Placement Exam Information

Placement exams for mathematics, foreign languages, and music are taken at home during the summer (prior to registration), and your responses are entered online.

All placement exams can be accessed online via our Important Forms page.

If you have any questions about Placement testing, please contact the Learning Commons at (814) 332-2898, or via email at learningcommons@allegheny.edu.

ALLEGHENY COLLEGE PLACEMENT TEST INFORMATION

Each incoming student is asked to take a Placement Test for the following subject areas: Mathematics, Foreign Languages, and Music. Please read the information for each Placement Test carefully.

All Placement Tests are taken at home during the summer and your responses are entered online. All tests can be accessed online at http://sites.allegheny.edu/orientation/forms/

Please note that your performance on the Math Placement Exam will determine when you will be able to start Chemistry as students enrolling in CHEM 120.  Entry into CHEM 120 requires placement into MATH 160 via the Math Placement Exam.  Students with transfer credit will be advised accordingly.

If you have any questions about Placement Testing, please contact the Learning Commons staff at 814-332-2898, or send us an email at learningcommons@allegheny.edu.

 

LANGUAGE PLACEMENT INFORMATION

All entering students who have studied a foreign language prior to enrollment at Allegheny must take the language placement examination unless they qualify for an exemption.

Language placement tests are available for Chinese, French, German, Latin, and Spanish and can be found at Important Forms under the link “Foreign Language Placement Tests” beginning May 18.  A standardized test, it helps determine the level at which students should begin (or continue) language study by taking a snapshot of student ability at this point in time.  Its results can be used as a reference at any time during the students’ career at Allegheny.

Students exempt from taking the foreign language placement exams are those who have never studied a foreign language, or have had no significant exposure to a language other than English. Students with questions about the foreign language placement tests can contact the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at (814) 332-3354 or email rcampbell@allegheny.edu.

 

MATHEMATICS PLACEMENT INFORMATION

Mathematics Placement Exam Policy

All entering students are required to take the math placement exam, with the following exceptions:

  • students who transfer in college credit for Math 159 (Precalculus), 160 (Calculus I), 170 (Calculus II), or 210 (Calculus III);
  • students who score 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement AB calculus exam, and who report their score to Allegheny;
  • students who score 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement BC calculus exam, and who report their score to Allegheny;
  • students who score 3 on the Advanced Placement BC calculus exam with a 4 or 5 on the AB subscore of this exam, and who report their score to Allegheny.

Those students who are not required to take the math placement exam will consult with their summer entrance advisor about an appropriate math course. There will also be time during Fall Orientation for the student to consult with a member of the mathematics department about their math placement.

Mathematics Placement Categories

The mathematics placement exam determines a student’s readiness for Math 160, Calculus I. Based on the score on the mathematics placement exam, the student places into one of two categories:

  • Math 160 (Calculus I) or
  • Math 110/157/159.

Students who place into the first category are eligible to take Math 160 (Calculus I).

Students who place into the second category are eligible to take any of the following courses:

  • Math 110 (Elementary Mathematical Modeling)
  • Math 157 (Calculus I for Social/Life Sciences)
  • Math 159 (Pre-calculus).

For the second category, the course in which the student enrolls depends on the student’s background, confidence, and intended major and/or career:

 

STUDENT INTEREST RECOMMENDATION
Students considering (even if undecided) a major or minor in:

•        Mathematics

•        Physics

•        Chemistry

•        Biochemistry

•        Geology

•        Computer science

 

 

Fall: Math 159

 

Spring: Math 160

 

Students who need a calculus course (for example for Biology, Economics, or Pre-health professional studies) but who do  not need the more theoretical Math 160

 

 

Fall: Math 157

 

Spring: Math 158

 

 

Please note that students who begin in Math 159 must complete that course with a “C” or better before taking Math 160; students who begin in Math 157 must complete that course with a “C” or better before taking Math 158 (Calculus II for Social/Life Sciences).

Further information about all these courses can be found in the Allegheny College Academic Bulletin and in the “Guide to First Year Mathematics Courses” found on the Math Department Webpage http://sites.allegheny.edu/math/.

Taking the Mathematics Placement Exam

Beginning May 15, students can take the placement test online by clicking on the link found at our Important Forms page under the link “Math Placement Test”. The student then takes the test in compliance with the college’s Honor Code. This means that the student is expected to complete the test in the allotted time without outside assistance or resources of any kind and without the aid of a calculator. The results of the placement test will be displayed immediately after the test.

