AP/IB Credit & Placement Tests
Some important information you and your advisor will use at SOAR to determine your semester's classes include UW System Placement tests, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate scores, and any college-level course work completed while in high school.
Placement tests are not intelligence tests! They are not a means to determine whether or not a student will be successful within a major here at UW–Madison. They are, however, a tool to assure that you are adequately prepared for success in a UW–Madison course. Placement tests exist for English, Mathematics, English as a Second Language, and Foreign Language. All entering freshmen need to complete their placement tests prior to SOAR. Information on testing locations can be found online. If you live in Wisconsin, the Twin Cities, or Chicagoland, you can take the free paper and pencil test or a computer based test. If you live somewhere else, you will need to complete a computer based test.
English: This exam is for native English speakers to determine a communications placement. Students can use this exam to fulfill the University's Communications Part A requirement.
Math: This exam is for all students to place them into a Mathematics course at UW–Madison. It will not place a student higher than Math 221 (Calculus I). The Math department offers an exam for students to receive credit by examination for Math 221 (Calculus I) and Math 222 (Calculus II) each term. Students should be advised to bring their own non-graphing calculator, as calculators may not be provided at the test site. Cell phones are not calculators!
Foreign Language: This is an optional exam for students. Exams are available for French, German, andSpanish. Students wanting language placement in any other language are encouraged to contact the academic department.
English as a Second Language (ESLAT): This is an exam for any non-native English speaker. The Office of Admissions and Recruitment determines whether a student needs to complete the ESLAT exam or the native English speakers exam.
Advanced Credit: AP and IB Exams
AP and IB exams can exempt students from particular courses or requirements here at UW–Madison. If you took an exam, make sure to let your advisor know this at SOAR. There are a couple of ways the exam credit is transferred to UW-Madison: direct credit for a course and elective credits.
- A student took the AP Psychology exam and received a 5 on the exam. The student would get direct credit for Psychology 202: Introduction to Psychology (3 credits). The student then would be able to take courses which require Psych 202 as a prerequisite course (i.e. the student could enroll into Abnormal Psychology or Cognitive Psychology).
- A student took the AP Calculus AB exam and received a 3 on the exam. This student would earn 3 credits of intermediate math electives, but would not place out of Math 221: Calculus I. The student, if wanting to continue on in mathematics, would use the Placement Test results to determine the appropriate math course.
A special note on the AP Biology exam:
Since UW-Madison offers three different introductory biology course sequences, all students earning AP credit will receive elective credit. Students with a score of a 4 or 5 on the AP Biology exam should consult with an advisor within their prospective major to determine how Advanced Credit may exempt them from some of their introductory biology sequence.