Placement Testing
Placement and Proficiency Testing
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Placement and Proficiency
Room 247 Armory
(217) 244-4437
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Information about Science

All undergraduate students are required to fulfill the University's General Education requirements, one of which is Natural Sciences & Technology. To earn your undergraduate degree, you must complete six hours of Natural Sciences & Technology courses. Depending on your major and program, you might take two courses in the Life Sciences, or two courses in the Physical Sciences, or one course from each subcategory.

Online placement exams are available in biology, chemistry, and physics. Other subjects, such as astronomy or geology or nutrition, do not have a test for placement into their introductory courses. You may simply enroll in the course.

Please note that you are allowed only one attempt at the online science placement tests.

Your science course placement will be valid for one year. This means, for example, that if you took the Chemistry Placement Test in Summer 2024 but you chose not to enroll in a chemistry course for the Fall or Spring semester, you may still follow the chemistry placement when you register in the spring for your Fall 2025 classes. However, if you don't enroll in your chemistry course for Fall 2025 either, your placement expires. You would need to consult with the Department or take their proficiency exam in order to obtain an updated evaluation of your knowledge level.

Click here to take a science placement test in chemistry, biology, or physics.


Please check to see what your College requires. For example, the Grainger College of Engineering requires that all of its incoming freshmen take the chemistry and the physics (and the math) placement tests, even if you expect to earn AP or IB credit. In contrast, the College of Media does not require that its incoming freshmen take any science placement test; you would take one of the science tests only if you plan to enroll in a biology course, or in a chemistry course, or in a physics course.


Please check to see what your College requires. If you have studied biology, chemistry, or physics in high school but you have not earned college credit for the subject AND you plan to continue studying the subject, you need to take its placement test. On the other hand, if you wish to take a science course for which there is no placement test, then you do not need to take one of these science placement tests. Be sure to discuss your plan with your academic advisor.

Test Accommodations

The Physics and MCB Placement Tests do not have a time limit. The Chemistry Placement Test has a 45-minute time limit. The IMR-Biology Placement Test has a 50-minute time limit. Students who need extra time can request authorization for extended time from the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES). You must have already been accepted to Illinois before you can apply for accommodations. For more information, please contact DRES.