University Course Placement Tests
The University of Oregon Department of Mathematics uses the ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (PPL) assessment to determine readiness for mathematics courses.
ALEKS PPL is a web-based program that uses artificial intelligence to map a student's strengths and weaknesses. It is approximately 30 questions. Students report spending anywhere from 60–90 minutes to complete the assessment, but the test is open for 24 hours once begun. If the assessment is not completed after 24 hours, students will have to start over.
New students are expected to take a math placement assessment prior to attending IntroDUCKtion. These students will need to claim their Duck ID. Continuing students needing to register for a math class will need to meet course prerequisites which could require them to take the ALEKS math placement assessment.
The assessment results will be used to determine the most appropriate course(s) for each student as they begin their college coursework in mathematics.
There is no cost for the first year to students taking the ALEKS math placement assessment. After that one-year period, if students wish to retake the ALEKS math placement or use the learning modules, they will have to pay a small fee.
The University of Oregon Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers a placement assessment to help students decide which introductory course is right for them. This assessment is administered through ALEKS and is accessible via the Chemistry Department website. Note that this is separate from the math placement that is also administered through ALEKS.
Students wishing to enroll in General Chemistry I (CH 221) or Advanced General Chemistry I (CH 224H) are required to take the assessment prior to registration.
- The assessment is not required for students wishing to enroll in Introduction to Chemical Principles, CH 111.
- Students who already have credit for CH 221 (either through AP or IB) are not required to take the placement assessment and are encouraged to register for CH 224H.
Please note that the placement is free to students. After registering, students will have 18 weeks of free access to complete the placement. We encourage you to complete the assessment within that 18-week period.
Important: In addition to the chemistry placement, the appropriate math level must be attained for each course either by credit or math placement. The prerequisites for each course are listed on the Department of Chemistry website.
For more detailed information and instructions on how to take the Chemistry Placement Assessment, please go the Department of Chemistry website.
Learn More About Chemistry Placement
Second Language Placement
To protect the health and safety of the University of Oregon community, most of the language placement tests are available to complete at home on your personal computer, laptop, or other device. Please see below for the language you wish to place into, for more information.
No books, notes, or other resources should be used for these assessments. To use assistance is a violation of the university's student conduct code. The purpose of the placement assessment is to obtain feedback on a student's skills and knowledge, in order to recommend courses where the student will be able to benefit from instruction and have the best chance for success. There is no benefit to cheating on the language placement assessment—the only result will be that you enroll in a class that is too difficult, or not challenging enough, potentially costing time and money.
Students who have earned college credit for French, German, or Spanish, either with coursework or through the AP, IB, or CLEP programs may not need to take a placement test. For example, a student who has earned credit for SPAN 101, 102, and 103 would be recommended to register for the next class in the sequence, SPAN 201, and would not need to take a placement test. Information on credits and course equivalencies awarded through the AP, IB, and CLEP programs can be found at the Office of the Registrar.
Students who have earned prior credit, either through coursework or the AP, IB, or CLEP programs, need to be sure that an official transcript has been sent to the university. Until the official transcript has been received and the credits posted to the student's academic record, a student may not be able to register for the appropriate class. Students can check on DuckWeb to be sure that their transcripts have been received and credits posted. Log in to DuckWeb and select the Student Menu. From the Student Menu select View Transfer Evaluation Report. The Transfer Evaluation Report will list the credits and course equivalencies for any academic work transferred to the University of Oregon as well as credits awarded through the AP, IB, and CLEP programs.
There is a $10 fee for the placement test which will be billed to the student's account. Billing occurs the first week of each month for the previous month's testing.
Students should also take the math placement assessment.
Students with questions about placement into languages not listed below should contact the appropriate department.
French, German, and Spanish
Students who studied French, German, or Spanish in high school and wish to continue their study of the language are asked to take a placement assessment prior to registering. These languages are available to test from home on your own personal computer anytime. No proctor is required at this time, and there is no need to come to campus. If you do not have a computer or prefer to test in person, please call the University Testing Center and we will be glad to help you make an appointment for an in-person test.
The French, German, and Spanish placement tests are un-timed computer adaptive assessments that are designed to help a student to determine readiness for first- or second-year language study. These assessments on average take 30 minutes or less. Results from the placement will provide guidance and options for registration. To take the French, German, or Spanish placement, please click the link below. You will create an account and then log in with your newly created account. We ask that you use your UO email address when creating your account.
Students who have learned Spanish in their household, family, or community (primarily outside of the classroom) should take the Spanish Heritage Language Program Placement Survey; no fee will be charged for this assessment. Afterward you will be contacted with a placement recommendation.
Take French, German, or Spanish Test
Students with previous background in Japanese, as well as those wishing to register above JPN 101, are required to take the Japanese placement test. The test is un-timed and consists of a listening section and reading, grammar, vocabulary and writing section. The Japanese placement is completed online through Canvas. After completing the placement assessment, an oral interview with the Japanese program faculty is required. Students will need to contact the Department of East Asian Languages and Literature, 541-346-4041, to set up an appointment for an oral interview.
