Placement Exams

professor at a chalkboard

Placement and assessment exams are hosted online during the summer from June 1-July 31. The requirement or need for you to take any placement exams are dependent on the school of your major. You have seen a bit of info on page 22 of Purple Prep about the summer exams, but you can find more information below.

Placement & Assessment Exams Guide

We have put together some guides that we think may be helpful in breaking down summer exams for you. These guides expand a bit more on what you saw in Purple Prep and in the June 6 issue of March to the Arch. If you aren't sure which exams apply to you, take a look at the guide we put together for your major's school; if you are dual degree, you'll need to look at guides for both schools. 

Guides for students with a major in:

Chemistry Entrance Exam

This entrance exam is required for all students who plan to take any chemistry course at Northwestern, including students with AP Chemistry credit, by July 31. Every student received access to this exam within their Canvas account which then prompted an email to your Northwestern account. Recieving access and the email does not mean you must take the Chemistry Entrance Exam, but simply allows you access if you need to take it.

This exam can be found when logging into Canvas, under the courses section. For more information on the entrance exam, visit the Chemistry website.

Language Placement Exam

If you previously studied a language, visit the department website for that language to determine whether you need to take an exam or how AP/IB scores count. Access the online language placement exams to complete by July 31. 

*You will take this exam during Wildcat Welcome, not online during the summer

View Weinberg's language requirement webpage for more information (applicable for all Northwestern students).

Math Self-Placement Exam

Strongly recommended for nonengineering students who studied calculus in high school but did not take an AP or IB exam. Your self-placement exam score will help determine whether you should register for MATH 220 Differential Calculus of One-Variable Functions or for MATH 224 Integral Calculus. For more information and the link to the exam, visit the Department of Mathematics website.

Physics Placement Exam


This exam is only offered on campus during Wildcat Welcome on September 12. Questions can be directed to

McCormick Exams

For engineering students, you must take the McCormick math placement exam (Dossier), the McCormick phsyics assessment (Dossier), and the chemistry exam (above). For more information, and to access your McCormick Dossier, visit the engineering website