During Orientation you will take placement exams in Chemistry and Language. You should have taken your Math and completed your Writing Directed Self-Placement exams before you come to campus. It’s important that you take the placement exams and try and do as well as possible. In some cases, doing well on the UM Placement Exam will exempt you from a course or a requirement or give you the opportunity to earn additional credits.
The Chemistry Placement Exam will either recommend that you start with Chemistry 130 (General Chemistry) or Chemistry 210 (Organic Chemistry). Your placement is determined not only by your Chemistry Exam score but also your Math placement and your SAT or ACT Math scores. The majority of students are recommended for Chem 130. Lecture section 400 of Chem 130 is a smaller lecture section with an extra hour of class designed for students who might be coming with a little less preparation. LSA does not require Chemistry. Credit is not granted for the Chemistry Placement Exam. Your advisor will discuss your Chemistry placement with you at orientation. Note:Chemistry 125/126 is the lab class that goes with Chem 130. It is recommended but not required that these general Chemistry classes be taken together. Chemistry 211 is the lab class that goes with Chem 210. You should enroll in both the lecture and the lab for Organic Chemistry.
The Mathematics Placement Test will either recommend that you start with Math 105 (Data, Functions, and Graphs) or a Calculus class which is most often Math 115 (Calculus 1). Your placement is determined not only by your Math Exam score but also your SAT or ACT math scores and your high school grade point average. Math 105 is a preparatory class for UM Calculus. You may be strongly recommended for Math 105 or tentatively recommended. If you are recommended for Math 105, your chances of success in Calculus without taking Math 105 are poor. You may also be strongly recommended for Math 115 or tentatively recommended. In all cases, a Math advisor will be available during Orientation for consultation. If you have AP credit for Calculus you may want to consider taking honors math or a different course in the Calculus series. LSA does not require a Math class. Credit is not granted for the Math Placement Exam.
If you have previously studied a foreign language and wish to continue studying it at U-M, then you must take a placement exam. Many language placement exams are given online, and should be taken before you come to orientation. If you know a language other than these, ask your advisor about taking a placement exam in the fall. The language placement exams will advise you to take a certain level of language. You must follow this placement unless you and your advisor have determined otherwise. It is possible to place past the fourth semester of language and thus place out of the LSA foreign language requirement. Please take this test seriously and make sure that you complete the entire test. Credit is not granted for the language placement exam.
Most placement tests are taken using the Canvas learning management system. Those who have used Canvas before should find the test format quite familiar. If you have not used Canvas before, the BlueCorps technology coaches can meet with you online or on campus, introduce you to the system, and walk you through what a test looks like in Canvas before you take your placement test. Hours and contact information are available on the BlueCorps homepage. Let them know you're preparing for a placement test when you drop in, or when you email to schedule an appointment!
Directed Self-Placement for Writing
To help students choose their first writing course at the University, the Sweetland Center for Writing provides the First-Year and Transfer Directed Self-Placements for Writing.
First-year students are asked to complete the First-Year Directed Self-Placement for Writing (FY DSP) at least five business days before their Orientation. The FY DSP asks you to read an article of about 8 pages, write a 1200-1500 word essay in response to a prompt based on that article, and answer 10 follow-up multiple choice questions about your writing experiences. When you meet with your advisor during Orientation, you will consider your experience completing the FY DSP, as well as your prior writing experiences, and choose a writing course that will enable you to become more proficient and confident in academic writing. Once you have registered for your first writing course, your course instructor will read your DSP essay to familiarize him- or herself with your writing. For students who seek a more individualized and gradual introduction to college writing, the Sweetland Center for Writing offers two separate transition courses that may be taken prior to a First-Year Writing Requirement course: Writing 100: Transition to College Writing and Writing 120: College Writing for Multilingual Students.
Transfer students who have taken writing courses at another college or university may be able to use these courses to satisfy the First-Year Writing Requirement. Visit Sweetland’s Transfer Courses website for information about approved and non-approved transfer courses and the petition process to have your course considered for transfer credit.
If you have satisfied the First-Year Writing Requirement, Sweetland asks you to complete the Transfer Student Directed Self-Placement for Writing (Transfer DSP) at least five business days before your Orientation. The Transfer DSP asks you to choose the area you plan to study (Humanities, Natural Sciences, or Social Sciences), read a typical upper-level assignment in the general area you chose and a student paper in response to that assignment, write and submit three short responses (6-10 sentences each) about the assignment and the student paper that you read, and answer 11 follow-up multiple choice questions about your writing experiences.
This is not a test. Rather, the Transfer DSP is designed to give you insight into the kind of writing expected of upper-division undergraduates at the University of Michigan. You will make the decision about the writing courses you take, along with input from the Sweetland Center for Writing and your academic advisor, but the Transfer DSP will help you judge your own readiness for and comfort with upper-level writing to assist you in that decision. The Sweetland Center for Writing offers a range of courses that support transfer student writing, including Writing 350 and two courses specifically for multilingual and international students, Writing 240 and Writing 340.
If you have not satisfied the First-Year Writing Requirement, Sweetland asks you to complete the First-Year Directed Self-Placement for Writing (FY DSP) at least five business days before your Orientation.
AP and IB Credit
It is important to discuss your AP exams with your Academic Advisor during Summer Orientation. In some cases, credits can be earned only upon completion of additional course work or following a conversation with a Concentration Advisor. AP scores and credit policies are subject to change with changes in university policies. For the most up-to-date AP and IB information, visit the Office of Undergraduate Admissions website.