Online Placement Information
The following placement processes are being offered this summer from St. Olaf College. Please note that the purpose of these online placement options is to suggest course placement to students, not to fulfill credit requirements. These online placement processes are due by August 1, 2013.
You must activate your St. Olaf College e-mail account before you will have access to the online placement system. Online activation of your e-mail account can be found at www.stolaf.edu/stobase/activate. Once your St. Olaf account has been activated, you will have access to the online placement options using your St. Olaf account login (username and password).
All placement options are administered under the St. Olaf Honor System.
When to Complete Placement
|Mathematics||More Info and Survey||
June 1-August 1, 2013
|Computer Science||More Info and Questionnaire||
June 1-August 1, 2013
|Chemistry||More Info and Placement Process||
June 1-August 1, 2013
|Chinese||More Info and Placement Process||
June 1-August 1, 2013
|French||More Info and Placement Process||
June 1-August 1, 2013
|German||More Info and Placement Process||
June 1-August 1, 2013
|Japanese||More Info and Placement Process||
June 1-August 1, 2013
|Spanish||More Info and Placement Process||
June 1-August 1, 2013
All students should complete the Mathematics and Statistics Placement Survey which is available at http://www.stolaf.edu/depts/mscs/Placement_Information. (There is no placement test for mathematics.) If you took an AP Calculus or Statistics test in May 2013, please do not complete the survey until you receive your scores.
The Mathematics/Statistics Placement Survey is designed to help you determine the best place to start your study of mathematics and statistics at St. Olaf. The survey provides some information about our courses and requirements and asks you questions about your math background and academic interests. In the first part of the survey you will determine if you have already satisfied St. Olaf’s Abstract and Quantitative Reasoning (AQR) general education requirement. In the second part of the process you will decide what, if any, mathematics or statistics course you plan to take during your first semester at St. Olaf. Details on the Mathematics/Statistics Placement Survey will be available at www.stolaf.edu/depts/mscs/Placement_Information beginning June 1, 2013. You should complete the process no later than August 1, 2013.
AP credit: If you took an AP test in Calculus or Statistics in May 2013, wait until you receive your AP scores to complete the Mathematics/Statistics Placement Survey. Scores of 4 or 5 on any of the following AP exams should be reported to the Registrar’s office at St. Olaf since you may receive AQR and course credit: Calculus AB, Calculus BC, the AB subscore of the Calculus BC exam, and Statistics. Reporting scores lower than 4 is optional. For more information on St. Olaf’s AP policy, see http://wp.stolaf.edu/registrar/files/2012/09/APexamfall2013.pdf.
IB credit: If you took Mathematics HL or SL, wait until you know your score on the exam to complete the Mathematics/Statistics Placement Survey. Students scoring 5-7 on the IB Mathematics HL or SL exam may receive AQR and course credit. For more information on St. Olaf’s IB policy, see http://wp.stolaf.edu/registrar/files/2012/09/APexamfall2013.pdf.
Credit for college courses: If you completed a calculus or more advanced mathematics course at or through a college or university, you should have a transcript sent from the college or university to the Registrar at St. Olaf. You should also complete the Mathematics/Statistics Placement Survey. St. Olaf does not give credit for courses in precalculus, college algebra, or trigonometry.
Students who may sometime take a computer science (CS) course while at St. Olaf should fill out the online placement questionnaire to determine a recommended first CS course. The questionnaire consists of informational questions about computing background, attitudes towards computing, etc., and does not containe any CS exam questions.
The CS placement process typically recommends one of the following as a first course in CS.
The standard introductory course CS 121, Sections B and C (Fall and Spring) is intended for a general audience and has no prerequisites. Sections focus on either multimedia or biological applications, but all sections include the same CS material and none expect any special interests or background. Some first-year students may be advised to wait a semester before taking this course, depending on placement results. CS 121 satisifies the Abstract and Quanitative Reasoning (AQR) graduation requirement.
CS 121, Section A (Fall and Spring) is a special version of introductory CS designed for students interested in science and/or mathematics. There are no specific prerequisites, but a comfort with mathematics is expected. This course also satisfies the AQR graduation requirement.
