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Mature Student Assessment (MSA)

The Mature Student Assessment (MSA) is a college service offered to prospective students (19 years of age or older) who are interested in attending Confederation College for a postsecondary program and do not possess a secondary school diploma.

Please note that the Assessment does NOT provide a student with a Grade 12 equivalency. This Assessment is recognized by Confederation College only and the results of the Assessment are valid only at Confederation College. Not all programs accept the MSA as the only admission requirement. It is recommended that a prospective student consult with a College Access Advisor to help determine the best pathway into the program of their choice.

In Thunder Bay please contact Adair Conlon in the Student Success Office (807) 475-6123. Adair will help to ensure that the MSA is the appropriate pathway for entry into the desired program. Staff in the Admissions Office can also assist prospective students and/or students with a conditional offer. Please call (807) 475-6213, or email - Regional Campus contacts are listed below.

There is a $30.00 fee to write the MSA. This fee is paid at the HUB located on the main floor of the Shuniah Building.

MSA Content

Confederation College’s MSA is a computer-based test, utilizing Accuplacer testing software, consisting of three parts:

  1. Writing Skills
    A writing sample/essay gives you the opportunity to show how effectively you can develop and express your ideas and support your opinions in writing, which is critical to academic success (300-600 words).  Time Limit:  1.5 hours
  2. Reading Comprehension
    Comprised of 20 questions, measuring your ability to understand what you read, to identify main ideas, and to make inferences.  No time limit.
  3. Arithmetic
    17 questions, measuring your ability to perform basic arithmetic operations and to solve problems that involve fundamental arithmetic concepts – includes:  operations with whole numbers and fractions; operations with decimals and percents; and problem-solving.  No time limit.

Booking your MSA

Applicants in Thunder Bay can schedule a time to write the MSA, after consulting with the Access Advisor, by calling the Testing Centre at (807) 475-6476, by email at or by booking in person by visiting the Testing Centre on the 3rd floor of the Shuniah Building in room 339A. MSA testing is offered by appointment Monday to Thursday between 9 AM and 3 PM. The MSA typically takes about 3 hours to complete, and appointments should be made with this in mind. Applicants outside of Thunder Bay, please see below.

Preparing for the MSA

The following are study materials that will help you prepare to write the MSA.

Accuplacer Sample Questions for Students

Accuplacer Writeplacer Sample Essays

Links to Accuplacer Review Resources

Day of the MSA

  • Arrive 15 minutes early for check-in and payment. Payments are $30.00 and are made at the HUB in Thunder Bay. If you are writing the Assessment outside of the College, you are responsible to pay their proctoring fee on test day. You must also pay the Confederation College $30.00 fee directly to the Testing Centre before your results will be processed. Cheque, money order, or credit card via phone-in is accepted.
  • Photo ID is required.
  • No calculators or dictionaries are allowed.
  • No food, drink, cell phones, other electronic devices or personal belongings are allowed in the examination room.

After the MSA

The Testing Centre does not provide you with the results of your MSA.

The Access Advisor will contact you with your results and recommendations. If you are unsuccessful the first time, the MSA can be rewritten on the recommendation of the Access Advisor. If the MSA indicates that you are not eligible, you can enroll in Academic Upgrading courses which focus specifically on MSA content and prep. There is no charge for this service. Please follow the link to the Academic Upgrading website for more information:

Not in Thunder Bay?

You can also write the MSA at any of our Regional Campuses – please call the contacts below to schedule your appointment:

If you are located in another city/community and would like to schedule an MSA for Confederation College, please contact the Testing Centre at (807) 475-6476 or . Proctoring information regarding other locations that may be available to you.