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Placement Testing

The UW offers placement and proficiency testing in mathematics, a number of foreign languages, chemistry, and music history and theory. These tests are designed to assess your level of mastery in these subjects so that you do not have to take courses you don't need. In the case of foreign language, you may also want to take a proficiency test in order to eliminate the additional foreign language credits required by the College of Arts & Sciences and Public Health.

You may need to take these tests with the Office of Educational Assessment or with faculty within the department. Check with an adviser for more information.

Aside from the tests we offer for students whose native language is not English, the University does not have a placement test in English. For information about the English language proficiency requirement (ELPR), see the Registrar's website.

How and when to take placement tests

If you're a continuing student, you can take a placement test weekdays at the Testing Center. It isn't necessary to register ahead of time. Check the test schedule for days and times.

If you're a new student, enrolling autumn quarter, Math placement tests are offered in the morning of Day 1, before the Advising & Orientation session begins; all other placement tests must be taken in the Testing Center, during the regular testing schedule. Placement tests for transfer students are offered at various times during the Advising & Orientation session.

Test length

Placement testing for Math, Spanish, Korean, French, German, Italian, and Japanese takes about 90 minutes from check-in to dismissal. Check-in starts promptly at the scheduled times, so be sure to arrive early.

Preparing

Come well rested and nourished — and as calm as possible! Keep in mind that placement tests are intended to help you enroll in courses that are right for you. You shouldn't have to do much studying beforehand, although you might want to look at some sample test qustions to get an idea of the format and content of the questions. Remember, you can't use a calculator during the math placement tests so don't use one while you do the sample math questions.

On the day of the test, bring your UW student number, picture ID, and payment.

Receiving your scores

If you test on the morning of your Advising & Orientation session, the score will be available on the morning of the second day. For all other testing at the Testing Center, you'll be given a score report about 10 minutes after you take the test. Your score will be listed on your Unofficial Transcript in MyUW.

You'll be given your placement along with the score report. Note that math scores are recorded as scaled scores, while the foreign language scores posted are the raw scores.

Mathematics

You need to take a math placement test if both of the following are true:

  • You're interested in a program that requires college math — this includes engineering, sciences (biology, chemistry, etc.), premed, business, and psychology; and
  • You don't already have college credit for algebra or calculus, or a Calculus Advanced Placement (AP) score of 2 or higher, or an International Baccalaureate (IB) Mathematics (Higher Level) score of 5 or higher.

Only placement tests given by the Academic Placement Testing Program (APTP), on the UW campus by the OEA Testing Center, are accepted for placement into UW math courses.

 Math 111Math 120/Q Sci 190Math 124
MPT-GS 
(General Test)
147-150151-165 
MPT-AS 
(Advanced Test)
144145-153154-163

A student is allowed to a register for a course lower than the placement. For example, a student who places into MATH 124 is allowed to take MATH 120 instead.

To be eligible to register for MATH 125 and 126: AP score (3, 4, 5) or college credit for MATH 124 (for 125) or 125 (for 126) (2.0 minimum grade) required. UW does not offer a placement test for any math above 124.

General and advanced tests

You should take the General Math Placement Test (MPT-GS) if you had less than 3 or 4 years of high school math, through algebra-trig or the 2nd year of high school algebra. The highest you can place with this test is precalculus (MATH 111 or 120).

You should take the Advanced Math Placement Test (MPT-AS) if you had 3 or 4 years of high school math, through advanced algebra, math analysis, or calculus. The highest you can place with this test is 1st quarter calculus, MATH 124 (or Q SCI 291).

UW has no test to place you above the first quarter of calculus. A Calculus AP score of 3 or above, however, places you into the second or third quarter of calculus. Review the policies for Advanced Placement for more details. An IB Mathematics score of 7 places you into the second quarter of calculus. Review the policies for International Baccalaureate for more details. 

Foreign language

You need to take a foreign language placement test if you plan to continue the foreign language you took in high school. If you already have college credit in that language you can continue on with the next course; no placement test is required.

