Placement Tests

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 at allegheny.edu/orientationforms

Please note that your performance on the mathematics placement exam will determine when you will be able to start chemistry as a student in CHEM 120. Entry into CHEM 120 requires placement into MATH 160 via the mathematics 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 learningcommons@allegheny.edu.

Mathematics

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 Welcome Weekend for the student to consult with a member of the Mathematics Department about their math placement.

Further information about mathematics placement and courses can be found in the Allegheny College Academic Bulletin and in the “Guide to First Year Mathematics Courses” found on the Mathematics Department website.

Chemistry

Chemistry does not have a placement exam, but all entering students should 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 Advanced Placement 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 Advanced Placement chemistry exam may start the chemistry curriculum by taking CHEM 231 (Organic Chemistry I) in their first semester.

For further information about placement into CHEM 120, CHEM 122, or CHEM 231, please contact the department chair, Professor P.J. Persichini, at pj.persichini@allegheny.edu or (814) 332-5359.


Foreign Languages

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; follow the link for “Foreign Language Placement Exams” beginning April 16. This standardized test 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 a student’s 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 exams can contact the Modern and Classical Languages Department at (814) 332-3354 or rcampbell@allegheny.edu.

Music

Students interested in taking courses in music should:

  • Take the online music diagnostic exam
  • Audition for applied lesson courses
  • Audition for ensembles

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 five 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.

Further information about music placement, applied lesson courses, and ensembles can be found in the Allegheny College Academic Bulletin and on the Music Department website.


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