Placement Exams

Quantitative Reasoning Assessment Exam

Entering GS undergraduate students may 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 Exam lasts one hour, and students are permitted to use a calculator. For more information, see Placement Exams.

Math Placement Exam

Undergraduates and Postbac Premed students needing to assess their math skills should take the Math Placement Exam. The exam consists of two parts: Part I will place students into College Algebra and Analytic Geometry, and Part II will place students into Calculus I. Students must pass Part I to be eligible to take Part II. For more information, see Placement Exams.

Chemistry Placement Exam

The Chemistry Placement Exam tests basic knowledge of chemistry required for enrollment in General Chemistry I. Postbac Premed students who have not taken a college-level chemistry course, or who received a grade below B- in a college-level chemistry course, should take the Chemistry Placement Exam before enrolling in General Chemistry I. For more information, see Placement Exams.

Language Placement Exam

GS undergraduate 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 to complete the language core requirement.

If a placement exam is not available in a language in which a student has expertise, that student should notify their GS advisor during the first semester after matriculation and the advisor will attempt to make arrangements 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; undergraduate students who begin in the fall term must take the exam in the fall; those 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 course approved to count towards the Music Humanities core requirement.