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Fall 2018 Placement Examination Information

*Note: the dates, times and locations of placement exams during NSOP 2018 have been updated. (See below.) However, you are encouraged to check this page again right before the start of NSOP for any further changes/updates. See below for updates from 8/23/18 to the Chemistry placement exam information, and a math flyer for SEAS students that was added on 8/24/18.

Click on each option below to view exam times and details, placement result notification procedures, and where to direct related questions.

Chemistry

Monday, August 27, 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., 309 Havemeyer Hall

Students who wish to register for CHEM 1604 (Second Term General Chemistry, Intensive), CHEM 2045-2046 (Intensive Organic Chemistry for First-years) and CHEM 1507 (Intensive General Chemistry Lab) must attend an information session on Monday, August 28, at 3 p.m. where a brief introduction to course options will be given. Students should go to room 309 Havemeyer. Immediately following the information session, a chemistry placement exam will be administered. Note: Students must bring a calculator to this exam.

Additional information about CHEM 1604: this is a one-semester, introductory general chemistry course that is an expedited replacement for the full-year sequence of CHEM 1403-1404 and therefore allows efficient satisfaction of requirements for many science or engineering majors. Students wishing to take CHEM 1604 should have strong high school preparation in chemistry as demonstrated through the successful completion of an Advanced Placement (AP) chemistry course or its equivalent. Moreover, students wishing to take CHEM 1604 must take the Chemistry placement examination on Monday, August 27, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., in 309 Havemeyer Hall. To adequately prepare for this placement examination, students are advised to refer to the syllabus for the course in Columbia University’s Courseworks site (https://courseworks2.columbia.edu/courses/59572), where we describe the specific topics and textbook chapters that should be studied in advance as well as details on how to contact us for clarifications or help preparing. Your score on the placement examination will determine whether you will be invited to register for CHEM 1604. Pre-medical students who place into CHEM 1604 should be aware that AP or IB Chemistry credits may be required to satisfy chemistry prerequisites at some medical schools. If you are a pre-medical student who does not receive AP or IB Chemistry credit from Columbia, you should consult with a pre-medical adviser to ensure you meet the prerequisites for medical school. Please note that, during the term, we will assume knowledge of the specific introductory topics covered by the placement examination, and your score on the placement examination will contribute to your final grade in CHEM 1604 as the equivalent of one in-course examination. Finally, note that students must additionally sign up for a recitation section (CHEM 1606), and be aware that the laboratory course (CHEM 1500 or 1507) is a separate class.

Additional information about CHEM 2045-2046: Intensive Organic Chemistry is a one-year organic chemistry sequence for students with excellent preparation in general chemistry and a basic introduction to organic chemistry. Students wishing to take CHEM 2045-2046 should have strong high school preparation in chemistry as demonstrated through the successful completion of an Advanced Placement (AP) chemistry course or its equivalent. Students wishing to take CHEM 2045-2046 must take the Chemistry Placement Examination on Monday, August 27, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., in 309 Havemeyer Hall. Your score on this placement examination will be the primary factor in determining whether you will be invited to register for this course. The placement examination will cover some basic concepts in the structure and bonding of organic compounds, and it is recommended that you review Chapters 1-3 of the textbook (Organic Chemistry, 8th Edition, by Paula Yurkanis Bruice) prior to taking the exam. You will not be expected to have mastered/memorized all of this material, but rather to have some basic familiarity with some of the main concepts discussed in those chapters. Note that the laboratory course (CHEM 1507) is a separate class. Pre-medical students who place into CHEM 2045-2046 should be aware that AP or IB Chemistry credits may be required to satisfy chemistry prerequisites at some medical schools. If you are a pre-medical student who does not receive AP or IB Chemistry credit from Columbia, you should consult with a pre-medical adviser to ensure you meet the prerequisites for medical school.

Placement Results

Students will be notified of their placement results via email from the Berick Center for Student Advising no later than 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, August 30.

Questions

For questions regarding placement results, course selection and academic advising, please contact Dr. Vesna Gasperov, Room 211A Havemeyer Hall. Dr. Gasperov will be available via email or in person during orientation office hours: Wednesday, August 29, 1:15 p.m.-2:45 p.m. and Thursday, August 30, 12:15 p.m.-1:45 p.m. In addition, Dr. Gasperov is available in her office 3:15 p.m.-4:15 p.m. on Thursday, August 30, and 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. on Friday, August 31.

