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 reading and writing. If you are required to take ENG 100, you cannot take ENG 112 in the writing sequence until you have completed the reading requirement.

READING

What is this exam for? To waive ENG 100 “College Reading and Learning Strategies”

Who should take this exam? New first-year students who don’t have credits to waive ENG 100.

  • Students who place into ENG 100 may either choose to take ENG 100 or they may take the exam to attempt to waive ENG 100.
  • Current Students only need to take the exam if their advisor/counselor recommends that they take it.
  • Transfer students DO NOT need to take the exam.
  • Students that take ENG 111 as a dual enrollee and then want to take ENG 112 as a dual enrollee do not need to take the exam.
  • Non-Academic students (including those in the ELP program) do not take placement exams

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.

How long does it take? There is no time limit. 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”

This exam is required prior to election of ENG 112.

Who should take this exam? You should take this exam if

  • You have not received credit or transfer credit for ENG 112, OR
  • You have an ACT Composite of 21 or lower, OR
  • You have an SAT Writing score of 509 or lower
  • Students with AP or CLEP credit for ENG 111 are placed directly into ENG 112 and do not need to complete the exam.
  • Non-Academic students (including those in the ELP program) do not take placement exams.

What does it consist of? Writing an essay of approximately 500 words in length.

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. Allow approximately one hour to complete it.

How is it scored? The English Department scores your exam. Your score and your writing course placement will be available in SIS (Student Services> Student Records> View Placement Exam Results) once 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
  • WRT Plcmnt: LIN 101
  • WRT Plcmnt: LIN 102

Can I retake this exam? Yes. 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 FH, (810) 762-3285

Mathematics

What is this exam for? To determine which Math courses you can begin with

Who should take this exam?

  • All incoming freshmen should take the math placement exam.
  • 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.
  • You are a non-academic student (including students in the ELP program).  
  • 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.