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Placement Exams

Entering students are provided the opportunity to obtain accurate placement in the various levels of introductory courses at Smith College. If you are planning to take courses in any of the following areas and have prior knowledge of the subject matter, you should plan to take the placement test or consult with department representatives as instructed below.

Students should follow instructions carefully and work out their own schedules of examinations. They are requested to start and finish as early as possible. At least one hour should be allowed for each written examination. Students who cannot take all the examinations they wish because of conflicts in the schedule should consult the registrar.

Placement tests at Smith College are conducted under the academic honor system. It is understood that these examinations will not be discussed in any way, even among students who have already taken them, until the close of the testing period.

Students with Disabilities

If you require accommodations for test taking due to a documented disability, please contact the Disability Services at (413) 585–2071 two weeks in advance to make arrangements.

Art History

There is no placement examination in art history.

Studio Art

Monday, September 1, from 1 to 3 p.m.
Hillyer 204

STUDIO ART ARS163 portfolio reviews -- Those wishing a portfolio review for possible exemption from ARS163 Drawing I should sign up in the Art Office in Hillyer prior to 1 p.m. Ten-minute interviews will be held on Monday, September 1, 2014 between 1 and 3 p.m. The reviews will be held in Hllyer, Room 204. Students should bring a diverse sampling of 12-15 pieces. We will attempt to make an informed evaluation however this should be seen as an advising session. Students should note that very few exceptions from Drawing I are given.


The Department of Biological Sciences does not give placement examinations. Exemption from BIO 150, 152, or 154 may be granted on the basis of Advanced Placement credit. Students should discuss their options and appropriate course selections with a departmental representative during conversations.


Monday, September 1, from 1 to 4 p.m.
Ford Hall 311

Students interesed in the Advanced General Chemistry course (CHM 118) should consult with a member of the department at Conversations or Mr. Linck will be available for consultation on September 1 in Ford Hall, room 311, between 1 and 4 p.m.

East Asian Languages

Chinese: Complete on-line portion of exam between August 1-29, 2014.
Oral and Written Exam-Monday, September 1, from 1 to 2p.m.
Seelye 301 and 304

Japanese: Monday, September 1, from 1 to 2p.m.
Seelye 301 and 308

Korean: Monday, September 1, from 1 to 2p.m.
Seelye 301 and 310

Placement tests for Japanese, Chinese and Korean: A written test and brief oral interview are mandatory for all entering students who have had some informal or formal training in any of these languages before coming to Smith.


Monday, September 1, from 1 to 2p.m., 2 to 3p.m., or 3 to 4p.m.
Seelye First Floor

Introductory economics at Smith College consists of two one–semester courses: ECO150 (Introductory Microeconomics) and ECO153 (Introductory Macroeconomics). Students may place out of either or both of these courses in one of three ways:

  1. Passing the placement exam
  2. Receiving a grade of 4 or 5 on the corresponding AP exam
  3. Receiving IB or A–level credit

All students who wish to place out, however, are encouraged to take the placement exams to ensure correct placement.


Monday, September 1, from 1 to 2p.m. or 2 to 3p.m.
McConnell Hall B15

A one–hour examination designed to test a student's proficiency in understanding spoken French as well as in reading and writing. Students who have taken at least one year of French but who have not taken the ETS French Achievement or Advanced Placement tests should take this exam*. Students who have taken the ETS Achievement and/or Advanced Placement tests will find among the materials provided to their adviser's recommended placement in language or literature courses based on their scores.

*Even if you have taken these tests, we encourage all students to take our placement test, as it will place you more accuratelly in our courses.


Monday, September 1 from 1 to 2p.m. or 2 to 3p.m.
Wright Hall 237

Students with previous knowledge of German are required to take the placement exam if they wish to pursue the study of German language, literature, and culture. The exam, which consists partly of multiple-choice and partly of short-answer questions, will be offered during the orientation period. Students may choose to take it during either of the first two time-slots allotted for placement tests.


Monday, September 1 from 1 to 2p.m., or 2 to 3p.m.
Seelye First Floor

This test is open to all students who have had preparatory training in the language. Students who took the Italian AP exam need to take the placement as well, no matter what their AP score. The examination consists of a forty-minute written part to be taken at 1pm or 2pm. Students must then take the completed written examination to Hatfield Hall, room 310 (x3477) where members of the Italian Department will conduct a ten-minute interview in Italian between 1:45pm and 3:45pm.


Monday, September 1, from 3 to 4p.m.
Hatfield 105

A one–hour placement examination should be taken by students with two, three or four years of secondary school preparation. The department also considers scores of 4 and 5 on Advanced Placement examinations as grounds for advanced placement in courses.

Mathematics & Statistics

Monday, September 1, from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m.
Weinstein Auditorium (Wright Hall)

A placement tool for calculus is available on the Moodle site for new students. There is no scheduled placement test. Each student is responsible for choosing her own courses in consultation with mathematics and statistics faculty and with the help of the placement tool available on the Moodle site for new students. We also urge students to attend the math meeting during orientation week, Monday, September 1 at 8:00am, Weinstein Auditorium in Wright Hall. Ada Comstock Scholars and other students with additional questions are encouraged to seek out department members at the Conversations or in our office on the third floor of Burton Hall.


Monday, September 1, from 2 to 3p.m. or 3 to 4p.m.
Sage 215

Students considering Music 110 should take the music theory placement test. Please note that students cannot register for Music 110 without taking this test. It will assess familiarity with key and time signatures, standard pitch and rhythmic notation, and intervals. It will not be more than 45 minutes in length.

Auditions for placement in instrument or voice lessons for credit are held before the first day of classes. Students may sign up for an audition time in the music office in Sage Hall.


Monday, September 1, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
McConnell Lobby

There is no placement examination in Physics. Students interested in placement into an advanced course should consult with a member of the department. Departmental representatives will be available for consultation during Convsersations and also during the Physics Fest held September 1 from 1 to 3p.m. in the McConnell Lobby.


Consult with department representatives at Conversations.


Complete on-line exam by August 22, 2014

An on-line placement examination to test the student's command of the language. All students who have had previous training in the language or have lived in a Spanish-speaking country and wish to continue the study of Spanish language and literature are required to take it.