FAQs

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 language verification exam. To fulfill the language requirement, you must earn a passing score on the verification exam.   

Students eligible to take the proctored verification exam must take it during the time period which it is offered.  

Students are able to take the language placement exam only once for the purposes of fulfilling the requirement.  The proctored verification exam is not given independently of the placement language exam and therefore must be taken within the same time period. It can not be put off until later in the semester or beyond.  Students are also ineligible to take the language placement exam for the purposes of fulfilling the language requirement once they have begun studying the language at Harvard College.  

 

Can I take the language placement exam more than once for the purpose of fulfilling the language requirement?

No, you will be allowed to take a language placement exam only once for the purpose of fulfilling the language requirement. Qualifying students that are invited to take a Language Verification Exam (LVE) after completing the placement exam must schedule the LVE at that time. 

Passing the LVE is necessary to fullfill the language requirement.  The LVE is not offered independent of the placement exam and cannot be taken at a later date in the semester or beyond.   

 

 

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, German, Italian or Spanish online exams for the summer or winter exam periods 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

Non-FAS graduate students may also register for the exams 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.   If they have any difficulty registering they should email placement-help@fas.harvard.edu.  Please include which language exam you would like to take and your Harvard email address in your email.

Students who plan to take a placement exam in another language may consult the Placement Exam website or be in touch directly with the relevant department.

GSAS and non-FAS graduate students: In order to receive the results of these exams students will need to contact placementexams@fas.harvard.edu no earlier than one day following completion of the exam.  You should make the subject line "Graduate student DPT results" for the fastest response.  

I was admitted with the Class of 2025 and took the placement exams in the summer of 2021, but I took a gap year and will be a first-year student with the Class of 2026. 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.