Placement Exams-Academic Advisory Center (AAC) - Carnegie Mellon University

Some courses are taken at various levels. Placement tests help to place you in that "best circumstance.  It is best to work closely with your AAC Advisor to see if the exam (Calculus, Computer Programming, English, Modern Languages) applies to you; also refer to any credits you have received through Advanced Placement, International Baacalaureate, for Transfer Credit.

Calclulus

This year, the Mellon College of Science (MCS) will not administer the calculus assessment online over the summer.  Instead, they will administer a proctored calculus assessment on campus on Tuesday, August 20.

There will be a 2-hour assessment for 21-120 and then a 2-hour assessment for 21-122.  If you pass the assessment for 21-120, you would be eligible to take the 21-122 assessment.  It does NOT give you course credit; it allows you to take the next level calculus course this fall.

What about advanced standing credit?

If you took Calculus AP exam, these scores give you CMU calculus credit:

  • Calculus AB, score 5 = 21-120, Differential and Integral Calculus, 10 units

  • Calculus BC, score 5 21-120, Differential and Integral Calculus, 10 units, and 21-122, Integration, Differential Equations and Approximation, 10 units

Note: if you have taken any AP CalculusAB or CalculusBC exam, you are not eligible to take any CMU Calculus Assessments.

If you are eligible to take the 21-120 assessment, you must register at this website:
http://www.cmu.edu/mcs/undergrad/advising/reg/fall/form-calc-assessment/index.html

If you pass the 21-120 assessment, you would be eligible to take 21-112 or 21-122 or 21-256 in the fall.

If you want to take a course at CMU that you received credit for from AP or IB, please discuss this with your Academic Advisor.  Taking a course you already have credit for from AP or IB means that course credit will be removed from your student record.

Computer Science

Even if your future major does not require programming, you might find yourself taking a computer programming course in order to fulfill the General Education requirements or because you simply have an interest in gaining the skill.
 
If either of these instances (for requirements or for personal gain) are true and you have no prior computer programming experience, then you do not need to take the placement exam. You will begin in the lowest appropriate level. For information about the various programming courses, see the course descriptions on the School of Computer Science website.
 
If you plan to take 15-110, you do not need to take this exam.

Only take this placement if you wish to take 15-112 or 15-121 WITHOUT taking 15-110.

If you are in doubt as to whether you need to take this, contact your AAC advisor.

English

The English Placement exam is meant only for students who have identified themselves as non-native English speakers; meaning not being their first language or "mother tongue" is not English.

All DC first-year students will take 76-101, Interpretation and Argument. Some students, based on this assessment, will first take 76-100, Reading and Writing in an Academic Context in Fall and 76-101 in the Spring semester.

Carnegie Mellon does not give credit for 76-101, the required first-year English course, based on an any typical advanced standing credit (including Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or college credit taken elsewhere).

If you have any questions regarding the English Placement test send email to engfirst@andrew.cmu.edu.

Languages

If you do not plan on taking a language course (other than English), you do not need to take one of these placement exams. A language course is not required by H&SS, although many language courses fulfill the General Education requirements, and many students do elect to take a language. Additionally, a major, such as Global Studies, may require a language.

If you do wish to study a language, and you do not have any prior experience (including formal coursework or personal experience) with that language, then you do not need to take the placement exam. You may register for one of the Elementary level language courses (ex., 82-101, 82-111, 82-121, 82-141, 82-161, 82-171, 82-191).

If you do wish to study a language, and if you have previous experience (including formal coursework or personal experience) with that language, then you do need to take the placement exam.

How do I access the language placement exam?

French, German, Russian, or Spanish:
If you have experience in French, German, Russian, or Spanish, follow the external link on the Modern Languages website by click on Placement Testing located on the left of that page.

Chinese, Italian, or Japanese:

If you have experience in Arabic, Chinese, Italian, or Japanese, follow the external link on the Modern Languages website by click on Placement Testing located on the left of that page to contact the appropriate faculty member of that language. You might not receive your formal placement from the advisor until Orientation Week; in this case, you should allow space in your schedule for the language course. That is, you should register yourself for the mandatory computing course and four other courses as opposed to the computing course and five other courses. You will have an opportunity to add the language course at the start of the semester.

(If you have technical difficulties while take these tests, contact Sue Connelly)