English, Math, and Foreign Language Placement Tests

English, Math, and Foreign Language Placement Tests

The faculty of the Arts and Sciences Program looks forward to getting to know you this coming semester.  The purpose of this letter is to encourage you to prepare for the placement tests you will be given in English, Mathematics and Foreign Languages.

The best preparation for the reading and writing test is to practice these skills during the summer.  Read the newspaper or a news magazine at least once a week and consider writing a journal or a blog. Depending on individual SAT scores, some students must take the test while others do not.  Those not required to do so are pre-placed into LL 131 (English Composition), but may volunteer to take the test.  Of those who take the placement test, a small number might be excused from the LL 131 requirement; most will be placed into LL 131, and others (but NOT “volunteers”) will be placed into College Reading and Writing. 

If you have had French, Italian or German before, you should take the appropriate placement test. Two years of high school foreign language study ought to place you out of at least one college semester of foreign language. Review of course materials and practice in speaking and listening to the language are good preparatory skills.

The mathematics placement test requires that you demonstrate a high school level proficiency and are placed in the non-credit bearing math course that is offered only in the spring semester at 8:00 a.m. A practice sheet is included for your review. Note that if you are accustomed to completing math equations with a calculator, you will want to practice doing them without one – no calculators allowed during the placement test!   Download sample questions (PDF).

We urge you to take charge of your own lives and use part of your summer to keep the rust out of your reading, writing, foreign language and math skills. A little effort during the coming months can save you from one or more remedial courses during your first Westminster year.


Foreign Language Placement Examination in French, Italian, German

This placement exam in foreign language courses is strongly recommended for those undergraduate students who have studied French, German or Italian at the high school level and would like to place at an advanced level of their language requirement. Graduate students in Voice Pedagogy and Performance are exempt from taking this examination if they submit transcripts indicating two semesters each of college-level study in French, Italian or German with minimum grades of “C”.  Graduate students in Piano Accompanying and Coaching are exempt from taking this examination if they submit transcripts indicating two semesters each of college-level study in French and German.  Students may not use a dictionary for any examination.  International students may use an English/native language dictionary.  Please bring a #2 pencil to the exam.

For further information about these exams contact:

Marjory Klein, Academic Coordinator