All majors in the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education, and the School of Social Work require evidence of proficiency in a foreign language, which can be demonstrated in several ways, including taking foreign language through the third college quarter or placement by the UW into the fourth college quarter. Majors in most other colleges, including Engineering and Business, don't require foreign language past the two high school years required for UW admission. You may want to talk with an adviser about whether you should take a foreign language. If you plan to continue your foreign language but not right away, you should probably wait and take the placement test just before you resume your study to get the most accurate placement.

Proficiency tests in Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian, Spanish, Ukrainian and Urdu can be taken at the UW's Testing Center. For other languages, contact the appropriate department for placement and proficiency information.

Languages taught at the UW

Language & Intro CourseDepartmentContact
American Sign Language
ASL 101
Linguisticslingadv@uw.edu
Arabic
ARAB 411
Near Eastern Languages and Civilizationnelcua@uw.edu
Bengali
BENG 311
Asian Languages & Literatureasianll@uw.edu
Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian
BCS 401
Slavic Languages and Literaturesslavicll@uw.edu
Bulgarian
BULGR 401
Slavic Languages and Literaturesslavicll@uw.edu
Burmese
JSIS 486
International Studiesjsisadv@uw.edu
Chinese (Mandarin)
CHIN 101 or 111
Asian Languages & Literatureasianll@uw.edu
Czech
CZECH 401
Slavic Languages and Literaturesslavicll@uw.edu
Danish
DANISH 101
Scandinavian Studiesuwscand@uw.edu
Estonian
ESTO 101
Scandinavian Studiesuwscand@uw.edu
Finnish
FINN 101
Scandinavian Studiesuwscand@uw.edu
French
FRENCH 101 or 110
Romance Languages and Literature (French and Italian)frenital@uw.edu
German
GERMAN 101 or 111
Germanicsuwgerman@uw.edu
Greek (Classical)
GREEK 101
Classicsclasdept@uw.edu
Greek (Modern)
JSIS E 111
International Studiesjsisadv@uw.edu
Hebrew (Biblical)
HEBR 414
Near Eastern Languages and Civilizationnelcua@uw.edu
Hebrew (Modern)
HEBR 411
Near Eastern Languages and Civilizationnelcua@uw.edu
Hindi
HINDI 311
Asian Languages & Literatureasianll@uw.edu
Indonesian
INDON 111
Asian Languages & Literatureasianll@uw.edu
Italian
ITAL 101 or 111
Romance Languages and Literature (French and Italian)frenital@uw.edu
Japanese
JAPAN 111
Asian Languages & Literatureasianll@uw.edu
Kazakh
TKIC 414
Near Eastern Languages and Civilizationnelcua@uw.edu
Khmer
JSIS 486
International Studiesjsisadv@uw.edu
Korean
KOREAN 101
Asian Languages & Literatureasianll@uw.edu
Latin
LATIN 101
Classicsclasdept@uw.edu
Latvian
LATV 101
Scandinavian Studiesuwscand@uw.edu
Lithuanian
LITH 101
Scandinavian Studiesuwscand@uw.edu
Norwegian
NORW 101
Scandinavian Studiesuwscand@uw.edu
Persian
PRSAN 411
Near Eastern Languages and Civilizationnelcua@uw.edu
Polish
POLSH 401
Slavic Languages and Literaturesslavicll@uw.edu
Portuguese
PORT 101 or 110
Romance Languages and Literature (Spanish)spsadv@uw.edu
Russian
RUSS 101
Slavic Languages and Literaturesslavicll@uw.edu
Sanskrit
SNKRT 301
Asian Languages & Literatureasianll@uw.edu
Slovenian
SLVN 401
Slavic Languages and Literaturesslavicll@uw.edu
Spanish
SPAN 101, 110, or 121
Romance Languages and Literature (Spanish)spsadv@uw.edu
Swahili
SWA 101
American Ethnic Studiesaes@uw.edu
Swedish
SWED 101
Scandinavian Studiesuwscand@uw.edu
Tagalog (Filipino)
TAGLG 101
American Ethnic Studiesaes@uw.edu
Thai
THAI 111
Asian Languages & Literatureasianll@uw.edu
Turkish
TKISH 411
Near Eastern Languages and Civilizationnelcua@uw.edu
Ukranian
UKR 401
Slavic Languages and Literaturesslavicll@uw.edu
Urdu
URDU 311
Asian Languages & Literatureasianll@uw.edu
Uyghur
TKC 417
Near Eastern Languages and Civilizationnelcua@uw.edu
Uzbek
TKIC 411
Near Eastern Languages and Civilizationnelcua@uw.edu
Vietnamese
VIET 111
Asian Languages & Literatureasianll@uw.edu

