Placement Exams

You may need to take some placement exams in order to register for MATH, PHYSICS, ENGLISH, FOREIGN LANGUAGES, and CSC121 courses. The Student Success Center administers the placement exams for all of these except for Foreign Languages, which are administered by the department.

General guidelines for taking a placement exam are given below:

Who should take Placement Exams?

  • All new students are registered for required placement exams when registering for New Student Orientation. You will receive an email with instructions on how to take Placement Exams. For more information visit www.umflint.edu/orientation.
  • Take your placement exams two weeks before your Orientation session to allow sufficient time to have the results entered in the system before you register for courses.
  • Non-Academic students (including those in the ELP program) do not take placement exams.

Administration

  • Placement exams are administered by the Student Success Center (SSC) on a walk-in basis.
  • Normal office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. Please allow enough time to complete any exam(s) you wish to take before the office closes.
  • Use of calculators, cell phones, or any other electronic devices is prohibited; only scratch paper and pencils are allowed during the placement exam.

Prior to completing placement exams online, it is recommended to complete “Blackboard Orientation”.

Results

  • Exam results will be available in the Student Information System (SIS): Student Services>Student Records>View Placement Exam Results.
  • Exam results will not be given out over the telephone.

CSC 121

What is this exam for? To receive credit for or to waive CSC 121 “Using a Computer System”

Who should take this exam? Any currently enrolled student who does not have credit for CSC 121

What does it consist of? See the Required Knowledge for CSC121 prepared by the department.

How is it administered? The exam is administered on a walk-in basis in the SSC; 285 UPAV. Your Blackboard account will give you access to ten assigned tasks that you will submit by either e-mail or a View/Complete link in Blackboard. If you encounter any technical difficulties, see an SSC staff member.

How long does it take? About 4 hours

How is it scored? See the scoring rubric. SSC grades the exam. Scores are available in SIS in 24 hours.  See guidelines for Credit vs. Waiver and the placement results based on scores.

  • Score 85-100: You can waive the course
  • Score 85-100: You can take the credit and grade of “A”
  • Score 75-84: You can take the credit and grade of “B”
  • Score 65-74: You can take the credit and grade of “C”
  • Score 60-64: You can take the credit and grade of “D”
  • Score 0-59: You cannot take the credit or grade

Can I retake this exam? No. The exam may be taken only once.

Department contact information: Computer Science, Engineering and Physics (CSEP), 207 MSB, (810) 762-3131

English

 

Different placement exams are needed for writing and reading. All students need to complete ENG 111 and ENG 112 or their equivalents.  Based on writing placement, some students will be required to also complete credits of ENG 109 (or, for international students, LIN 101 and/or LIN 102). Based on reading placement, some students will be required to complete ENG 100. ENG 112, a requirement for graduation, has both writing and reading prerequisites.  Writing placement determines where in the writing sequence you should begin. Reading placement determines if ENG 100 is required before you take ENG 112. For additional information see the English Department First Year Writing Program webpage on Placement: https://www.umflint.edu/english/placement

READING

What is this exam for? To waive ENG 100 “College Reading and Learning Strategies,” the reading prerequisite for ENG 112 (see English WRITING placement below as ENG 112 also has a writing prerequisite). In most cases the requirement to take ENG 100 is determined automatically by a standardized test score such as ACT or SAT. The Reading Placement exam can override or confirm placement. Without taking or placing out of ENG 100, you will not be eligible to take ENG 112 and complete the first year writing sequence and composition requirement for graduation.  

Who should take this exam? 

*  Students who don’t have an ACT or SAT Reading score that has already determined if ENG 100 is required or waived

*  International students who have taken the International Writing Placement Exam and placed directly into ENG 111  

*  Students who have already placed into ENG 100 but want a second opportunity to place out of ENG 100

The following students do NOT need to take the Reading Placement Exam:

*  Transfer students 

*  Dual-enroll or DEEP students

*  Non-Academic students (including those in the ELP program) 

What does it consist of? Reading passages with 70 multiple-choice questions

How is it administered? The exam is administered on a walk-in basis at the SSC. Note: students admitted to fully online programs should contact the English Department.

How long does it take? There is no time limit, though you should allow approximately one hour to complete it.

How is it scored? The exam is scored immediately. Possible placements:

Reading: ENG 100 not required.

Reading placement into ENG 100.

Can I retake this exam? It can be retaken after at least 60 days of the previous administration.

Department contact information: English Department, 326 FH, (810) 762-3285

WRITING

What is this exam for? To determine if you need ENG 109 “College Writing Workshop” prior to or concurrent with your first year writing sequence of ENG 111 and ENG 112 (see English READING placement as ENG 112 also has a reading prerequisite).  

Every student needs to have a score for this exam or the equivalent to a score for this exam through direct placement via AP credit, CLEP credit, transfer credit, or Standardized Test score prior to registering.  Without confirmation of placement, you will not be able to register for first year writing courses.  

