therefore, it is important to take as much time as needed to be confident in your answer. Calculators are provided by the assessment and allowed on select questions, but students are not allowed to bring their own calculators.

More information on the types of problems within each of the modules is available on the Accuplacer website. If you are unsure how much math your program requires, please contact the admissions staff or your academic advisor for more information.

We recommend the following FREE options to practice for the Accuplacer: