Placement & Proficiency
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Placement and Proficiency
Room 247 Armory
(217) 244-4437
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Proficiency Testing

The purpose of any proficiency test is to find out whether you have already got the knowledge and the skills that are taught in a particular course even though you have not taken the course on our campus. If you do well on the proficiency test, you can earn academic credit in the subject, and it is assumed you are prepared to succeed in the subject’s subsequent courses.

Academic credit is awarded on the basis of sufficiently high scores on the ACT and SAT, the Advanced Placement (AP) exams, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) exams, and certain Advanced Level (A-Level) exams. These tests must be taken prior to enrolling in a college or university. Your scores will be evaluated for credit when they are received, and any credit earned will be automatically posted to your academic record. Some AP and IB scores earn elective credit, while others earn course credit. All credit counts towards graduation.

Sufficiently high scores on the proficiency tests that are offered by our departments can also earn credit. Departmental proficiency exams are usually administered on campus either the week before classes start or during the first week of classes in both the fall and the spring semesters. NOTE: Most of the departmental language proficiency exams do not award course credit in the language, but strong performance does fulfill the General Education language requirement.


Placement testing and proficiency testing have two very different purposes.

Incoming students who take a math, science, or "language other than English" placement test will learn which course they should enroll in for their first year at Illinois. High scores can qualify a student for the departmental proficiency test. New students are NOT REQUIRED to take an on-campus departmental proficiency test just because their placement test score qualifies them to take it. It is simply an option to consider.

Incoming students who take a departmental proficiency test will earn academic credit that counts towards graduation if they do well on the test; if they don't do well, their academic record remains unaffected.

Continuing students who have not yet earned college-level credit in a particular subject may also register for the departmental proficiency exam in that subject.