Exam Schedule

All incoming first-year students and transfer students are required to take the writing and math exams. Optional and recommended exams in Biology and Chemistry, Languages, and Music are available to students who are planning to take courses in these fields.  Incoming first year and transfer students do not need to register to take the placement exams. 

Upper-level students in their second, third, or fourth year may register to take a Language exam. Upper-level and graduate students interested in taking a language placmement exam should review the relevant information. 

Writing & Math

June 2 – June 15

Required Exams

View Details

Biology & Chemistry

June 21 – August 10

Optional Exams

View Details

Languages & Music

June 21 – August 24 (French, German, Italian, and Spanish)

For music and all other language exam dates check the Contacts and Placement Exam Information by viewing details.

Optional Exams

View Details

These exams are meant to provide students with recommendations for the most appropriate level of math, writing, language, music theory, and science courses to begin with. There is no need to study for these exams.

Exam Timing and Length

Students should plan ahead to make sure they have sufficient time to complete the exams. The length of each exam varies according to subject area.

  • Writing (required): Students will be given 24 hours to read a source focusing on a particular topic and write an argumentative essay in response to that reading. The exam should take 2-3 hours; students have the full 24 hours to draft and revise.  In order to have the full 24 hours exam takers should begin the exam atleast 24 hours before the exam closes at 11:59pm on the last day of your exam period. If the essay is not submitted by that time access to the exam is closed. 
  • Math (required): This exam consists of three 30-minute parts (maximum of 90 minutes), to be taken consecutively without a break in between each section. Do not close the exam before you are finished.
  • Biology & Chemistry (optional): These exams are each 90 minutes.
  • Music (optional): The timing of this exam varies. For further information contact musicdpt@fas.harvard.edu.​​​​
  • Languages (optional): Depending on the language, these exams range from 90 minutes to 3 hours.

 

Rescheduling the Writing and Math Exams

Students are expected to take the Writing and Math exams during the exam period (June 2 – June 15). In exceptional circumstances, students with legitimate unavoidable conflicts may receive extensions. To petition for an alternative period, please go to the Online Placement Exam Registration (OPER) application. The OPER application will open in mid-May.

Required: Writing and Math

Exam Date Open Date Closed Link to Exam
Writing: In order to have the full 24 hours to complete the exam begin at least 24 hours before the 11:59pm close time of the exam. Students will not have access to the exam after this time.  June 2, 2022 June 15, 2022

Access the Writing Exam

Math:  The three parts are meant to be completed without a break. Do not close the exam before you are finished.

June 2, 2022 June 15, 2022

Access the Math Exam

Make-up Exams June 22, 2022 June 28, 2022

 Access the Writing Exam

 Access the Math Exam

Optional: Biology & Chemistry

Exam Date Open Date Closed Link to Exam
Biology June 21, 2022 August 10, 2022

Access the Biology Exam

Chemistry June 21, 2022 August 10, 2022

Access the Chemistry Exam

 

Optional: Languages & Music

Languages Contacts and Placement Exam Information

African Languages

African Languages

The African Languages Department offers several languages such as: Afrikaans, Gullah, Haitian Creole, Shona, Somali, Sudanese Arabic, Swahili, Twi, Zulu and many more.  For up to date exam information including dates and contact information visit the department's placement exam page.   For general information consult the Department of African Languages website

For information not available on the website or if interested in a placement exam contact the African Language Program Manager Dr. Bojana Coulibaly, bojana_coulibaly@fas.harvard.edu.

American Sign Language

 

American Sign Language 

Students who wish to take the ASL placement exam should schedule a meeting with Andrew Bottoms at andrew_bottoms@fas.harvard.edu.  In advance of the meeting students should provide a short video of themselves signing a topic of their choice.  Videos must be submitted by August 15.  

If you have questions about the placement exam or about information not available on the website, please contact the Head of ASL courses, Kathryn Davidson at kathryndavidson@fas.harvard.edu or Linguistics Preceptor, Andrew Bottoms at andrew_bottoms@fas.harvard.edu.  
 
For general information, consult the Department of Linguistics website.  

 

Celtic Languages

For general information consult the Department of Celtic Languages website

Contact Mary Violette, Department Administrator violette@fas.harvard.edu for information about placement exams and any information not found on the website.

Chinese

 

East Asian Languages 

The East Asian Languages Department offers language exams in Chinese, Classical/Literary Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese.  All information regarding registration and exam dates can be found on the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations website.  Information will be updated as it becomes available.  If you have questions, contact Rebecca Mahoney at eal@fas.harvard.edu.

Chinese Placement Exam

Test Date:

Friday, August 19

1:30 pm - 3:30 pm ET Written Test (composition; grammar & reading)

3:30 pm - 5:30 pm ET Oral Test (you will be assigned a 5-minute test slot between 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm. A Zoom link with your assigned slot will be sent to you through email)

  

 

Chinese (Literary/Classical)

Online placement exams in literary/classical Chinese are available June 21-August 24, 2022.

For information about literary/classical Chinese at Harvard and the placement exams for first- and second-year courses, please visit the Literary and Classical Chinese Language Program website.

