How important are these tests, and how will the results be used?
The outcome of your placement tests can impact how long it takes you to graduate. If you place into courses that are remedial in content, you will not be able to use the credit hours associated with these courses to count toward graduation. For example, if you place into Math 070 and are pursuing a major or career that requires calculus, your degree progress could be delayed two semesters or more. This delay could require you to finance an extra year of your education.
Placement tests are the first step in planning your course of study at UIC. You cannot register for classes until you complete the required tests for your Undergraduate College. These tests are designed to assess your present level of knowledge and skill in the various subject areas, and to place you into the appropriate beginning classes. There is no passing or failing grade, and these tests are not designed to measure your academic potential in any subject. The results will be used by you and your Academic Advisor to help plan your course of study at UIC.
Should I study for these tests?
It is to your benefit to spend some time preparing for your placement tests, particularly Math. Review the materials used in your high school or college classes in each specific test area. This is especially important if you have not studied one or more of the test areas in the past year. Refer to the Test Content and Timings section of this web site for details on each of the exams.
Also, the UIC Math department has a sample test you can take, to help you prepare for the Mathematics placement test.
Which tests should I take?
Most beginning freshmen are required to take the Math and Academic Writing tests. Some UIC Undergraduate Colleges also require tests in Chemistry and/or Foreign Languages. Look over the Testing Requirements and Testing Exemptions sections of this web site carefully, and if you still are not sure which tests you need, call your College office and ask to speak with an Academic Advisor. Do this well in advance of your test date so that you can plan accordingly.
For a listing of UIC Undergraduate Colleges, and to access their web sites, click here.
Do I need to take the Chemistry test, even if I've never taken a Chemistry class?
The Chemistry test is required for all students in the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Engineering . It is also required for any student wishing to enroll in a chemistry course, regardless of your College or major. The test is required for all students in these categories, even if you have never studied chemistry before -- there are a number of questions on the exam that can be answered by someone with no chemistry background whatsoever.
The only exemption from the Chemistry requirement is for students who have completed one full year of General Chemistry in college.
Do I have to take a Foreign Language test?
That depends on which language (if any) you plan to study at UIC, and what your background is with that language. Language requirements are set by the various UIC Undergraduate Colleges, and course pre-requisites are set by the different language departments.
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences requires all of its students to take four semesters of Foreign Language study in order to graduate. If you are in LAS, there's a good chance you'll need to take a Foreign Language placement test, but that depends on which language you'll choose to study at UIC.
International Business majors and Art History majors may also be required to take some foreign language classes in order to graduate. For many of these students, a foreign language placement test may also be required.
The best way to determine whether you are required to take a foreign language placement test is to consult the Language Advisor section of this web site.
** Note: the requirements for placement testing in Spanish
are somewhat different than those for other languages. **
Do my AP credits exempt me from any of the tests?
Advanced Placement (AP) credits and exam scores may very well come into play at the advising and course selection stage, so it's important to have your scores with you when you go to Orientation. Also, make sure the UIC Office of Admission and Records (OAR) gets current copies of all your scores so that they can update your student file. But AP scores per se have no bearing on placement testing requirements.
How long will the testing take?
This depends on how many tests you're taking. Each test is one hour, plus 10-20 minutes for paperwork and instructions. See the Testing Day section of this web site for more details.
What if I can't make it to the testing on my assigned date?
Do your best to get to the testing on your assigned date, because by the time you receive your testing date, later dates are already filling up, and if you miss your first date, you may have to wait a while before you can get another date. Also, since you cannot register for classes until you have taken your placement tests, and because the more popular classes fill up early, it is to your advantage to take all your placement tests at the earliest possible date. Conflicts with religious observance, illness, and family emergencies are the only acceptable reasons for rescheduling a test date, but if you absolutely cannot attend your assigned date, call (312) 996-0919 as soon as possible to arrange for a new test date.