Students with significant prior programming experience may be recommended for CS 241, Hardware Design. This course, which ordinarily has CS 121 as a prerequisite, examines the design of computer hardware, with related programming exercises.
New students should respond to the CS placement questionnaire no later that August 1, 2013. Please direct all questions about CS placement or Computer Science at St. Olaf to firstname.lastname@example.org or see the CS web site at http://www.stolaf.edu/depts/cs/. Back to top
All students intending to study chemistry as a part of a chemistry major, or a biology major, or students considering a career in a health-related profession (medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, etc.), or any other students planning on taking more than one chemistry course MUST take the Chemistry Placement Exam. Students not in one of these categories need not take the chemistry placement exam.
There are three entry-level pathways to a study of chemistry at St. Olaf College:
(1) Chem 121 (Fall)—Chem 123 (Interim)—Chem 126 (Spring)
(2) Chem 125 (Fall)—Chem 126 (Spring)
(3) CH/BI 125 (Fall)—CH/BI 126 (Interim)—CH/BI 227 (Spring)
This interdisciplinary sequence of courses (pathway 3) also counts as a first introductory course in Biology.
Combined with information relating to your high school background, the results of this test will help us determine which sequence(s) of courses are appropriate for you. It is in your best interest to take the test simply based on your knowledge of chemistry at this time. We recommend that students not study before taking this placement test. Students registering for Chemistry 125 or CH/BI 125 will be required to have a recommendation for those courses from the placement exam. Be aware that taking the Placement Exam online will not result in an immediate placement recommendation. Rather, recommendations will be available via the Student Information System (SIS) in mid-August.
Full details relating to the test may be found at the Chemistry Placement Test web page, http://www.stolaf.edu/depts/chemistry/place. All questions relating to the test, including questions about the test itself, problems taking the test online, and questions about your eventual recommendation, should be directed by e-mail to email@example.com or by phone to Professor Mary Walczak (507-786- 3498) or Karen Renneke (507-786-3104). The Chemistry placement process must be completed by August 1, 2013. We encourage you to complete it early in the summer. Back to top
Languages Offered at St. Olaf
Foreign Language Placement Exams: St. Olaf offers study in nine different languages. Online placement exams are available for French, German, and Spanish and must be completed before arriving on campus. More information on these three online placement exams is detailed below. Placement exams for other languages will be given by appointment in each individual department this fall. If you have questions about these languages, please refer to World Languages at St. Olaf College.
All students who have previously studied Chinese, French, German, Japanese, or Spanish, or who have had other formal prior experience with any of these languages are REQUIRED to take the corresponding language placement process.
CHINESE PLACEMENT EXAM
All entering students who have some background in the Chinese language (Mandarin) and plan to take Chinese classes at St Olaf College, including heritage students who can speak the language yet with no or limited reading/writing skills, must take the Chinese Placement Exam. The exam has two parts: the placement test (off campus) and the oral interview (on campus).
Part I: Placement Test (To be done off campus/during the summer)
The Placement Test is a 100-question multiple choice/true-and-false computer test. After filling in a short questionnaire of background information, you will move to the testing items, including vocabulary, pinyin, grammar, sentence structure, and reading comprehension. There is only one correct answer for each question. Answer as many questions as quickly as possible and return to more difficult questions after you have finished the exam. This is not an achievement test; you might not know or even have seen some of the characters/questions before. Just try your best. There is no penalty for incorrect answers, and you may go back and change your choice (before your final submission). Your score will be the total number of correct answers.
Based on your performance on this section, you may be prompted by the computer to respond to an additional section of reading comprehension (8 questions).
To access the test itself, you will need to enter your St. Olaf username and password. The deadline for new students taking the online Chinese placement test off-campus is Friday, August 1, 2013. We encourage you to take it early in the summer. Students unable to access the placement exam online during the summer may be able to take it on campus. Computers will be available to students in different public areas of the college.
All students who complete the online placement test will receive results upon their arrival on campus for an oral interview. Additional information about the Chinese Language Program can be found on the Asian Studies Department web site: http://www.stolaf.edu/depts/asian-studies/index.html
Part II: Oral Interview (To be done after arriving on campus) During Week One (at the beginning of September), students who have taken the placement test and wish to enroll in a Chinese language class will be scheduled with one of the Chinese faculty members for a brief (15 minutes) interview. The focus is on listening comprehension, pronunciation, tones, fluency, and correct usage of Chinese, to make sure students are placed in the level appropriate classes.
