Whether or not you are required to take the placement exams depends on which College you are going into, your academic background, and your intended program of study. Even if you have taken Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate tests in these subjects, you still need to take the placement exams. Please complete this requirement at least two weeks prior to your Registration date.
Wondering which placement tests you have to take? To find out, click on the College that you have been admitted to.
The Rhetoric courses are introductory courses for learning academic writing and research skills. Completing Rhetoric is a General Education requirement for all undergraduate students and is called 'Composition I.'
If you are a native speaker of English, there is no placement exam for your 'Composition I' course. You will be placed into a RHET course based on your highest ACT English, SAT Critical Reading, or SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score.
Non-native English-speaking students will be informed by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions whether they are required to take the English as a Second Language Placement Test (known as the EPT.) This information appears in your letter of admission.
If you are not required to take the EPT, then you will be placed into a Rhetoric course based on your highest ACT English, SAT Critical Reading, or SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score.
If you are required to take the EPT, then you must take the EPT even if you submitted ACT or SAT scores with your application.
All incoming freshmen are required to take the ALEKS PPL Math Placement Exam regardless of academic background, Advanced Placement (AP) credit, International Baccalaureate (IB) credit, or dual credit. The Department of Mathematics coordinates the online ALEKS PPL exam. To take this placement test, you will log in through the Math Department's ALEKS PPL link, where you will find instructions and answers to frequently asked questions.
Math is the only placement test that you can take more than once. When you complete the test, your score will appear on the screen. If you are satisfied with the result, you will enroll in the course that you qualify for
. If you are not satisfied with the result, you can study the material that gave you difficulty by accessing the Preparation and Learning Module and then you can take the test again to try to earn a higher placement. Prior to a third attempt, you will be required to engage in the learning module for a minimum of 5 hours before you can log in and test again. If you wish to test a fourth or fifth time, you may, but you will need to contact the Math Department to request a password to access the test.
The Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning offers online placement exams in chemistry, physics, and molecular and cellular biology. Please note that you are allowed only one attempt and your test results will NOT appear on the screen when you complete the test. This is because it is very important that you meet with your academic advisor during Registration to discuss your placement test results and your course enrollment options. Results are valid for one year. This means, for example, that if you choose not to enroll in a chemistry course during your first or second semester, you may still follow the placement recommendation when pre-registering for your third semester. However, after that, you would need to take the departmental proficiency exam in order to obtain an updated evaluation of your knowledge level.
Languages Other Than English (LOTE)
Studying a language other than English is a General Education requirement at Illinois. You must successfully complete either the third or the fourth level of a LOTE (depending on your College) in order to fulfill this language requirement. It is strongly recommended that you take a LOTE placement exam even though you may think you have fulfilled your General Education requirement!
Taking a year-long AP or IB language course does not count for more than one year. Studying the language in middle school may not count at all.
The Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning offers online placement exams in French, German, Latin, and Spanish. Please note that you are allowed only one attempt and your test results will NOT appear on the screen when you complete the test. This is because it is very important that you meet with your academic advisor during Registration to discuss your placement test results and your course enrollment options.
Placement exams for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean are offered on campus (not online) at the beginning of each fall and spring semester and are open to both new students and continuing students. Although demonstrating language proficiency in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean on these exams can fulfill the Gen Ed LOTE requirement, it DOES NOT earn you course proficiency credit. Pre-registration for the East Asian language tests is required.
- If you wish to register for a Chinese course prior to being able to take the Chinese Placement Test, you should enroll in the class that you believe best corresponds to your skills level (see below), and then the Chinese Placement Test will determine whether you should stay in that class or move to a different level.
If you are not a heritage speaker of Chinese:
- No experience = you should enroll in CHIN 201
- 1 year of high school = you should enroll in CHIN 202
- 2 years of high school = you should enroll in CHIN 203
- 3 years of high school = you should enroll in CHIN 204
- 4 years of high school = you should enroll in CHIN 305
If you already have some background in Mandarin Chinese:
- CHIN 221 = Elementary Spoken Mandarin I
- CHIN 222 = Elementary Spoken Mandarin II
- CHIN 241 = Chinese Reading and Writing I
- CHIN 242 = Chinese Reading and Writing II
If you need to take a placement exam in any other LOTE, contact the department to make arrangements.
Results from the language placement exams are valid for one year. This means, for example, that if you choose not to enroll in a LOTE course during your first or second semester, you may still follow the placement recommendation when pre-registering for your third semester. After that, you would need to take a departmental proficiency exam in order to obtain an updated evaluation of your knowledge level. Placement testing is available to you only during your first year.
Students who need extended time can also take the online placement exams. To request authorization for extended time, contact the Testing Center at Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) by calling 217-333-4604 (V/TTY) or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need any other type of accommodation, please contact DRES to make arrangements.
Click here for information about proficiency testing and course credit.
Click here for the cutoffs that apply to all students enrolling at Illinois in 2017-2018.
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