To make arrangements for a placement exam in literary/classical Chinese, e-mail David Sena, Preceptor in Literary Chinese (dsena@fas.harvard.edu). Please provide your name and year of study, and describe your prior study of literary or classical Chinese. Indicate whether you intend to take the first- or the second-year exam (see program website for details about this). Please also specify what time zone you will be located in when you take the exam.

 

 

The Classics

The Classics 

Placement exams for Latin and ancient Greek will be available on Tuesday, August 9, from 10am until 10pm eastern.   

Please visit the Department of Classics website for general information and how to access the exam.  

The modern Greek placement exam will be available by request.  Please contact Dr. Calliope Dourou at dourou@fas.harvard.edu to request an exam.   

For questions about courses or placement exams contact the advisor listed below. 

Advising contacts:  

Greek (Ancient): Dr. Ivy Livingston livings@g.harvard.edu  

Greek (Modern): Dr. Calliope Dourou dourou@fas.harvard.edu  

Latin: Dr. Ivy Livingston livings@g.harvard.edu 

 

French

The French exam is one of four languages that uses the Harvard Placement Exam platform and is available June 21-August 24.   To access the exam visit https://onlineplacement.fas.harvard.edu.

Upperclass students and graduate students must register for this exam by first going to the Online Placement Exams Registration application.  Please note that it may take up to two business days to access the exam once you've registered and the exam is open.

It is strongly recommended you visit the Language Placement Exam page for information on how to get your results, eligibility, and using the exam to fulfill the language requirement.

If you have questions about courses, please be in touch with one of the language advisors listed on the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures website.

For technical issues, contact: ithelp@harvard.edu | (617) 495-9000

If your computer freezes or crashes while taking the exam, you can be reassured that the exams are designed to auto-save as you progress through the questions. It is likely that you will be able to reopen the exam. If you are unable to access the exams, please refer to Online Placement Exams Authorization information. 

 

German

The German exam is one of four languages that uses the Harvard Placement Exam platform and is available June 21-August 24. To access the exam visit https://onlineplacement.fas.harvard.edu.

Upperclass students and graduate students must register for this exam by first going to the Online Placement Exams Registration application.  Please note that it may take up to two business days to access the exam once you've registered and the exam is open.

It is strongly recommended you visit the Language Placement Exam page for information on how to get your results, eligibility, and using the exam to fulfill the language requirement.

If you have questions, please be in touch with Dr. Lisa Parkes at lparkes@fas.harvard.edu.  For general information, consult the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures website.  

For technical issues, contact: ithelp@harvard.edu | (617) 495-9000

If your computer freezes or crashes while taking the exam, you can be reassured that the exams are designed to auto-save as you progress through the questions. It is likely that you will be able to reopen the exam. If you are unable to access the exams, please refer to Online Placement Exams Authorization information. 

 

 

Italian

The Italian exam is one of four languages that uses the Harvard Placement Exam platform and is available June 21-August 24.  To access the exam visit https://onlineplacement.fas.harvard.edu.

Upperclass students and graduate students must register for this exam by first going to the Online Placement Exams Registration application.  Please note that it may take up to two business days to access the exam once you've registered and the exam is open.

It is strongly recommended you visit the Language Placement Exam page for information on how to get your results, eligibility, and using the exam to fulfill the language requirement.

If you have questions about courses, please be in touch with Chiara Trebaiocchi at ctrebaiocchi@fas.harvard.edu

For general information, consult the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures Language Programs website. 

For technical issues, contact: ithelp@harvard.edu | (617) 495-9000

If your computer freezes or crashes while taking the exam, you can be reassured that the exams are designed to auto-save as you progress through the questions. It is likely that you will be able to reopen the exam. If you are unable to access the exams, please refer to Online Placement Exams Authorization information. 

 

 

 

Japanese

East Asian Languages 

The East Asian Languages Department offers language exams in Chinese, Classical/Literary Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese.  All information regarding registration and exam dates can be found on the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations website.  Information will be updated as it becomes available.  If you have questions, contact Rebecca Mahoney at eal@fas.harvard.edu.

 

Korean

East Asian Languages 

The East Asian Languages Department offers language exams in Chinese, Classical/Literary Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese.  All information regarding registration and exam dates can be found on the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations website.  Information will be updated as it becomes available.  If you have questions, contact Rebecca Mahoney at eal@fas.harvard.edu.

 

Near East Languages

Near East Languages and Civilizations (NELC)

Arabic, Turkish, and Persian 

These three placement exams will take place on August 15, 10:00am -12:00noon.  Visit the NELC website.  

Arabic: To register for the Arabic placement exam, you MUST fill out the Arabic Placement Exam Survey TWO DAYS prior to the exam.  After the completion of the survey, you will receive the Zoom link.

Persian: Here is the link to register for the Persian placement exam.

Turkish: Here is the link to register for the Turkish placement exam.

You must have:

• One of the following: Harvard ID, driver’s license, passport, or government ID

• A quiet, well-lit room

• A reliable internet connection

• A computer (with Zoom, microphone, front-facing camera)

General Instructions:

· Remain on the browser window you start your exam on. 

