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Which tests to take

Placement test requirements will vary depending on the type of student (first-year, transfer, international) you are when you enter the university, your major, and any transfer or exam credit you bring into the university. Any required placement tests should be taken at least 2 weeks prior to your orientation session.

International Students

International students in F-1 or J-1 status enrolling for fall should complete any required placement tests by the end of May, or as soon as possible thereafter in order to be eligible for early enrollment. Students enrolling for spring should complete any required placement tests by the end of November, or as soon as possible thereafter in order to be eligible for early enrollment.

Math Placement Exam (ALEKS or MPT3)

Chemistry Diagnostic Test (CDT)

Take the Chemistry Diagnostic Test (CDT) if you are considering a major in any of the health or natural sciences.

World Languages Placement Test (WLPT)

Who should take the WLPT?

If you completed four years of the same world language in high school, you do not need to take the WLPT unless you plan to continue studying that language at the University of Iowa.

If you completed fewer than four years of the same world language in high school, refer to the General Education Program requirements for your major and your college. You will need to take the WLPT if your high school course work does not satisfy the General Education Program World Language requirement for your major.

If you are an open major and complete fewer than four years of the same world language in high school, you should take the WLPT.

The test results will help you and your advisor determine the best level for your first enrollment in a language course.

Placement factors considered (in addition to your WLPT score) include how long you have studied the language; strength of instruction; grades earned; experience abroad or with native speakers; and length of time since the language was studied.

Online French, German, and Spanish tests

The tests in French, German, and Spanish should be accessed online through your Admissions Profile on MyUI. Complete online tests at least 2 weeks prior to attending Orientation.

The tests are multiple choice and cover vocabulary, grammar, and reading comprehension. These are adaptive tests, which means that question difficulty will vary depending on how you responded to previous questions. You may not use books, notes, or any other materials or resources. The test will take 20-25 minutes.

Tests in other languages

Tests in the following languages are offered on the second day of our 2-Day Orientation Program for first-year students enrolling for fall:

  • Ancient Greek
  • Chinese
  • Japanese
  • Latin
  • Russian

A placement test for American Sign Language can be arranged individually by contacting the ASL Department at asl-program@uiowa.edu.

Placement tests in these languages are not offered during the 1-Day Orientation Programs. If attending a 1-Day Orientation program, you will need to arrange to take a placement test in one of these languages by contacting the Academic Advising Center at 319-353-5705 or patty-dunlap@uiowa.edu. Once you have the results of this placement test, you should consult your academic advisor to ensure you are enrolled in the appropriate world language course.

If you don't see your language listed here

If you are studying a different language than those listed above, you will discuss course placement with your advisor at Orientation.

Furthering Language Incentive Program (FLIP)

The UI offers opportunity to earn incentive credit through the Furthering Language Incentive Program (FLIP) for taking language courses after completing the language requirement.