If you have any questions about the Chinese language program or the placement exam, please contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All students who have previously studied French or have had other formal prior experience with the language are required to take the French online placement exam. A placement determination is also required for enrollment in a French course at St. Olaf. If you intend to study French in order to complete the foreign language requirement for graduation, the first step is to take the placement test. Students interested in learning French but who have no previous experience with the language should contact Professor Jolene Barjasteh at email@example.com or Jennifer Bothun at firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions.
The placement test consists of two parts: a survey of past experience in French and a sample of the student’s written French. Students with little or no proficiency are still required to take the test provided they have had at least some coursework in French in high school or middle school. The student will receive a recommendation to enter French 111, 112, 231, 232, or 251 in the fall semester. The placement recommendations for new students will not be available until the end of August.
Placement in French will also be forwarded to the academic advisor with whom the student will prepare a schedule of courses. For new students, the online placement test must be completed by Friday, August 1, 2013. We encourage you to complete it early in the summer. Students unable to access the placement exam online during the summer are advised to contact Jennifer Bothun at 507-786-3230 for further instructions. Students may also contact Professor Barjasteh or Jennifer Bothun if they have questions about their placement or about the French program at St. Olaf College. French placement results will not be available unti mid-August. Back to top
Overview of the exam
The exam is designed to distinguish language performance at the first, second, third and fourth semester level of German as presently taught at St. Olaf College. After filling in a short questionnaire of background information, please move to the multiple-choice section that tests grammar knowledge and reading comprehension. The next section of the exam tests writing skills important to third and fourth semester German at St. Olaf College. Please do all the multiple-choice questions for placement in first and second semester German. The computer will evaluate your work on the multiple-choice portion of the exam and, if you score high enough, the computer will ask you to complete the writing assignments. For placement into third and fourth semester German you should complete all of the writing questions.
Taking the exam
In the multiple-choice section there is only one correct answer for each item. Answer as many questions as quickly as possible and return to more difficult questions after you have finished the exam. There is no penalty for incorrect answers and you may go back and change your choice. Your score will be the total number of correct answers. If your score for the multiple-choice section of the exam is high enough, the computer will ask you to attempt the writing section of the exam. Please attempt all the writing sections if you proceed to this part of the exam.
Timing the exam
There is a time limit of 90 minutes for the entire exam, including the multiple choice and the writing sections. Estimated time needed for the multiple-choice section is not more than 60 minutes and not more than 45 minutes for the three writing assignments. The more language experience you have had, the faster you will finish the multiple-choice questions. And the more language experience you have had, the farther into the exam you will need to progress to reach your point of placement. Not all students will score high enough to need to attempt the writing section. Please wait for a computer evaluation of your work on the multiple-choice section of the exam for a decision on whether or not you need to proceed to the writing portion of the exam.
Writing the paragraphs
For the best assessment of your writing level, please do not use any grammar notes or charts and please do not consult a dictionary. The exam is designed to take students at their first response and to use any supporting materials would only distort the diagnosis of your placement. You may stop the exam at any point when you realize your German is no longer sufficient. After reading these instructions, please proceed directly to the questionnaire and to the exam. Please work carefully and if you finish early, take time to edit your answers.
You will find the German placement exam online at: http://fusion.stolaf.edu/german. You may also contact Professor Karl Fink at email@example.com if you have questions about your placement or about the German program at St. Olaf College. The deadline for new students to complete the German placement process is Friday, August 1, 2013. We encourage you to complete it early in the summer. Back to top
St. Olaf College Japanese Language Placement Examination
All entering students who have some background in Japanese and wish to take Japanese at St Olaf College, including heritage students who can speak the language with no or limited reading and writing skills, must take the Japanese Placement Test. There are two parts for the placement test:
Part I: To be done during the summer
The summer written examination consists of a brief questionnaire in English about your background in Japanese and a handwritten essay in Japanese on a topic of your choice.