· Do not seek assistance when completing this exam.

· Any suspicious actions on the computer will lead to immediate termination of your exam.

*Please be on time for the exams. The online exams will only be open August 15, 2022, 10:00am – 12:00 noon, EST and once it is closed, you will not be able to access the exam.

Do not hesitate to contact the NELC Department at nelc@fas.harvard.edu if you have any questions regarding the NELC Language Placement exams.

For general information and for information about language exams not found on the NELC website contact nelc@fas.harvard.edu.  

Modern Hebrew

This language exam will take place on August 15, 12:00-3:00pm ET.

Email Irit Aharony (aharony@fas.harvard.edu) to sign up for the exam and receive the Zoom invitation.  

Log on to Zoom at the start of the exam period to receive the exam and instructions.  

For the exam you will need

Reliable high-speed internet

A Printer to complete a form

A scanner to return the completed form

The structure of the exam and the topics will be posted on the Center for Jewish Studies Website

Contact Irit Aharony with questions

NELC Advising contacts: 

Arabic (Classical & Modern): Nader Uthman naderuthman@fas.harvard.edu

Persian:  Nader Uthman naderuthman@fas.harvard.edu

Turkish (Ottoman & Modern): Himmet Taskomur  taskomur@fas.harvard.edu 

Hebrew (Modern): Irit Aharony aharony@fas.harvard.edu

Portuguese

Portuguese 

Placement exams will be available from July 20-August 20.  

Students interested in scheduling an exam or with questions about studying Portuguese must contact Dr. Cristiane Soares at cristianesoares@fas.harvard.edu

For general information, consult the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures Language Programs website. 

Scandinavian Languages

Scandinavian Languages

For placement exams in Swedish, Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian, or Finnish contact Agnes Broomé agnesbroome@fas.harvard.edu.

For general information consult the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures website.

 

Slavic Languages

 

Slavic Languages  

Placement exams will be available from June 21-August 24. Later dates will be available by request. 

Standard exams are offered in: Russian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Czech, Polish and Ukrainian. Students interested in scheduling an exam must contact Steven Clancy at sclancy@fas.harvard.edu. 

For general information consult the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures website

 

 

 

South Asian Languages

 

South Asian Languages

Standard exams are offered in; Hindi-Urdu, Indonesian, Napali, Punjabi, Tamil, Thai, Tibetan, and Sanskrit. Placement exams in other South Asian languages may be offered contingent on finding a qualified examiner.  To schedule a placement exam or for advising questions contact Richard Delacy at rdelacy@fas.harvard.edu.

For general information consult the Department of South Asian Studies website

 

 

 

 

Spanish

The Spanish exam is one of four languages that uses the Harvard Placement Exam platform and is available June 21-August 24.   To access the exam visit https://onlineplacement.fas.harvard.edu.

Upperclass students and graduate students must register for this exam by first going to the Online Placement Exams Registration application.  Please note that it may take up to two business days to access the exam once you've registered and the exam is open.

It is strongly recommended you visit the Language Placement Exam page for information on how to get your results, eligibility, and using the exam to fulfill the language requirement.

If you have questions about courses, please be in touch with one of the language advisors listed on the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures website.

For technical issues, contact: ithelp@harvard.edu | (617) 495-9000

If your computer freezes or crashes while taking the exam, you can be reassured that the exams are designed to auto-save as you progress through the questions. It is likely that you will be able to reopen the exam. If you are unable to access the exams, please refer to Online Placement Exams Authorization information. 

 

Vietnamese

East Asian Languages 

The East Asian Languages Department offers language exams in Chinese, Classical/Literary Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese.  All information regarding registration and exam dates can be found on the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations website.  Information will be updated as it becomes available.  If you have questions, contact Rebecca Mahoney at eal@fas.harvard.edu.

Music Theory Contact and Placement Exam Information

Students interested in studying music theory are recommended to take the placement exam.  

This diagnostic will help identify your understanding of simple tonal material (scales, intervals, chords, basic roman numeral analysis, and ear-training). Keyboard skills are helpful but not required.

General information can be found on the Music Department website. The exam will be offered in-person, once a year in August.   To register for the exam please complete this form and for questions be in touch with the department at musicdpt@fas.harvard.edu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exam Accommodations

Students with a documented disability may be eligible for accommodations for placement exams. The Accessible Education Office (AEO) is the primary point of contact for undergraduate students seeking reasonable accommodations for a disability. You are encouraged to work with the AEO to discuss any potential accommodations you may need for the exams.  The office may be contacted by emailing aeo@fas.harvard.edu.

General Information about the Exams

What technology will I need for the exam?

You will need: 

  • A computer (do not use a phone or a tablet as they can be problematic) 
  • Reliable high-speed internet
  • Up-to-date web browser that can handle sound files
  • To access the online placement exams, you must first activate all of the Harvard applications and systems: Set Up Your Accounts (Harvard College Email, HarvardKey, Two-Step Verification)

Please contact placement-help@fas.harvard.edu if you do not have access to these resources.