Frequently Asked Questions

The following FAQs have been recently updated to reflect course placement changes for Fall 2020.


What is the Academic Foundations Program?

We prepare students for college-level work by offering courses that support your mastery of the quantitative and critical thinking skills necessary for success in UNM classes. Our courses are designated by “FYEX 1010” and "FYEX 1030".

Why should I take Academic Foundations Courses?

  • Your scores on the ACT Math and Reading exam or SAT Critical Reading and Math exam determine your placement into Academic Foundations courses. Students entering UNM without an ACT or SAT score may be placed into Academic Foundations based on high school GPA. It is important for your success to complete the necessary Academic Foundations courses during your first term at UNM.
  • You will be placed in FYEX 1010 Foundational Math if: Your ACT Math score is 16 or below, or your SAT Math score is 429 or below. 
  • You will be placed in FYEX 1030 Critical Text Analysis if: Your ACT Reading score is 17 or below, or your SAT Critical Reading score is 429 or below.

What do I do if I feel my test scores did not place me correctly?

Students who feel that their ACT or SAT scores may not be accurate may contact the UNM Testing Center to take the appropriate placement test BEFORE your orientation session.

What are the Placement tests, and where can I take it?

ACCUPLACER is a computerized, multiple-choice exam, similar to an ACT or SAT, but without a time limit. In general, each test can be completed within an hour. Students may take the test on a walk-in basis Monday through Friday, at the UNM Testing Center located in the Continuing Education Building, room 226. Testing is available beginning at 8:00 a.m. and must be completed before 4:00 p.m. There is a $3.00 fee for taking each test. Results of a test are available immediately upon completion of the exam. You may re-take the ACCUPLACER exam up to three times, allowing for a two week interval between attempts. Your highest score is the one used for final placement.

Note: Testing Center test availability, charges, and hours may be subject to change due to campus closures during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Visit for more information.

What ACCUPLACER score do I need?

Placement cut-off scores change and evolve regularly. For an updated list of cut-off scores, refer to the Course Placement Table on the Office of Advising Strategies website. 

Are there other ways to be exempted from Academic Foundations courses?

FOUNDATIONAL MATH:There are no exemptions from the Foundational Math Academic Foundations courses based on any other tests, coursework, or personal interviews. Students must either test out by ACT, SAT, or ACCUPLACER or they must take the relevant Academic Foundations course.

CRITICAL TEXT ANALYSIS: Students who have successfully completed (C+ or BETTER) a dual-credit reading-intensive course may be exempt from the Critical Text Analysis Academic Foundations course. Students are also able to test out via ACT, SAT, or ACCUPLACER, or they must take the relevant Academic Foundations course.

Will I get credit for my Academic Foundations courses?

Each Academic Foundations class counts 3 credit hours towards your total class hours for the term. Academic Foundations classes are graded with a letter grade basis.  When you successfully complete your Academic Foundations class your grade will show as a letter grade.  If you fail or withdraw, your grade will show as an F or W. Academic Foundations classes count towards general graduation requirements. 

Whom do I contact for more information?


Your Academic Advisor at New Student Orientation will be your primary source of information. For more information, you may also contact the Academic Foundations Coordinator, Cash Clifton, via email at