Placement Exams

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Foreign Languages

These examinations are for students who wish to continue a language studied in high school. You must take this 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 websites listed below.

African Languages (Swahili and Yoruba): Any student wishing to sign up for an African language placement test should contact the Africana Studies and Research Center at 607.255.4625, email, or visit

Arabic: Any student wishing to sign up for the Arabic placement exam should contact Munther Younes, director of the Arabic language program, by calling 607.255.6275 or by email at

Asian Languages (Bengali, Burmese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Mandarin, Nepali, Sanskrit, Sinhala, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu, and Vietnamese): Any student wishing to take an Asian language placement exam should visit the Asian studies department website

German: Visit the German Studies website for more information. Please contact Gunhild Lischke at or 607.255.0725 if you have questions.

Greek, Ancient: To arrange a placement test in ancient Greek, please call Linda Brown at 607.255.3354 or email her at

Hebrew: For the Hebrew placement exam, you may sign up at 409 White Hall, by calling 607.255.6275, or by sending an email to Nava Scharf, Hebrew language coordinator, at

Latin: To arrange a placement test in Latin, please call Linda Brown at 607.255.3354 or email her at

Persian: Any student wishing to sign up for a Persian language placement exam should contact Iago Gocheleishvili, Persian language coordinator, by calling 607.255.6467 or emailing

Romance Languages (French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish):
Visit our website for more information.

Russian: The Russian placement exam (also called Russian CASE) is given in the fall and spring semesters, usually two or three days before the first day of classes. Details will be posted in advance under Current Announcements at our website.

Scandinavian Languages (Norwegian and Swedish): Please contact K.E. von Wittelsbach at

Slavic and Ugro-Finnic Languages (Bosnian, Croatian, Czech, Hungarian, Macedonian, Polish, Slovenian, Serbian, and Ukrainian): If you have questions about placement in any of these languages, please contact Callean Hile at 607.255.8222 or by email at

Chemistry and Chemical Biology

The Cornell Chemistry Advanced Standing Exam for CHEM 2070/2090 is administered on Saturday, August 18, at 4:00pm in 135 Baker Lab. The Cornell Chemistry Advanced Standing Exam for CHEM 2080 is administered Sunday, August 19, at 2:00pm in 135 Baker Lab. No advanced registration is required. Depending on the grade received on either examination, a student may be eligible for four credits of introductory chemistry. Allow two hours for each examination. Bring a nongraphing, nonprogrammable scientific calculator with log and exponential functions and several #2 pencils with erasers.


A placement exam for Calculus I (MATH 1110) and Calculus II (MATH 1120) will take place on Sunday, August 19 at 10:15am in Bache Auditorium, 228 Malott Hall. Bring several pencils and allow two hours. Recommended for non-engineering majors who have had at least a semester of calculus but did not take a CEEB, GCE, or IB exam; students who took such an exam but believe their placement is incorrect; and students who feel that their grasp of the material is uncertain.  Students seeking credit for multivariable calculus should take the Engineering Math Advanced Standing Exam. There is no placement exam for linear algebra.

The Engineering Math Advanced Standing Exam will take place on Sunday, August 19 at 10:15am in 155 Olin Hall. This is an optional exam for any student seeking credit for MATH 1910 and/or MATH 1920, including Engineering first-years and transfer students. There is no placement exam for MATH 2930 (differential equations) or MATH 2940 (linear algebra).

Please visit the Math website for placement information.


The CASE (Advanced Standing Exam) for PHYS 2207, 2208, 1112, and 2213 will be held on Saturday, August 18 at 3:00pm in 203 Rockefeller Hall. Please arrive at least 15 minutes ahead of time and allow 60 minutes for the exam. Students may consult the Physics website for more information.


Why placement examinations?

Placement examinations are administered to determine a new 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.

Do I have to take an exam?

Some of the examinations may be required by your college. Check the materials sent to you by your college and the college orientation section of this booklet for more details. Consult Courses of Study ( and information from your college regarding credits awarded on the basis of your exam scores and descriptions of the courses you may be exempted from and placed into.

What about 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. Contact SDS by calling 607.254.4545, emailing, or visiting the office on Level 5 of Cornell Health located on Ho Plaza.

What about ESL (English as a Second Language) students?

Contact the Writing Workshop at 607.255.6349 if you are an ESL student who needs help with your writing.

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