NOTE: International students take the International Writing Placement Exam.  For information on the IWPX, go to the Bridge Program website for more information: https://www.umflint.edu/english/um-flint-bridge-program.  

Most domestic students will take the Writing Placement Exam to determine placement.  However, there are some criteria that will activate a direct placement for a writing course.  Students directly placed are still required to register for the appropriate class for their program with the help of their academic advisor.  

If you have any of the following, your direct writing placement is automatic and you do not have to write the Writing Placement Exam. 

Transfer credit for ENG 112: you have already completed the first year writing sequence and do not need to register for first year writing courses (note that some programs require ENG 112 grades above a C). If you have transferred in ENG 112 but feel unsure about or would like to work further on your academic writing, you may wish to elect one credit of ENG 109.

Transfer credit (or the equivalent through AP or CLEP) for ENG 111 and waiver of ENG 100 (see English READING placement): you are automatically eligible to register for ENG 112.

ACT Composite score of 22 or higher OR SAT Writing score of 29 (new test) or higher, OR SAT Total score of 1110 (new test) or higher, OR SAT Writing/Reading Score of 510 (old test): you are automatically eligible to register for ENG 111; note that ENG 100 may still be required of you. If you are required to take ENG 100, you cannot take ENG 112 in the writing sequence until you have completed the reading requirement.

Non-Academic students, non-degree students and students in the ELP also do not take this placement exam. Please work with an advisor or the English department to get registered.

All other students must take the WPX or IWPX as appropriate.

Even if you are directly placed, it may be in your best interest to complete the Writing Placement exam if…

*  You earned lower than a “B” grade (3.0) in either ENG 111 or ENG 112 or their equivalent at another school. Your WPX placement score could help you feel more confident in your readiness to take on the course you are eligible for or help us identify support through one credit of ENG 109 that could bolster your success in writing.

You have credit for either of those courses, but that credit is from more than five years ago. Your WPX placement score might identify if you need to brush up skills.

You have credit for ENG 111 or 112, but still lack confidence in your academic writing abilities. Your WPX placement score will alert you to what our faculty readers think and help you consider whether electing one credit of ENG 109 is right for you

What does the WPX consist of? Writing an essay of approximately 500 words in length.  Make sure you read all of the directions before entering the test and completing the pre-test questionnaire.

How is it administered? The exam is available online via Blackboard. You can take it online off campus or at the Student Success Center.

How long does it take? There is no time limit. You are permitted to save and revise as many times as you like before submitting your essay for evaluation. Please complete your essay at least two weeks prior to your orientation date or before you plan to register for classes.

How is it scored? The English Department scores each exam. Your score and your writing course placement will be available in SIS (Student Services> Student Records> View Placement Exam Results) once at least two readers from the Writing Program have read and evaluated your writing. Possible placements:

*  WRT plcmnt: ENG 109 (1 credit)

*  WRT plcmnt: ENG 109 (3 credits)

*  WRT plcmnt: ENG 111

*  WRT plcmnt: ENG 112

Can I retake this exam? Yes, but only under rare circumstances that warrant a retest such as technical error, computer failure, etc.  Contact the English Department to request permission to retake the exam. At least two weeks should elapse between attempts.

Department contact information:

English Department

 326 French Hall 

(810) 762-3285

Mathematics

What is this exam for?  This test, if taken as directed, is an instrument in determining with which math course the
student should begin.  This test cannot be used by a student to place out of any math course at UM-Flint. 

Who should take this exam?

  • All incoming freshmen should take the math placement exam

    • Unless:

      • (a) They have credit for a Calculus class attained by satisfactory passing the AP Exam, or
        by dual enrollment in a calculus class.
        (b) They are GBHS students who took College Algebra in High School and attained at least
        80% in their final examination. GBHS sends a list of these students to the Department,
        and administrative assistant will be allowed to overwrite pre-requisites to enroll these
        students in MTH 120.
        (c) They are GEC students who have taken a math UM-Flint course. GEC sends a list
        of these students to the Department, with recommendations for courses the student
        should enroll. Administrative assistant will be allowed to overwrite pre-requisites to
        enroll students in the respective courses.
  • Transfer students should take the math placement exam if they:
    • Have not transferred in a math course numbered 090 or higher
    • Have credit for MTH 112
  • Current students should take the math placement exam if they have not enrolled in or completed a UM-Flint math course within the last three years

You don’t need to take the math placement exam if

  • You have already taken, are enrolled in, or transferred in mathematics courses
  • You have taken the Advanced Placement test (AP) in math. Be sure to have your AP results sent to UM-Flint’s Admissions Office. You do NOT need to take the math placement test if you received a score of 3 or higher on either the Calculus AB or Calculus BC test.  If you have not received your score, you WILL need to complete the exam.
  • Non-academic students (including those in the ELP program) do not need to take the placement test. 
  • GEC students who want to take the math placement exam should be referred to GEC.