For the essay, please download and print out the instructions and essay sheet here. You will be asked to upload a scanned version of your essay at the end of the questionnaire. Be sure to have a file of your scanned essay ready to upload at the end of the questionnaire.
Your essay should be handwritten, in either simplified or traditional Japanese characters. The essay should be about 200-300 words and completed within about two hours. For those whose Japanese writing is not so advanced, please write as much as you can within the limit. No dictionary or any other form of assistance is allowed. (Your placement may not be accurate if you have any assistance.) Please complete your essay in one sitting; namely, once you start, you should not stop until you finish.
Part II: To be done after arriving on campus
The Oral Interview: During Week One (at the beginning of September) this interview will be scheduled with one of the Japanese language faculty members. In this test the focus is on your listening comprehension, pronunciation, and correct usage of Japanese.
All students who have previously studied Spanish or have had other formal prior experience with the language are REQUIRED to take the Spanish placement exam online, whether or not they intend to study Spanish at St. Olaf.
The placement test includes grammar and reading comprehension. Based on your performance on these two sections, you may be prompted by the computer to respond in writing to some additional essay questions. All students who complete the Spanish Placement Exam will receive results upon their arrival on campus for orientation. Additional information about Spanish placement and the Spanish placement exam may be found at "Spanish Placement Exam," on the St. Olaf web site: http://www.stolaf.edu/depts/spanish.
To access the exam itself, you will need to enter your St. Olaf username and password. The deadline for new students taking the online Spanish placement exam off-campus is Friday, August 1, 2013. We encourage you to take it early in the summer. Students unable to access the placement exam online during the summer will be able to take it on campus. Computers will be available to students in different public areas of the college. General questions related to this exam may be addressed to the following e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org. Only after students arrive on campus, specific questions regarding individual placement results should be directed to Professor Sylvia Carullo at email@example.com
- who have not taken the placement test before registration and have registered for a Spanish course will be dropped from the Spanish course roster.
- who have registered for a Spanish course that is not in agreement with their placement result will be informed that they are being dropped from the Spanish course.
A special note for:
- Transfer Students: transfer students planning to major in Spanish should bring materials (syllabi, papers, exams, etc.) from previous college-level Spanish classes to campus, and should arrange to meet with Professor Gwen Barnes-Karol firstname.lastname@example.org before registering for classes.
- Students who have been in a Spanish-speaking country on an exchange program (e.g. Rotary or AFS): students who have spent a minimum of six months in a Spanish-speaking country on an exchange program must contact Professor Sylvia Carullo, at email@example.com, before registering for Spanish courses. These students must also complete the online Spanish placement exam before this meeting.
- International students whose native language is Spanish must proceed as follows:
- Either they submit official transcripts of first to eighth grade or ninth to twelfth grade that show their education in their native language. About this step, please contact Paula Stowe, at firstname.lastname@example.org, Assistant Registrar, Degree Completion and Special Programs.
- Or they arrange to take the Spanish Proficiency test through the Department of Romance Languages (see below).
- International or U.S. students, whose native language is Spanish, must also complete the online Spanish Placement exam.
- If their Spanish placement is Spanish 232 or above Spanish 232, they must take the Spanish Proficiency exam only and if they wish to complete the foreign language requirement (FOL) through examination. If they take the Spanish Proficiency test and pass it, they will satisfy the St. Olaf foreign language requirement. These students will not receive regular or additional course credits for completing the foreign language requirement through this exam. These students must check with Jennifer Bothun, Department of Romance Languages AAA (email@example.com), to register for such exam and to receive more information, if they are interested in this exam. The exam itself is scheduled for the first Saturday once classes start in September. If these students have any questions on this matter or need further clarification, they must contact Professor Gwen Barnes-Karol (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If their Spanish placement is either 1. Spanish 232 or 2. above Spanish 232, these students may register in either 1. Spanish 232 or in 2. Spanish 250. Once they successfully complete either 1. Spanish 232 or 2. Spanish 250, with a grade of “C” or higher, credit will be awarded for either 1. Spanish 232 or for 2. Spanish 250. If these students have any questions or need further clarification on this matter, they must contact Professor Gwen Barnes-Karol (email@example.com). Back to top