placementFAQ by VISAKH


									Harvard College Placement Exams: Frequently Asked Questions

Should I study for the placement exam?
No. Placement exams are diagnostic and do not appear on a student’s transcript. Students are not
expected to study for these tests.

Where and when do I receive my placement score(s)?
Freshman scores will be posted on the Advising Network Portal on Thursday August 27th. All
other students should contact the relevant department beginning Friday, August 28th.
Departmental contact information is listed at: Students should discuss their
placement scores and correct placement with their academic advisers.

Which placement exams are mandatory?
Expository Writing and Mathematics placement exams are mandatory. No advanced sign-up is

How do I decide which placement exams I should take?
   All incoming students must take the Expository Writing and Mathematics placement
   Students interested in the Sciences should take the Chemistry placement exam.
   If you plan to take an advanced Physics course, you must take the Physics placement
   If you are planning on pursuing a language at any time at Harvard, or hope to place out of
     the first-year language requirement, take a placement exam in any language with which
     you have prior experience.
   You should take the Music placement exam if Music is a concentration of interest for

Which placement exams require registration?
For exams administered by the Registrar’s Office (Physics, Spanish, French, German, Latin,
Italian, Expository Writing, Mathematics), registration is not required.

For all other placement exams not listed above, contact the relevant department about test
availability and, where appropriate, to see if advanced sign-up is necessary. Departmental
contact information is listed at: You
may also contact Diana Hovsepian ( about languages not listed above.

I am unable to take the placement exam as scheduled. What should I do?
Contact the Exams Office at

May I retake a placement exam to try to get a better score?
Yes, but keep in mind that placement exams are offered once a term and not all departments
offer placement exams in the spring term. However, if you would like to take a spring term
placement exam, please contact the Exams Office at

If I earned a 5 on my AP language test, do I still need to take the placement exam?
You do not need to since the 5 on the AP test will enable you to fulfill the language
requirements. However, if you plan to pursue further study in that language, then a placement
exam is the best diagnostic tool for proper placement.

What score do I need to earn on the placement exam to satisfy the foreign language
Your grade must be 600 or above to satisfy the foreign language requirement.

On which documents/student records will my placement exam scores appear?
Your placement exam scores do not appear on any official documentation, such as your student
record or transcript. These are for internal use only.

Do my placement exam scores override my AP scores?
No. Your placement exam scores will not override your AP scores.


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