FAQs

I was admitted with the Class of 2024 and took the placement exams in the summer of 2020, but I took a gap year and will be a first-year student with the Class of 2025. Can I retake any of my placement exams?

It is not necessary to retake the Writing Exam, neither is it required for you to retake any of the other exams. However, if you feel it would be helpful to retake either the Math Exam or a Language Exam, you may do so. Students will have the opportunity to consult with both Math and Language Advisers to discuss time away from these subjects and course recommendations.

Students are only eligible to take a Language Exam once for the purposes of fulfilling the language requirement....

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I am a graduate student interested in taking a placement exam. How do I register?

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) and non-FAS graduate students may take a language placement exam to receive a placement recommendation.

GSAS students may register to take the French or Spanish online exams in June or December using the Online Placement Exams Registration (OPER) application. Once they have registered to take the exam, the exam may be accessed at https://onlineplacement.fas.harvard.edu

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Can AP, IB, or SAT II scores be used in lieu of taking the placement exams?

All incoming first-year students are required to complete the Writing and Math exams, regardless of scores on AP, IB, or SAT II exams. All first-year students interested in studying the sciences are strongly encouraged to take the chemistry and biology placement exams. AP, IB, or SAT II scores may be used to fulfill the Language Requirement, but placement recommendations are made based on the results of the language placement exams. 

Can I fulfill the language requirement by taking a language placement exam?

Yes, students who have not fulfilled the language requirement with an AP, IB, or SAT II score may take an appropriate Harvard language placement exam. Students earning a score of 600 or higher on the online language placement exam must also take a proctored verification exam. To fulfill the language requirement, you must earn a passing score on the verification exam.