To make an appointment for the Japanese placement, please contact the UO Testing Center directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-346-3230. Appointments must be made at least two (2) business days ahead of time. We are offering testing in person or remotely through Zoom.
The Chinese placement assessment is currently only available in person. If you are not on campus you will need to contact the Department of East Asian Languages and Literature to discuss other options (541-346-4041).
Students with prior background in Mandarin Chinese, either as native speakers or through prior course work, are required to take a placement exam before enrolling for any Chinese classes. The Chinese placement test is a three-part, 55-minute, multiple choice test consisting of a listening, grammar, and reading comprehension. After completing the placement, an oral interview with the Chinese program faculty is required. Students will need to contact the Department of East Asian Languages and Literature at 541-346-4041 to set up an appointment for an oral interview.
To make an appointment for the Chinese placement, please contact the UO Testing Center directly at email@example.com or 541-346-3230. Appointments must be made at least two (2) business days ahead of time. We are offering testing in person ONLY for the Chinese placement.
Students with previous experience in Korean or who wish to register above KRN 101 are required to take the Korean placement test. The test has three parts: a 45-minute multiple-choice test consisting of grammar and reading comprehension, a 20-minute writing section, and an oral interview with the Korean program faculty. Students must complete the multiple-choice test and writing section before they are able to meet with Korean faculty for an oral interview. After they have met with the Korean faculty, students will receive their final placement results.
The Korean placement is completed online through Canvas. There are two versions of the Korean placement:
Level 1 is for students that know how to read and write the Korean alphabet but have not yet taken any Korean language classes or students that took a beginner-level Korean class or self-studied Korean for less than 1 year.
Level 2 is for students that took a beginner-level Korean class or self-studied Korean for more than 1 year.
To make an appointment for the Korean placement, please contact the UO Testing Center directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-346-3230. Appointments must be made at least two (2) business days ahead of time. We are offering testing in person or remotely through Zoom.
Students with questions about placement into other languages should contact the appropriate department.
Writing Requirement and Exemptions
Students are required to complete two terms of writing in order to receive their degree, and can satisfy this requirement by completing WR 121 and either WR 122 or 123. Consult with your advisor to determine the appropriate section of WR 121 for your needs.
Students who believe their writing skills to be in advance of what they would learn in WR 121 and/or WR 122 can take a waiver exam during the first week of the fall, winter, and spring terms. See below for more details.
Some students will be exempt from WR 121 based on SAT-CR or ACT-English scores. Students who have taken and received qualifying scores on either the AP or the IB English exam may receive credit for WR 121 and WR 122. Please refer to the Registrar’s Office for information on standardized test scores and exemptions for writing courses.
Transfer students who have completed writing courses elsewhere should consult the Registrar's Office for information about equivalency.
Non-native English speakers can consult the American English Institute (AEI) for more detailed information about placement in writing courses. AEI places students in oral skills, reading, and writing courses according to Accuplacer placement tests administered by the UO Testing Center during registration. AEI offers courses in oral skills (AEIS 101 and 102), reading (AEIS 107) and writing (AEIS 110, 111 and 112) to prepare students for academic writing at the university level.
We strongly recommend that students complete the AEIS courses before taking WR 121 because they introduce students to important conventions about American academic writing. Developing these skills in AEIS courses will prepare students to be more successful in composition program courses.
Writing Waiver Exam
This exam is for students who believe their writing skills are in advance of what they would learn in WR 121 or WR 122 and wish to be exempt from one of the university’s required writing courses by demonstrating writing proficiency.
The exams must be taken in sequence. To take the WR 122 waiver exam the student must have completed the WR 121 requirement in some fashion. The writing waiver exam is limited to a waiver of one course per term. Students wanting to take the WR 122 exam should be prepared to furnish proof of successful completion or waiver of WR 121. Students who do not pass their waiver exam may attempt the exam one additional time in any subsequent term. Please let the Testing Center know if this is your second attempt at one of the waiver exams when scheduling.
The writing waiver exam is given during the first week of fall, winter, and spring term. Waiver exam results will not be available until after week five of each term. Please speak with your advisor about how dropping a course this late in the term may affect you. There is a $10 fee for the writing waiver exam.
The essay exams are read anonymously by three members of the Composition Committee of the English Department and graded pass or no pass. No record is placed in the official files of students who do not pass the exams. Such students are expected to take the appropriate writing course(s) and may not retake the same exam. Students who pass the exams will have an exemption by exam notation (for either WR 121 or WR 122) placed on their transcripts. No credit is awarded for either examination.
The English Department does not return the exams to students, and they do not use them as a teaching device by offering explanations of why essays did or did not pass.
Each exam will require the student to read a brief selection of prose and write an essay that addresses a question the student creates based on the reading. A two-hour time period is allowed for each exam. Computers are available for word processing the exam.
Each reader makes an independent assessment of the overall quality of the essay according to these standards:
- Does the essay have a clear, reasonable, and thought-out thesis? Is the logic of the argument reasonable and valid? Does the stated thesis represent the actual argument of the rest of the paper?