Physics

Tuesday, August 28, 5:15 p.m.-6:35 p.m., 301 Pupin Hall

This session will offer a brief introduction to course options for your first year of physics, with a particular emphasis on the mandatory prerequisites and format of the Accelerated Physics 2801-2802 sequence. Following the discussion, students interested in taking Accelerated Physics will take a short evaluation exam covering introductory mechanics and elementary calculus. Note: Calculators may not be used during the exam.

Columbia College students who are considering a major in physics or astrophysics are strongly advised to begin an introductory sequence in their first year.

Placement Results

Students will be notified of their placement results via email no later than 11:59 a.m. on Thursday, August 30.

Questions

For questions regarding the Physics placement exam and results, please contact Prof. Brian Cole.

Math

The Mathematics Department offers separate information sessions for SEAS and CC students:

  • SEAS: Monday, August 27, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 207 Math Building (followed by a placement exam for SEAS students who do not have AP Calculus scores)
  • CC: Monday, August 27, 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m., 309 Havemeyer Hall (no placement exam follows)

Students planning to take mathematics courses at Columbia are invited to attend an information session, which will provide a brief overview of course options and include a discussion regarding placement into the appropriate math course based on school policy, AP scores, and previous math background. Students may attend the information session and/or the Academic Resources Fair to obtain placement information. The Academic Resources Fair will take place on Tuesday, August 28, 3:00-5:00 p.m. in Roone Arledge Auditorium, Lerner Hall. All academic departments will be present at the Academic Resources Fair to advise students individually. In general, scores on the AB or BC Calculus AP exam are used to place both SEAS and CC students into the appropriate calculus class/level at Columbia.

The SEAS information session will be followed by a placement exam only for SEAS students who do not have AP Calculus scores and/or those who have taken calculus classes at an accredited four-year college or university (and have college transcripts documenting both grades earned and credits awarded). See the SEAS math flyer for more detailed information on placement.

The CC information session will NOT be followed by a placement exam; it is an information session only.

Questions

SEAS students should direct their math placement questions to Prof. Drew Youngren of the Applied Math Department in SEAS.

CC students should direct their math placement/calculus questions to Prof. Michael Woodbury of the Math Department in Arts & Sciences.

Music Humanities

Friday, September 7, 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m., 622 Dodge Hall

The exemption exam for HUMA 1123: Masterpieces of Western Music (a.k.a. Music Humanities) will last about 90 minutes. It requires identification of major musical masterworks, answering questions on techniques and styles based on played excerpts from the Middle Ages through the present, and short answers on musical terms, concepts, genres, forms and composers. Incoming students who wish to take the exemption exam MUST do so on Friday, September 7; students may not take the exam at a later date.

Placement Results

Students will be notified of their results via email on or around Wednesday, September 12.

Questions

For questions regarding the Music Humanities exemption exam and results, please contact Prof. Giuseppe Gerbino, 607 Dodge Hall.

Foreign Languages

Language placement at Columbia is determined in one of two ways. Students who wish to continue with a language they studied in secondary school MUST either take a Columbia language department placement exam in order to register for a course in that language OR submit results from SAT II Subject Tests or Advanced Placement exams. Those students who have demonstrated proficiency in a language via SAT II or AP should refer to the Academic Planning Guide for New Students, pages 48-49, for specific course placement information. Students who have not taken an SAT II Subject Test or an AP exam must take a Columbia departmental exam in order to determine appropriate placement. Placement exams are scheduled for the languages listed below.

If you need to take a placement exam in any of the other foreign languages offered at Columbia, or if the placement exam times below conflict with other mandatory NSOP events that you must attend, you should try to make alternative arrangements through the language program coordinator in the given department. Contact information for these coordinators, when not listed below, can be found here.

Arabic

Friday, August 31, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., 101 & 103 Knox Hall

The Arabic placement exam is very similar in content and format to a final exam. It is made up of three sections: (1) reading comprehension; (2) grammar; (3) and composition. This written portion of the exam will take approximately two hours. After you have been placed in the appropriate level, your instructor will monitor your proficiency for the first two weeks to verify that you were placed appropriately. Visit the Arabic Program website for more information.

