Exam Results and Advising

Once you have finished the exams and the system has processed the results, a report will be generated in the student information system (my.harvard.edu). These reports will be available on July 15th in order to allow you to review, meet with advisors, and think about your choices before the course registration deadline. The report will include recommendations for Math, Expository Writing, Life Sciences, and some of the languages.  All other course recommendations will be emailed drectly to your College email account.

Harvard fact: At the beginning of every semester students will have time to review course websites, look through course syllabi for an outline of assignments and materials to be covered, attend course information sessions, and communicate with instructors. This time in the academic year is often referred to as the Course Preview or shopping period.

Where are results and placement recommendations posted?

Where to look:

Reports can be found by visiting the “Reports and Documents” section in my.harvard.edu.

The report will include:

  1. A list of recommended courses
  2. Scores for the Harvard placement exams you took
  3. Scores for exams you took before entering Harvard (AP, IB, SAT II)

Advising for Specific Placement Exams

Biology and Chemistry

When considering your Life Sciences and Physical Sciences course recommendations you may find it helpful to consult the Life Sciences Advising Guide and the Engineering Guidebook. If you would like specific information about a particular field, you may wish to consult with an advisor in that area.

If your recommendation includes a list of various courses and you wonder how to choose

You might want to consider the following to help guide your decision:

The placement report recommends a Life Sciences, Chemistry, and Physical Sciences course. How do I find out what these are and which to take?

Where to look:

Biology, Life Sciences--Monique Brewster mbrewst@fas.harvard.edu

Biology, Life Sciences--Dominic Mao dominicmao@fas.harvard.edu

Chemistry, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences--Gregg Tucci tucci@fas.harvard.edu

I think I might be interested in pursuing a concentration or secondary field in the Life Sciences or Physical Sciences?

Where to look:

  • Visit the Advising Programs Office website and take a look at the Exploring Concentrations area. The gateway courses listed in each concentration will be helpful to consult.
  • Visit my.harvard.edu and use the “Search my Requirements” and “What if” tools to gather information about which courses would be included in the concentrations you think you might be interested in.

Harvard fact:

At many institutions, a student’s area of focus is called a major. At Harvard this area of focus is called a concentration.  In addition, students at Harvard may also chose to pursue a minor field of study, or secondary field.  For details about concentrations or secondary fields students should consult Fields of Concentration in the Handbook for Students.

Languages

Some languages will email students directly with their recommendations, while others will include recommendations on the placement exam report in the student information system (my.harvard.edu).  To help you understand and use these recommendation you can begin by consulting the resources posted on the Advising Programs Office website, reach out to individual language programs with specific questions, or attend one of the virtual events hosted by a range of language programs in August.

Included in the Placement Exam Report—Classics (Ancient Greek and Latin), French, German, Italian, and Spanish.

Recommendations Sent by Email—All other languages will send course recommendations directly to your email.

Language Advising Events—In late August language programs will host virtual events for students interested in studying a language. You will be able to meet with language program instructors, ask questions about your placement exams results, and discuss which language courses to take.

How do I find information about the language courses that have been recommended?

Where to look:

  • Search the course catalog directly by visiting my.harvard.edu
  • Visit language program websites directly. You will find materials offering an overview of courses or suggestions about where to look.
  • Reach out to an advisor in one of these languages to ask question and seek advice. For a list of contacts for these programs, navigate to the “Contact & Support” page.

Can I take a lower level language course than was recommended on the placement exam report?

Where to look:

For this kind of question, you will want to reach out directly to an adviser in the language you are interested in exploring. For a list of contacts for each language program, navigate to the “Contact & Support” page.

I think I might want to pursue a concentration, secondary field, or citation in a particular language. What courses should I take?

Where to look:

  • Visit the Advising Programs Office website and consult the decision tree specific to the languages.
  • Visit the Advising Programs Office website and take a look at the Exploring Concentrations area. Gateway courses listed in each concentration can help you think about where to start.
  • Visit my.harvard.edu and use the “Search my Requirements” and “What if” tools to gather information about which courses would be included in the concentrations you think you might be interested in.
  • Reach out to an advisor in one of these languages to ask question and seek advice. For a list of contacts for each language program, navigate to the “Contact & Support” page

Harvard fact:

At many institutions, a student’s area of focus is called a major. At Harvard this area of focus is called a concentration.  In addition, students at Harvard may also chose to pursue a minor field of study, or secondary field.  Students will also have the option of completing a language citation, which consists of four language courses beyond the first-year level. For details about concentrations, secondary fields, or language citation, students should consult Fields of Concentration in the Handbook for Students.

