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Student Advising

Fall 2015 Placement Examination Information

Click on each option below to view exam times and details, placement result notification procedures, and where to direct related questions, or download this information as a pdf.

Chemistry

Tuesday, September 1, 12:45-2:45 pm, 309 Havemeyer Hall

Students who wish to register for W1604 (Second Term General Chemistry, Intensive), W3045-3046 (Intensive Organic Chemistry for First-years) and W2507 (Intensive General Chemistry Lab) must attend an information session on Tuesday, September 1, at 12:45 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.

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 Wednesday, September 2.

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, September 2, 1:15-2:45 p.m. and Thursday, September 3, 12:15-1:45 p.m.

Physics

Wednesday, September 2, 9:00 a.m.-10:20 a.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 C2801-2802 Accelerated Physics 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.

Placement Results

Students will be notified of their placement results via email from the Berick Center for Student Advising by 11:59 a.m. on Thursday, September 3.

Questions

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

Math

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

  • SEAS: Tuesday, September 1, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 312 Math (followed by a placement exam for SEAS students who do not have AP Calculus scores)
  • CC: Tuesday, September 1, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Lerner Hall Cinema (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 Wednesday, September 2, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in Roone Arledge Auditorium, Lerner Hall. All academic departments, including the Math Department, 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. SEAS students should consult the Math Department flyer (which will be emailed to all incoming SEAS students) for additional details. The CC information session will NOT be followed by a placement exam; it is an information session only.

Questions

For questions regarding calculus, please contact Prof. Michael Thaddeus.

Music Humanities

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

The exemption exam for W1123: 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 principal musical terms, concepts, and composers. Students who wish to take the exemption exam MUST do so on Friday, September 11; 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 16.

Questions

For questions regarding the Music Humanities exemption exam and results, please contact Professor Giuseppe Gerbino, 607 Dodge Hall, 212-854-6299.

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 49-50, 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. The names and office locations of these coordinators, when not listed below, can be found in the Academic Planning Guide for New Students, pages 50-51.

Arabic

Friday, September 4, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., 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 7. 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:

Chinese

Please register ahead of time for the Chinese placement exam.
Thursday, September 3, 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 413 Kent Hall

Students who have scored 780-800 on the SAT II Chinese Test or 5 on the AP exam can be exempted from the two-year language requirement, and thus there is no need for them to take the placement exam. Upon confirmation of the score, a student’s advising dean can issue a foreign-language exemption.

Students are advised to arrive 10 minutes early to the Chinese placement exam, which will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. and consists 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.

Placement Results

Results will be posted outside room 401 Kent Hall and 508 Kent Hall after 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 3. Students may also choose to receive their results by email.

Questions

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

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 Professor Pascale Hubert-Leibler to be considered for exemption from the Columbia College foreign-language requirement. Visit the French Department 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:

German

  • Wednesday, September 2,  1:00-2:30 p.m., 516 Hamilton Hall
  • Friday, September 4, 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m., 328 Milbank Hall
  • Friday, September 11, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., 411 Hamilton Hall

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 and be offered on three days/times, tests communication skills (including listening, reading, and writing) to ensure that students are correctly placed. Please arrive promptly. Students who completed German language classes abroad over the summer must also take this placement exam. Detailed course descriptions can be accessed online.

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 Professor Richard Alan Korb, 311 Hamilton Hall, 212-854-2070, or Peggy Quisenberry.

Hebrew

Wednesday, September 2, 1:00-4:00 p.m., 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

For more information regarding the Hebrew placement exam and results, please contact Professor Rina Kreitman, 413 Knox Hall, 212-854-6519.

Hindu-Urdu

Thursday, September 3,  10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., 103 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 Professor Rakesh Ranjan, 411 Knox Hall, 212 851-4107.

Italian

  • Wednesday, September 2, 2:00-4:00 p.m., 501 Hamilton Hall
  • Friday, September 4, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., 501 Hamilton Hall

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

Placement Results

The department will notify students via email by Monday, September 7.

Questions

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, September 3, 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 411 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, September 3. 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 contact Miharu Nittono, 212-854-5500.

Korean

Thursday, September 3, 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 423 and 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, September 3, 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 the registration form before the exam. After the written exam, there will be a short, 15-minute interview as the oral component of this assessment. Additional information can be found online.

Questions

For more information regarding the Korean placement exam and results, please contact:

Latin

Tuesday, September 1, 12:45-2:45 p.m., 603 Hamilton Hall

Placement Results

The Berick Center for Student Advising will notify students via email by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, September 2.

Questions

For more information regarding the Latin placement exam and results, please contact Gerry Visco, 617 Hamilton Hall, 212-854-2726.

Persian

Thursday, September 3, 1:00-3:00 p.m., 104 Knox Hall

Placement Results

The department will notify students via email on Friday, September 4. 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 Saeed Honarmand, 313 Knox, 212-854-6664.

Russian

  • Written Exam: Wednesday, September 2, 2:00-4:00 p.m., 703 Hamilton Hall
  • Oral Exams: Thursday, September 3, beginning at 10:00 a.m. (Sign up during the written exam)

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 via email by Thursday, September 3.

Questions

For more information regarding the Russian placement exam/results or to schedule an exam at a different time, please contact:

Spanish

  • Part I: Take the Spanish placement exam online any time
  • Part II: Thursday, September 3, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., 352 IAB (International Affairs Building)

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 advising dean.

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 Thursday, September 3, between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. in Room 352 of the International Affairs Building (the Language Resource Center Computer Lab). No appointment is needed to sit for this 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.

Turkish

  • Part I: Written Exam, Thursday, September 3, 2:00-4:00 p.m., 101 Knox Hall
  • Part II: Oral Exam; schedule an appointment with Dr. Zuleyha Colak, ideally in the afternoon of Friday, September 4.

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 by email on Saturday, September 5.

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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