What does it consist of? 30 multiple-choice questions

How is it administered? The first attempt of the math placement exam is available to be completed online – via Blackboard – off campus, or it can be taken in the Student Success Center (285 University Pavilion)  

How long does it take? The exam is timed for one hour and fifteen minutes. Depending on your score, you may need to schedule a second, more advanced math placement exam.

How is it scored? SSC will grade the exam; you will receive your score immediately following completion of the exam. Math placement scores can result in placement into different levels: 

  • Beginning Algebra at Community College.

    • The beginning Algebra course is not offered at UM-Flint. You may take the course as a guest student at your local community college. See guidelines below (*)
    • OR you can retake the test 30 days after the completion of the prior test (only 1 retake is allowed).
  • MTH 090: Intermediate Algebra. The credit for Math 090 does not count in the total credits needed for graduation.
  • MTH 111: College Algebra
  • MTH 118: Calculus for Management and Social Sciences
  • MTH 120: Pre-Calculus
  • MTH 121: Calculus I

(*) GUIDELINES TO TAKE A BEGINNING MATH COURSE AT A COMMUNITY COLLEGE

  1. Identify a community college you can attend as a guest student.
  2. Apply as a guest student.
  3. Register for a beginning math course; take a placement test if needed to determine which course to take. Course will usually be named Beginning Algebra
  4. *NOTE: For students registering as guest students at Mott Community College, MATH 082 (Beginning Algebra) is the ideal beginning math course. Placement tests are required as well
  5. Register for your other classes here at the University of Michigan-Flint.
  6. After completing the math course with a satisfactory grade, take transcripts directly to the Math department, University of Michigan-Flint.
  7. The Math department gives an electronic override to take MTH 090.

WHAT ARE THE FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS?

Student using financial aid will have to pay for the math course at a community college out of pocket.

Also students taking the beginning math course at a community college as a guest student will have to be full time as a student here at the University of Michigan-Flint to be eligible for full financial aid.

Can I retake this exam? Yes. The Math Department allows students only one retake (at least 30 days after initial attempt). The retake MUST be completed at the SSC.

Department contact information: Mathematics Department, 402 MSB, (810) 762-3244

Physics

What is this exam for? To determine which Physics course you can begin with

Who should take this exam? A student majoring in a program that requires completion of a physics course.

What does it consist of? The exam consists of three parts. All parts need to be completed for the exam to be scored.

  • Part 1:  30 questions, multiple choice.
  • Part 2:  12 questions, multiple choice.
  • Part 3:  12 questions, multiple choice.

How is it administered?  The exam is available online ONLY for incoming students -OR- for current students, the exam must be taken in the Student Success Center (285 University Pavilion)

How long does it take? The exam is timed for one hour.

How is it scored?  SSC will grade the exam; you will receive your score immediately following completion of the exam. Physics placement scores can result in placement into different levels: 

  • PHY 110:  Conceptual Physics by Inquiry Method
  • PHY 143: College Physics I
  • PHY 243: Principles of Physics I

Can I retake this exam? No retakes are allowed.

Department contact information: Computer Science, Engineering and Physics (CSEP), 207 MSB, (810) 762-3131

Foreign Languages

What is this exam for? To determine foreign language placement

Who should take this exam?

  • Based on your foreign language background, the department will determine if you need to take the placement exam.
  • All Bachelor of Arts degrees require successful completion of a foreign language.
  • Most Bachelor of Science degrees, all Business degrees, Applied Science degrees and Nursing degrees do not require a foreign language.
  • A Foreign Language placement test should be considered only if the student feels that there are special circumstances that make the placement guidelines inappropriate, e.g., if there has been a lapse of more than two years since the language was last studied or if they wish to take a course higher than that indicated by the guidelines.
  • Students must take the placement test if they meet both of the following conditions:
  • They wish to meet the Area Option (requirement) in Foreign Languages solely with courses taken in high school or at other colleges, and
  • they do not wish to take courses beyond French, German, or Spanish 112.

​You DON’T need to take this placement exam if

  • you have already done college-level work in French, German or Spanish at the University of Michigan-Flint.
  • you have enrolled at some time in a basic language course at UM-Flint
  • you are a non-academic student (including those in the ELP program)

​Please note that in special cases it is possible to make exceptions. Contact the Chair of the Foreign Languages department.

What does it consist of? Contact the Foreign Languages Department.

How is it administered? It is administered at the Foreign Languages Department.

How long does it take? Contact the Foreign Languages Department.

How is it scored? Contact the Foreign Languages Department.

Can I retake this exam? Contact the Foreign Languages Department.

Department contact information: Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, 344 French Hall, (810) 762-3370.

Additional Information

Contact the Student Success Center (285 University Pavilion) at (810) 762-3085 or studentsuccess@umflint.edu.