Placement examinations are administered to determine a student’s appropriate level of study within a discipline. On the basis of your performance on an examination, you may be placed in the subject’s introductory course; be exempted from the introductory course and be allowed to take a more advanced course; or be exempted from the introductory course, receive credit for that course, and be allowed to take a more advanced course. Grades on advanced standing examinations do not become part of your university record.
Some of the examinations may be required by your college. Consult with your advising dean on whether or not you should take a placement exam. Consult Courses of Study and information from the departments below regarding credits awarded on the basis of your exam scores and descriptions of the courses you may be exempted from and placed into.
These examinations are for students who wish to continue a language studied in high school. You must take a placement examination if you have more than one year of study in the language and do not have an SAT II or AP score in that language. For specific information on individual language exams (basic placement exams, advanced standing or CASE exams, schedules, locations, and makeup exams), please consult the departmental websites listed below.
Foreign Language Exemption
Students whose speaking, reading, and writing competence in a language other than English is at the same level we would expect our entering freshmen to have in English (as shown by completing high school in that language or by special examination during their first year here at Cornell) are exempt from the college’s language requirement. For more information, contact your advising dean.
Language Resource Center
The Language Resource Center (LRC) is a hub for language innovation and collaboration at Cornell. It offers resources and opportunities for language learners to engage and collaborate. Some language courses are offered through the Shared Course Initiative with Columbia and Yale universities. Visit the LRC for more information on which language courses are offered through the Shared Course Initiative.
Placement Exam Information
Online placement exams are available for Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish. See details on placement exams from departments below before accessing the online exams. If an online exam is not available, consult with the department. For incoming first-year and transfer students, you may enroll in the course you deem most appropriate based on the course descriptions on the class roster. You may change your enrollment after taking a placement test during orientation.
- African languages (Swahili, Wolof, Yoruba, and Zulu): Contact instructors at the African Language Program.
- Asian languages (Bengali, Burmese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Mandarin, Nepali, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sinhala, Tagalog, Thai, Tibetan, Urdu, and Vietnamese): Refer to the Department of Asian Studies
- German: Refer to the Department of German Studies
- Classical languages (Ancient Greek and Latin): Refer to the Department of Classics
- Near East/Middle East languages (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish): Refer to the Department of Near Eastern Studies
- Romance languages (French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish): Refer to the Department of Romance Studies
- Russian: Refer to the Russian Language Program
- Scandinavian languages (Norwegian and Swedish): Refer to the Department of Romance Studies
- Slavic and Ugro-Finnic languages (Bosnian, Croatian, Czech, Hungarian, Macedonian, Polish, Slovenian, Serbian, and Ukrainian): Contact Callean Hile
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Chemistry Advanced Standing Exam (CASE) for CHEM 2070/2090 and CHEM 2080 are administered around the start of each Fall and Spring semester. Refer to the Chemistry advanced standing site for information on the date, time, location, and general information about the exams.
Computer Science Advanced Standing Exam (CASE) for CS 1110 is administered around the start of each Fall semester. Refer to the CS advanced standing site for information on the date, time, location, and general information about the exam.
Math Advanced Standing Exam (CASE) for MATH 1110, MATH 1120, and MATH 1910 are administered around the start of each Fall and Spring semester. Refer to the Mathematics advanced standing page for information on the date, time, location, and general information about the exams.
Physics Advanced Standing Exam (CASE) for PHYS 1112 and PHYS 2213 are administered prior to the start of the Fall or Spring semester. Refer to the Physics advanced standing page for information on the date, time, location, and general information about the exams.
Support and Resources
Students with disabilities
Students who wish to receive testing accommodation for placement exams due to a disability must contact Student Disability Services (SDS) prior to taking a placement exam. Disability documentation is required to receive academic accommodation.
English as a Second Language (ESL) students
ESL students who need help with writing should refer to the the English Language Support Center at the Knight Institute.