Placement Exams

Quantitative Reasoning Assessment Exam

All undergraduate students entering GS are required to take the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) Assessment Exam prior to or during Orientation week unless they have scored, within the past eight years, a minimum of 600 on the Math SAT or a minimum of a 27 on the math subsection of the ACT. The QR assessment exam lasts one hour, and students are permitted to use a calculator. A score of 20 or above on the QR assessment exam signifies that a student has fulfilled the GS quantitative reasoning requirement.

Math Placement Exam

Undergraduates needing to assess their math skills should take the Math Placement Exam administered by the GS Academic Resource Center (ARC). Contact the ARC for details.

Chemistry Placement Exam

The Chemistry Placement Exam administered by the GS Academic Resource Center places students in General Chemistry or Preparation for College Chemistry.

Language Placement Exam

GS students may fulfill the foreign language requirement or ascertain their level of language proficiency via a language placement exam within one year of matriculating at GS.

Foreign language placement exams are usually given at the beginning of each semester by departments offering foreign languages. A list of these exams is printed in the Orientation schedule. Students may also contact individual departments for information about placement exams. (Some language departments do not have regularly scheduled placement exams; students should contact these departments to arrange for a special placement examination.)

Students must demonstrate proficiency equivalent to the second semester of intermediate-level language study.

If a placement exam is not available in a language in which a student has expertise, students should notify their GS advisors during the first semester after matriculation and arrangements will be made for an appropriate assessment or placement exam.

Students who pursue language study as part of a Columbia-approved study abroad program and wish to use that language to fulfill the GS language requirement must take a placement exam upon their return from study abroad. For language requirements see Study Abroad.

Music Humanities Exemption Exam

The Music Humanities Exemption Exam is offered on the first Friday of the fall semester by the Music Department (621 Dodge Hall). The exemption exam must be taken within the first year of matriculation; students who begin in the fall term must take the exam in the fall; students who begin in spring semester should take the exam the following fall term. Students are not allowed to take the exemption exam after their first year of matriculation. Students may take the exam only once; if they do not pass the exam, they must enroll in a section of Music Humanities.