Placement Results

The department will notify students via email by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, September 3. Note: If you are exempt from the Columbia College foreign-language requirement per your placement exam results, you must contact the department to receive a certificate of exemption and deliver that certificate to your advising dean in the Berick Center for Student Advising.

Questions

For more information regarding the Arabic placement exam and results, please contact Prof. Taoufik Ben-Amor, 212-854-2895.

Chinese

Please register ahead of time for the Chinese placement exam.
Thursday, August 30, 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 413 Kent Hall

Students are advised to arrive 10 minutes early to the Chinese placement exam, which will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. and consist of a timed writing exercise (30 minutes), listening comprehension section (20 minutes), and a written test that will focus on grammar, vocabulary and reading comprehension. The exam also includes an oral assessment, which will take about five minutes. It will be held after students finish the written portion of the exam. Please visit the Chinese Language Program website for more details about the Chinese language exam.

*Note: Scores on the Chinese AP exam and the SAT II Subject Test in Chinese cannot be used to satisfy the Columbia College foreign-language requirement or to place into Chinese language-instruction courses at Columbia. All students who wish to continue their study of Chinese at Columbia must take the departmental placement exam. 

Placement Results

Results will be posted outside room 508 Kent Hall after 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 30.

Questions

For more information regarding the Chinese placement exam and results, please contact Lingjun Hu, 508 Kent Hall, 212-854-2311. Students who have questions about Chinese courses or overseas Chinese programs should consult the program director, Dr. Lening Liu.

French

Online Only

The French placement exam may be taken only once. When you are ready to take the exam, go to the online test site, and enter the password, roaree1. Be sure to choose “French” from the drop-down menu. If you achieve a score of 625 or above, you should speak with Prof. Pascale Hubert-Leibler to be considered for exemption from the Columbia College foreign-language requirement. Visit the French language program website for more information.

Placement Results

Student will receive their results immediately after taking the exam.

Questions

For more information regarding the French placement exam and results, please contact the French Department at 212-854-2500.

German

  • Wednesday, August 29, 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. in 401 Hamilton Hall (on Columbia's campus); if you arrive late, go to 402 Hamilton Hall
  • Friday, August 31, 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. in 328 Milbank Hall (on Barnard's campus)
  • Friday, September 7, 3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. in 304 Hamilton Hall (on Columbia's campus)

Students who studied German in high school (including those who took the AP exam) and who wish to continue with German at Columbia should take the department’s placement exam. The exam, which will last approximately 60-90 minutes, tests communication skills (including listening, reading, and writing) to ensure that students are correctly placed. Please arrive promptly, as the exam begins with the listening section. Students who completed German language classes abroad over the summer must also take this placement exam. No dictionaries permitted and no sign-up required.

Placement Results

The department will email students the placement results as soon as possible after the exam.

Questions

For more information regarding the German placement exam and results, please contact Prof. Jutta Schmiers-Heller, 403A Hamilton Hall, or Peggy Quisenberry (212-854-3203).

Hebrew

Thursday, August 30, 3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m., 101 & 103 Knox Hall

Placement Results

The department will notify students via email (usually within two days). Visit the Hebrew Language Program website for more information.

Questions

Students who have passed the Jerusalem Exam and/or scored 700 or above on the College Board SAT Subject Test in Modern Hebrew are exempt from the language requirement and may take courses in Hebrew literature.

For more information regarding the Hebrew placement exam and results, please contact Prof. Naama Harel, 413 Knox Hall, 212-854-6668.

Hindu-Urdu

Friday, August 31, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., 104 Knox Hall
Friday, September 7, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., 207 Knox Hall

Visit the Hindu-Urdu Language Program website for more information.

Placement Results

The department will notify students via email.

Additional Steps

If you are exempt from the Columbia College foreign-language requirement per your placement exam results, you must contact the department to receive a certificate of exemption and deliver that certificate to your advising dean in the Berick Center for Student Advising.

Questions

For more information regarding the Hindi-Urdu placement exam and results, please contact Prof. Rakesh Ranjan, 411 Knox Hall, 212 851-4107.

Italian

  • Tuesday, August 28, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., 503 Hamilton Hall
  • Thursday, August 30, 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m., 603 Hamilton Hall

Dictionaries are not allowed. Visit the Italian Department website for more information.

