U-M requires and recommends several placement exams. Most of these can be taken online prior to Orientation. It’s important that you take placement exams and try to do as well as possible, but know that the results don’t impact your GPA and are not reported on your transcript. In some cases, doing well on the U-M Placement Exam will exempt you from a course or a requirement, or give you the opportunity to earn additional credits.
The Office of New Student Programs website will give you information about how, where, and why to take exams. This page will help you understand the results of these exams. During Orientation, an advisor can also help you understand your exam results.
Chemistry Placement Exam results will suggest that you start with either CHEM 130 (General Chemistry) or CHEM 210 (Organic Chemistry). The majority of students are recommended to start with CHEM 130.
- CHEM 125/126 is the lab that goes with CHEM 130. It is strongly recommended, but not required, that these classes be taken together.
- CHEM 211 is the lab that goes with CHEM 210. It is strongly recommended, but not required, that these classes be taken together.
- Your placement is determined by your Chemistry Exam score, your Math placement score, and your SAT or ACT Math scores.
- LSA does not require Chemistry for either skills or distribution requirements and credit is not granted for the Chemistry Placement Exam.
The Mathematics Placement Exam results will suggest that you start with either MATH 105 (Data, Functions, and Graphs) or it will say you’re ready for “Calculus or beyond.”
- The U-M Math Department has excellent information on their website about exam results. Please use that information to learn more.
- LSA does not require a math class for either skills or distribution requirements and credit is not granted for the Math Placement Exam.
- The language placement exams will advise you to take a certain level of language. You must follow this placement unless you discuss an exception with a language department advisor.
- It is possible to place past the fourth semester of language and thus meet LSA foreign language requirement, though some departments may require additional testing or validation.
UWrite: First-Year Writing Self-Placement
UWrite is intended to guide you in choosing a First Year Writing course at the University that fits your interests and needs.
Before you meet with advisors during Orientation, you are expected to use UWrite to choose several writing courses that appeal to you. Plan to fulfill the First-Year Writing Requirement (FYWR) in one of your first three terms. If you seek a more individualized and gradual introduction to college writing, the Sweetland Center for Writing offers two separate transitional courses that may be taken prior to a First-Year Writing Requirement course. Students typically take one or the other of these courses, not both of them.
If you are a transfer student and have taken writing courses at another college or university, you may be able to use these courses to satisfy the FYWR.
- Advanced Placement (AP), Creative Writing, and Journalism courses do not fulfill the FYWR.
- You must have received a grade of C or better for transfer eligibility.
- Visit Sweetland’s Transfer Courses website for lists of approved and non-approved transfer courses as well as the petition process to have course(s) that are not on one of the lists considered for FYWR transfer credit. The FYWR must be successfully completed before students enroll in the Upper-Level Writing Requirement.
- If you have not satisfied the First-Year Writing Requirement, please complete UWrite at least two weeks before your Orientation.
The Sweetland Center for Writing offers a range of courses to support transfer students’ writing skills. Both courses offer individualized support as you transition to U-M.
- WRITING 350 - This course meant to be taken concurrently with an Upper-Level Writing Requirement course.
- WRITING 229 - This course may be taken concurrently with a FYWR or other writing-intensive course.
AP, IB, and other Test Credit
It is important to discuss your AP and IB exams (or any other test credit you may have) with your general advisor during Orientation, as it may impact which classes you should take.
- AP/IB 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 and the LSA website.