Placement Exams and Questionnaires

How and When to Take Placement Exams

Some Wellesley departments offer "placement exams" or "exemption exams" which will let you demonstrate the level of your knowledge coming into Wellesley. Follow the links below to find important information about what these exams are and when to take them. Please read this information carefully.

Please be aware that the Honor Code governs all exams that you take at Wellesley, including any online placement tests you may take this summer. This means that we trust you to follow the directions for each exam faithfully, to do your own work, and to refrain from sharing information about the exam after you take it—since other students may not have taken it yet. 

Online placement exams – take in the summer

The required Math placement questionnaire, the optional placement exams in French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian, and the optional Latin placement questionnaire are offered online over the summer. An online exam in Music, required of students who plan to study performance music, is also available. We also offer an online exam in Physics for students with very strong experience in that subject (there is general information about this here). Except for Math, these online exams will be available until you arrive on campus for Orientation, although it is best to take them as soon as possible. You can reach them directly from the Entering Student Checklist in MyWellesley.

Placement exams – during Orientation

Other exams—including Chinese, German, Hebrew, Japanese, and Korean -- are offered during Orientation. Sign up for them by clicking on the link for Placement Exam Signup in the Entering Student Checklist in MyWellesley. Follow the links below for other important information about these exams, and guidance about which ones to consider taking. 


Placement exam results

Placement exam results will be available in your MyWellesley portal in August.

Do I need to take a placement exam?

In general, if you have prior coursework in a subject, you should take the placement exam.

In the case of languages, you should take the exam if you (1) have prior experience and (2) intend to continue studying that language at Wellesley.

The evaluation is holistic, taking into account all available information; AP and IB scores will be considered in placement decisions, in conjunction with the placement exam results.

Each student's experience and circumstances are unique; reach out to if you have specific questions.

What if I have taken college coursework elsewhere or received an AP score of 5, or an IB score of 5 or above in a language exam?

If you want to take language coursework at Wellesley beyond the first course, you should take the placement exam. Wellesley's language departments craft their own curricula independent of other systems, so coursework from other institutions may not be equivalent. Faculty use all available information to determine course placement, so will take into account placement exam results and previous coursework and scores. 

What if I want to start a new language?

If you want to start a language with the first course, you do not need to take the placement exam. The placement exams exist to evaluate a student's existing knowledge of the subject.

Is there any special preparation I should do before the exam?

These exams are meant to determine the state of your knowledge right now, so there is no expectation of special preparation or studying.