Math

The placement exam report will include course level recommendations. At the end of the report you will also find the raw scores for each part of the exam you completed. The detailed scores can be helpful to use when consulting a Math advisor during the course selection period. Math Advisors will be available beginning August 16th, 2021.

You will see one of the following recommendations based on the results of the exam:

1.     Math Ma/Qa (determined by the results of Part I of the exam)

2.     Math 1a (determined by the results of Part I and Part II)

3.     Math 1b (determined by the results of all three parts of the exam)

4.     A list of all courses beyond single variable calculus

I think I might be interested in pursuing a concentration or secondary field that includes a math requirement. What I should think about when choosing courses?

Where to look:

  1. Visit the Advising Programs Office website and consult the decision tree specific to mathematics.
  2. Visit the Advising Programs Office website and take a look at the Exploring Concentrations area. The gateway courses listed in each concentration will be helpful to consult.
  3. Visit my.harvard.edu and use the “Search my Requirements” and “What if” tools to gather information about which courses would be included in the concentrations you think you might be interested in.

Harvard fact:

At many institutions, a student’s area of focus is called a major. At Harvard this area of focus is called a concentration.  In addition, students at Harvard may also chose to pursue a minor field of study, or secondary field.  For details about concentrations or secondary fields students should consult Fields of Concentration in the Handbook for Students.

The placement report recommends that I can choose from a range of multivariable calculus courses or theory-based courses.  How do I find out what these are and which to take?

Where to look:

  1. Visit the Math Department website for an overview of courses and guidance about what to consider when making a choice
  2. Consult the list of introductory courses
  3. Attend the Math Department event “Shall I take Math 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 50 or AM22?” on August 9, 2021 from 6:30-8:00pm (EDT), details will be posted in the Harvard College events calendar
  4. Make an appointment to talk with a Math Advisor. Advisors will be available beginning August 16th.

What if I want to take a mathematics course that is not included in the list of recommended courses on my placement report in my.harvard.edu?

If you think you’d like to take a course that was not included in the list of recommended courses, you will want to consult with an advisor in the Math Department directly.  Advisors will be available beginning August 16, 2021.

Music

Results of the music theory exam will be emailed directly to students before the beginning of the course registration period. The results of this exam will help determine which music theory you are best suited to start with. After taking this exam you will receive an email directly from the Music Department detailing your course recommendation.

How do I find information about the music courses that have been recommended?

Where to look:

I think I might be interested in pursuing a concentration or secondary field in music. Which of the recommended courses should I take?

Where to look:

  • Visit the Advising Programs Office website and take a look at the Exploring Concentrations area. The gateway courses listed in each concentration will be helpful to consult.
  • Visit my.harvard.edu and use the “Search my Requirements” and “What if” tools to gather information about which courses would be included in the concentrations you think you might be interested in.
  • Reach out to Professor Joseph Jakubowski at joseph_jakubowski@fas.harvard.edu with any particular questions about your recommendation

Harvard fact:

At many institutions, a student’s area of focus is called a major. At Harvard this area of focus is called a concentration.  In addition, students at Harvard may also choose to pursue a minor field of study, or secondary field.  For details about concentrations or secondary fields students should consult Fields of Concentration in the Handbook for Students.

Writing

The results of this exam will help determine which Expos course you are best suited to start with. The Placement Exam Report will include a course level recommendation for either Expos 20 or Expos Studio 10.

Harvard Fact:

Courses taught by the Harvard College Writing Program are called “Expos” courses (Expos 20, Expos Studio 10, and Expos Studio 20). All first-year students will meet the expository writing requirement by taking either an Expos 20-level course, or by taking the year-long course Humanities 10a/b.

How do I find information about the Expos course that has been recommended?

Where to look:

  • The Writing Program website will have the most complete description of both Expos 20 and Expos Studio 10, how they differ, and how to think about which one might be right for you. All students who are recommended for Expos Studio 10 will meet with a Writing Program faculty member in August to discuss the recommendation.
  • Contact the Writing Program at expos@fas.harvard.edu with any general questions about Expos courses.

Can I take a different Expos course than the one recommended on the Placement Exam Report?

Where to look:

  • The Expository Writing course included on the placement report is a recommendation; ultimately the choice of which course to begin with is yours to make, informed by advising from the Writing Program.
  • Advising for all students recommended for Expos Studio 10 will begin in August, after students have received Expos placement recommendations. If you are interested in the course but have not been recommended for it, please sign up to talk with an Expos Studio 10 adviser by emailing expos@fas.harvard.edu.