You must take the Math Placement Test on a computer or tablet device. Please do not try to take the Math Placement Test on a mobile phone.

Please note that students who do not place into Math 160 will not be permitted to enroll in Math 160.  Do the best you can, and follow the Honor Code restrictions above, so that you begin with the math course that is right for you.

The test is expected to take about 45 minutes. You will have 90 minutes to take the placement test once you have logged into the system. Please note that it is not possible to “pause” and complete the test at a later time. Only one attempt is permitted. As noted above, calculators are neither permitted nor necessary.

More about the Math Placement Exam

The Mathematics Placement Exam tests your readiness for college-level calculus. It consists of 30 questions covering algebra, pre-calculus, and trigonometry topics:

  • Geometry and measurement
  • Algebraic manipulation
  • Equations, inequalities, and factoring
  • Trigonometry
  • Functions and their notation, including linear, polynomial, rational, trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic functions
  • Graphs of functions
  • Word problems and modeling

 

CHEMISTRY INFORMATION

 Chemistry does not have a placement exam, but reminds all entering students to take the Math Placement Exam.  Any path that may include Chemistry is based on initial Math Placement.  Entry into CHEM 120 requires placement into MATH 160 via the Math Placement Exam.  Students with transfer credit will be advised accordingly.

Students who have obtained at least a 4 on the AP Chemistry exam (or at least a 5 on the IBE Chemistry exam) may start the Chemistry curriculum by taking CHEM 122. Students who have obtained a 5 on the AP Chemistry exam may start the Chemistry curriculum by taking CHEM 231 (Organic Chemistry I) in their first semester.

r information about placement into CHEM 120, CHEM 122, or CHEM 231, please contact Professor Alice Deckert (adeckert@allegheny.edu, 814-332-5329) until the end of August.  After August, please contact the department chair, P.J. Persichini (pj.persichini@allegheny.edu, 814-332-5359).

 

MUSIC PLACEMENT INFORMATION

 Students interested in taking courses in music should:

  • take the music diagnostic exam. See Music Diagnostic Test below.
  • audition for applied lesson courses. See Applied Music Lessons below.
  • audition for ensembles. See Ensembles below.

 

Applied Lessons:

Please contact the applicable instructor below:

  • Keyboard, Professor Douglas Jurs: djurs@allegheny.edu.
  • Brass & Percussion, Professor Lowell Hepler: lhepler@allegheny.edu
  • Voice, Professor James Niblock: jniblock@allegheny.edu
  • Strings, Professor Jennifer Dearden: jdearden@allegheny.edu
  • Woodwinds, Ms. Julie Hepler: juhepler@allegheny.edu
  • Guitar, Mr. Jim Froman: jfroman@allegheny.edu

Ensembles (Music 110 – 119) – You will need to audition.

  • For the Civic Orchestra (Music 110) – If you expressed to the department your interest in the orchestra program, you should have been notified of your assigned audition time sometime in August. If you do have not an audition time, contact Professor Jennifer Dearden jdearden@allegheny.edu) or see her on the first day of classes.
  • For the Wind Symphony/Wind Ensemble (Music 112, 113) – If you expressed to the department your interest in the symphonic band program, you should have been notified of your assigned audition time sometime in August. If you do have not an audition time, contact Professor Hepler (lhepler@allegheny.edu) or see him on the first day of classes.
  • For Jazz Band (Music 114) – Contact Professor Stephen Corsi (scorsi@allegheny.edu). If you have an audition time for Wind Symphony or Wind Ensemble you may sign up then.
  • For any of the five choirs (Music 115-119) – Contact Professor James Niblock (jniblock@allegheny.edu). Audition dates and times, which will be posted at the beginning of the semester, are usually during the first days of classes.

Music Diagnostic Test

 The Music Diagnostic Test is required for all students planning to take courses in music theory or music history, which are required for all majors and minors in music.

This online test serves as placement for music theory and music history.  It can take from 5 to 35 minutes depending on your previous knowledge.

Students who do not currently intend to major or minor in music, but have played an instrument or have sung for several years and wish to continue in applied lessons and/or ensembles: The Music Department suggests that you consider taking the music diagnostic exam. Knowing where you would need to begin the required series of courses in history and theory could be very helpful if later on you were to consider a major or minor in music.

If you have any questions about placement exams, please contact us at learningcommons@allegheny.edu or (814) 332-2898.