- Is the thesis developed adequately, consistently, and effectively with appropriate supporting evidence? Does the essay progress in such a way that the ideas build on each other between paragraphs?
- Does the essay demonstrate critical reading ability by analyzing the source reading? Does the writer successfully draw on the article for support or counterarguments, while still maintaining an independent argument?
- Are the sentence and paragraph structures, diction, grammar, and mechanics of the essay correct and effective?
Because a passing essay demonstrates proficiency in the control of writing skills which WR 121 and WR 122 are designed to teach, the WR 122 exam is assessed with these additional criteria in mind:
- Does the logic of the argument include a reasonable and valid reason?
- Is the writer able to identify not only the main argument in the source reading, but also the logical structures or assumptions in the source reading? Does the writer address the source reading in an ethical fashion?
- Does the style of the writing demonstrate sufficient clarity, sophistication, and individuality?
Register for the Writing Waiver Exam
College Admission Tests
The ACT® test assesses high school students' general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work.
The multiple-choice tests cover four skill areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science. The optional writing test measures skills in planning and writing a short essay. The ACT® is a paper and pencil test that is offered six times throughout the year.
Information on test dates, test centers, registration, and fees can be found here.
The SAT Reasoning Test is the nation's most widely used admissions test among colleges and universities. It tests students' critical thinking skills and knowledge of subjects that are necessary for college success: reading, writing, and mathematics.
The SAT is typically taken by high school juniors and seniors. It tells students how well they use the skills and knowledge they have attained in and outside of the classroom—including how they think, solve problems, and communicate. The SAT is an important resource for college admission.
Each section of the SAT is scored on a scale of 200–800, with two writing subscores for multiple-choice questions and the essay. It is administered seven times a year in the US, Puerto Rico, and US territories, and six times a year overseas.
SAT Subject Tests
SAT Subject Tests are designed to measure students’ knowledge and skills in particular subject areas. Students take the Subject Tests to demonstrate to colleges their mastery of specific subjects like English, history, mathematics, science, and language. The tests are independent of any particular textbook or method of instruction. The tests' content evolve to reflect current trends in high school curricula, but the types of questions change little from year to year.
Many colleges use the Subject Tests for admission, for course placement, and to advise students about course selection. Used in combination with other background information (high school record, scores from other tests like the SAT Reasoning Test, teacher recommendations, etc.), they provide a dependable measure of academic achievement and are a good predictor of future performance.
Some colleges specify which Subject Tests they require for admission or placement, others allow applicants to choose which tests to take.
All Subject Tests are one-hour, multiple-choice tests. There are five general subject areas:
Mathematics Level 1
Mathematics Level 2
Find more information about registration, test dates, test fees, and test preparation materials here.
Credit by Exam
Credit by examination allows formally admitted undergraduate students to challenge undergraduate university courses without registering for the courses. Students seeking to receive credit by examination must be registered for the term in which the exam is given. Credit by examination may be earned only in courses whose content is identified by title in the University of Oregon catalog.
Students should contact the Office of the Registrar to complete an Academic Requirements Committee petition to determine eligibility for credit by examination. Students must then obtain faculty and departmental approval before the exam can be scheduled. Students are billed an examination fee of $25.00 per credit hour. Find the most current and up-to-date information on the credit-by-exam policy here.
Successful credit by examination is shown as transfer credit on the UO transcript and may be recorded as a pass (P) or graded (A, B, C, D), consistent with the options listed in the class schedule. Credit by examination may not be counted toward the satisfaction of the graduation residency requirement or for fulfillment of the requirement to complete 45 credits graded A, B, C, D at the University of Oregon. However, credit by examination may be counted toward the requirement to complete 168 credits graded A, B, C, D, P* from all institutions attended.
The following are not available for credit by examination:
- Courses numbered 0–99; Field Studies (196); Workshop, Laboratory Projects, or Colloquium (198); Special Studies (199); courses numbered 200 or 399–410
- First-year second-language courses
- 100-level mathematics courses and MATH 211, 212, 213
- English composition courses (WR 121, 122, 123)
- An elementary language course taught in the student’s native language
- A course for which a CLEP examination is available
- A course that substantially duplicates credit already earned
- A course that is more elementary in nature than credit already earned
- A course in which the student is already enrolled for credit
- A course for which the student has received a grade of A, B, C, D, P, P*, I, X, or Y
- A course for which the student has already taken and failed an examination for credit
Contact the Office of the Registrar, 541-346-3243 for more information. See also CLEP exams to gain credit and bypass classes.
General Education Development Certificate (GED)
The University of Oregon Testing Office serves as an official test site for the General Educational Development Certificate (GED). The GED allows individuals without a high school diploma to earn a high school equivalency certificate. Successful completion of the GED can enhance a person's employability as well as qualify them for admissions to community college, university, or other post-secondary educational programs.
You can take the GED online. Register and schedule tests through the MyGED® portal.
Watch tutorials in English and Spanish on the 2014 GED test:
Computer Skills Tutorial—English
Computer Skills Tutorial—Spanish
Reasoning through Language Arts—English
Reasoning through Language Arts—Spanish
Questions? Email us at email@example.com.