The department will notify students of results via email no later than Monday, September 3.

For more information regarding the Italian placement exam and results, please contact Aurelia Rabot-Hernandez, 502 Hamilton Hall, 212-854-2308.

Japanese

Please register ahead of time for the Japanese placement exam.
Thursday, August 30, 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 405 Kent Hall

The test consists of two parts: (1) a written and listening comprehension exam, and (2) an oral interview.

Placement Results

Placement results will be posted outside 520 Kent Hall by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 30. Students must come in person to get their test results. Placement information will not be given over the phone or via email.

Questions

For more information regarding the Japanese placement exam and results, please email Prof. Naofumi Tatsumi.

Korean

Thursday, August 30, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., 411 & 424 Kent Hall

Placement Results

The results will be posted on the bulletin board next to 404 Kent Hall by 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 30, and the language program director will report students’ results to the appropriate school via email approximately two weeks after the exam. No pre-registration is required for students planning to take the Korean placement. Students should arrive 10 minutes early to fill out a registration form before the exam. After the written exam, there will be a 15-minute interview as the oral component of this assessment. Additional information can be found here.

Questions

For more information regarding the Korean placement exam and results, please contact Hyunkyu Yi, 401 Kent Hall, 212-854-5144.

Latin

  • Wednesday, August 29, 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m., 702 Hamilton Hall
  • For more information regarding the Latin placement exam and results, please contact:
    Juliana Driever, 617 Hamilton Hall, 212-854-2726

Persian

Thursday, August 30, 12:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m., 104 Knox Hall

Placement Results

The department will notify students via email within 48 hours after they complete the exam. Students wishing to take the proficiency exam (rather than the placement exam) must notify the proctor at the start, as this is a different exam. Visit the Persian Language Program website for more information.

Questions

For more information regarding the Persian placement or proficiency exam and results, please contact Prof. Saeed Honarmand, 313 Knox, 212-854-6664.

Russian

  • Written Exam: Wednesday, August 29, 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., 703 Hamilton Hall
  • Oral Exam: Thursday, August 30, 707 Hamilton Hall (sign up for a specific time-slot during the written exam on Wednesday); the oral exam is a 20-minute individual interview

In addition to beginning and advanced courses in Russian and other Slavic languages, the department offers courses in literature and culture that have no prerequisites. (Readings are in English).

Placement Results

The department will notify students of written results in person at the oral exam.

Questions

For more information regarding the Russian placement exam/results or to schedule an exam at a different time, please contact Prof. Alla Smyslova, 708 Hamilton Hall.

Spanish

Students may take the exam only once. It consists of multiple-choice questions about vocabulary, grammar and reading comprehension. There is no oral or listening component to the exam. Since it is an adaptive test, the length varies from one individual to another, with an average time of 20 minutes. Students and the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures will be notified of score and placement recommendation immediately upon completion of the exam. Students should save a screen-shot of their score and also print a copy of the results for their academic advisor.

If a student's score on the online test qualifies for exemption from the language requirement at Columbia (higher than 625), the student will be required to take another version of the exam on Wednesday, August 29, between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. in Room 353 of the International Affairs Building (the Language Resource Center Computer Lab). If your score qualifies you to take this second exam, please register for it here. (You will need to log in with your UNI and password.) The exam should only take 20-30 minutes. Please bring your Columbia photo identification and a copy of your placement exam results with you to the in-person exam.

Placement Results

Placement results are available immediately after the test.

Questions

For questions regarding the Spanish placement exam and results, please contact Dr. Lee B. Abraham, 402 Casa Hispánica (612 West 116th Street, between Broadway and Riverside Drive), 212-854-3764.

Turkish

  • Part I: Written Exam, Thursday, August 30, 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., C01 Knox Hall
  • Part II: Oral Exam, to be scheduled by emailing Dr. Zuleyha Colak.

Students who wish to place into intermediate or advanced Turkish classes must take the placement exam; beginners don’t need to take it. 

Placement Results

Students will be notified via email before the start of classes.

Questions

For questions regarding the Turkish placement exam and results, please contact Dr. Zuleyha Colak, 313 Knox Hall, 212-854-0473.

James H. and Christine Turk Berick Center for Student Advising

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