About the Urbana Placement Exams

About the Urbana Placement Exams


Placement testing and proficiency testing are two very different enterprises. If you score high on an Illinois placement test, you will qualify for – and you may wish to consider taking – a departmental proficiency test.

Placement testing helps determine the appropriate first course for you in four key academic areas – English composition, math, science, and languages other than English (LOTE). Any Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and college-level coursework you completed while in high school or at another institution will contribute towards determining the classes you should take in your first year at Urbana.

Your “Acceptance of Admission” must be officially processed before you can be registered to take the online placement exams. Please be sure to inform the Office of Undergraduate Admissions that you accept Urbana’s offer of admission.

The Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning offers online placement testing in chemistry, physics, and four languages other than English (French, German, Latin, and Spanish). The East Asian Languages and Cultures Department administers the on-campus placement tests for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. The Mathematics Department is responsible for math placement testing. All incoming freshmen are required to take the ALEKS PPL Math Placement Exam, but if you are wondering which other placement exams you must take, this will depend on several factors including your academic background, the College you are going into, and any transferable credit you earned prior to enrolling at Urbana.

You should complete all of your placement exams at least two weeks prior to your Registration date. If you wait until the last minute, your test results might not be available for you and your academic advisor. In that case, you might not be able to register for the classes you’d like to enroll in.

Your ALEKS PPL Math Placement Exam score will appear on the screen when you complete the exam so that you can decide whether you are satisfied with the result or whether you want to take the test again to try to earn a higher placement. Your ALEKS Placement Pie will break down your test results into your unique strengths and weaknesses in math, and then you can choose which Module you wish to study, if any. ALEKS PPL includes 6 months’ access to the Prep and Learning Module. It is strongly recommended that you study before re-taking the ALEKS PPL Math Placement Exam.

For the chemistry, physics, and LOTE placement exams, you are allowed only one attempt. Your online 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. Your advisor will make sure you strike the right balance towards meeting the course requirements of your program, your College, and the University.

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