To make sure you choose courses that are appropriate for your skill level, you will take placement exams before you register for classes.
Placement tests can only be taken once, so make sure you take these assessments seriously and give them your best effort.
Math Placement Exam
You must take the online Math Placement Exam before attending your orientation session. All students should take this exam because math courses are required for a large majority of majors at the university. Even if your major has no relation to math, some General Education courses have a prerequisite based on this exam, and all students need to fulfill the Basic Math Skills (R1) and the Analytical Reasoning (R2) requirements. (There is a separate optional exemption exam for R1.) The Math Placement Exam covers the basics of algebra, coordinate geometry, and trigonometry. It will ensure that you choose the right courses for your skills, which is essential for your success.
Foreign Language Placement Exams
Students who have studied French, German, Latin, or Spanish for two or more years and will continue with the same language at UMass Amherst, must take the Foreign Language Placement Exam online prior to orientation. If you are in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, or seeking a BA in the College of Natural Sciences you will have a foreign language requirement and you should take the foreign language placement exam.
Additional information on Foreign Language requirements and placement exams for other languages will be reviewed during your orientation or transfer student registration session.
Writing Placement Exam
First year students will also take an essay exam to determine your placement in freshman writing courses. This test takes place during your orientation session. Students are exempt, with credit, from the First-Year Writing Requirement if they received a total of 1460 or more on the SAT Critical Reading and SAT Writing tests, or if they received a 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement Language and Composition Test. (If a student received a 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement Literature and Composition Test, they are not exempted from the First-Year Writing Requirement, but will receive three English credits.)