Placement Exams

Placement Exams

Important Notes | When to Take a Placement Exam
Students with DisabilitiesAdvising and Registration

Placement Exams are required for some incoming students to help determine what level of mathematics and/or chemistry courses they are prepared to take. Students should review the information in each exam section below to help determine whether they need to take a Placement Exam. Placement exams are offered throughout the summer and during Orientation Week in the fall and spring semesters.

Please note that each placement exam may only be taken once.

To view the Placement Exam schedule, or to register, click here.

Important Notes

  • Calculators are not permitted.
  • No practice exams are given to prepare for the Placement Exams. Students should refer to the relevant information below about topics that will be covered.
  • Students will receive their Placement Exam scores immediately following the completion of the exams, and are asked to wait for results. However, students will not be provided with corrected exams.
  • Students who have questions after receiving their results should follow up with their academic advisor.
  • Because a course may fill up before a student is able to take the relevant placement exam, students are allowed to register for courses contingent upon the outcome of a placement exam. Students who do not receive the required score for a given course will be required to modify their registration.

When to Take a Placement Exam

Students are encouraged to sit for a Placement Exam prior to their Postbac Planning Session and meeting with their advisor, as the results of the Placement Exams will be important for discussing course schedules.

Students who are still not sure whether they need to take a Placement Exam after reviewing the information on the individual Placement Exam pages to the right should consult with their advisor after attending a Postbac Planning Session.

Testing Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

In some cases, students with disabilities are entitled to accommodations related to administration of examinations, including placement exams. Such accommodations must be specified as well as authorized by the Columbia University Office of Disability Services, based on an assessment of the disability and appropriate documentation. This authorization process can often take a month, once all required documentation is received.

Students with learning disabilities or other disabilities that may warrant an accommodation should contact the Office of Disability Services immediately upon receipt of the GS Acceptance Packet.

Exams Administered by the Office of Disability Services
Students who take a Placement Exam through the Office of Disability Services will receive their scores within 24-48 hours via email.

Advising Appointments and Course Registration

During the first term of enrollment, advisors complete course registration for students after their initial advising session. Students will discuss their Placement Exam results and arrive at a decision regarding the appropriate course registration.

Advisors will register students for the appropriate courses after their appointment; students will not register themselves for their first semester. Note: Faculty members do not make determinations on course enrollment, and auditing courses is not permitted.