If you are fluent in a language that is not offered at the UW, it is still possible for you to demonstrate proficiency, and thus meet the language requirement of many majors, as noted above. Contact the College of Arts and Sciences for more information.

Spanish

 101110*102103**Proficient/201**
SP100A (100-level) 0-1510-4416-4445-6970-80
 201202203301
SP200A (200-level) 0-7576-145146-165166-175

*The student must also have taken two years of high school Spanish to be eligible for SPAN 110.

**The student is proficient through the first year of study. May enroll in SPAN 201, or may take
the second-year test to attempt to place higher.

French

 101110102103Proficient/201*
FR_TL0-1410-3015-3031-5657-100

*The student is proficient through the first year of study. May enroll in FRENCH 201 or contact the Testing Center to schedule a second-year test.

German

 101111102103Proficient*
GER_TL0-110-3512-3536-5657-100

*The student may enroll in GERMAN 201. A student who wants to attempt to place higher may contact Germanics, 206-543-4580, 340 Denny Hall.

Italian

 101102103Proficient*
IT100A0-1415-3031-5657-100

*The student is proficient through the first year of study. May enroll in ITALIAN 201 or contact the Testing Center to schedule a second-year test.

Japanese

 111Interview*Proficient*
JP100A0-56-4041-70

*Students must complete the Interview on the Asian Languages & Literature website.

**The student is proficient through the first year of study. For placement in the second year or above, contact Asian Languages and Literature: 225 Gowen or 206-543- 4996 for an advising appointment.

Chinese

Placement

• Students with any background in Chinese, formal or informal, who wish to take Chinese language courses must fill in and submit an online questionnaire for placement. You can find a link for the online questionnaire on the Asian Languages and Literature homepage.

• The Asian Languages and Literature Department uses this questionnaire to accurately place students in Mandarin Chinese courses. If you do not see the questionnaire when you go to one of the above websites, the questionnaire has been “closed”. This means that the department is no longer placing students in Chinese language courses.

• After completing and submitting the questionnaire, an instructor in Asian Languages and Literature may interview you for placement. If you do not receive an interview, you will be given an add code for a particular Chinese language course.

Proficiency

• The Asian Languages & Literature department administers a proficiency test once each quarter. Please check the Asian Languages & Literature “Placement and Proficiency” webpage for the time and location of the next test.

• Contact the department to register, 206-543-4996. Early registration is recommended.

Korean

 Both levels
KR100A & KR200ANo score is reported, only course placement

Vietnamese

Placement

The Vietnamese instructor will conduct individual placement tests in her office (Gowen Hall M233) before/during the start of each quarter's registration period. Please see the Asian L&L placement webpage for the upcoming test dates.

Proficiency

The Asian L&L department administers a proficiency test once/quarter. Please see the Asian L&L placement webpage for the upcoming test date.

Chem 145 (Honors Chemistry)

Placement test required except for: Students with CHEM AP scores of 4 or 5 or Higher Level chemistry IB of 5, 6, or 7. Scores are pass, borderline pass, and fail.

Music History and Theory

Contact the music department to determine whether you should take music placement tests. These tests are usually taken only by prospective music majors.

Repeat test policy

French, Italian, and Spanish tests may be repeated after 6 months have passed.

The Japanese, German, and Honors Chemistry tests can be taken twice in a 12-month period with a 75-day wait between tests.

The 1st and 2nd year Korean tests have no waiting period.

Each type of math placement test may be repeated once, after two weeks have passed. After the second test, a calendar year must pass before that test can be repeated again.

AP and IB Scores

http://admit.washington.edu/Admission/Freshmen/College/AP
http://admit.washington.edu/Admission/Freshmen/College/IB