This section will help you gain a better understanding of taking placement exams prior to your arrival at Dickinson. It is important to pay close attention to the July 1 due dates, as your scores will be discussed with you by an academic advisor when selecting course levels your first semester. In this section you will find information on language, math, chemistry and music placement. Also check out the  Language Placement FAQs for additional information.

Language Placement Exam Information

Language Background Form Regardless of whether you intend to continue with a language you studied in high school or start a new language, it is very important that you complete the Language Background Form available at the Gateway forms tab. Include information on all languages studied.

Where do I find the Language Placement Exams? The language placement exams for Chinese, Italian, French, German and Spanish can be found on the Student Forms tab on the Dickinson Gateway. Students should use the password devils to access the French, German and Spanish exam. There is no password needed to take the Chinese and Italian placement exam.

Who should take the Online Exam? Select a language and use the flow chart to determine whether you should take the exam:

Chinese
French
German 
Italian
Spanish

What if I am interested in continuing with a language other than French, German, Italian, Latin or Spanish? Be sure you provide this information regarding all of the languages you studied in high school on the Language Background form available on the Gateway.

If you are interested in taking Arabic, Ancient Greek, Modern Hebrew, Japanese, Latin or Russian read more on the additional language placement site.

Transfer Students: Students who have studied French, German, Italian or Spanish at another institution should take the placement exam. The results of the placement exam will be used to determine appropriate course equivalency for college-level coursework completed. For other languages, see guidance offered in the section above.

MATHEMATICS PLACEMENT INFORMATION

The Mathematics Placement Exam is a multiple-choice test designed to measure a student’s readiness for calculus. The test is a 25 question multiple-choice exam on precalculus concepts—no calculus appears on the test. 

Who should take the exam? All students are required to take the placement exam before you matriculate at the college, even if you do not plan to take a mathematics class at Dickinson.  The only exceptions are listed below.

  • Students who scored 3, 4, or 5 on the AB Advanced Placement Calculus exam
  • Students who scored 4, or 5 on the BC Advanced Placement Calculus exam
  • Students who scored a 1, 2 or 3 on the BC Advanced Placement Calculus exam, but received an AB subscore of 3, 4, or 5
  • Students who scored an A or B on the British Mathematics A Level Exam
  • Students who scored a 5 or higher on one of the International Baccalaureate exams in mathematics

Where do I find the Mathematics Placement Exam? The mathematics placement exam can be found on the Student Forms tab of the Dickinson Gateway.

Mathematics Placement Information The Mathematics Placement Information page contains a list of entry-level mathematics courses at Dickinson, an interactive placement guide, and other useful information.  You can call the mathematics department at 717-245-1413, or e-mail the departmental coordinator (Tonya Miller) at millert@dickinson.edu for more information.

Chemistry Placement Information

The Chemistry Placement Exam is a 63-question, 75-minute exam assembled by Dickinson's chemistry department. Its purpose is to allow the department to determine your readiness for college-level chemistry by assessing your comprehension in three basic areas: General Mathematics, General Chemistry Knowledge and Specific Chemistry Knowledge.

Who should take the exam? All students who plan to take chemistry courses must take the exam. Many majors (including biology, biochemistry and molecular biology, neuroscience, and geology) require chemistry courses, and all pre-health students must take chemistry courses regardless of major.

Where do I find the Chemistry Placement Exam? The placement exam can be found on the Student Forms tab of the Dickinson Gateway.

Chemistry Placement Information The chemistry department has found that there is a strong correlation between a student's high-school math background and their future success in chemistry. Consequently, ALL STUDENTS PLANNING TO TAKE CHEMISTRY MUST TAKE THE MATH PLACEMENT EXAM. If you receive a score of 5 or below, you will not be able to request CHEM131 or CHEM141 until you obtain a passing score on the math placement exam. If you receive a score on the math placement exam between 6-10, the chemistry department highly recommends that you purchase the book Essential Algebra for Chemistry Students by David W. Ball (ISBN: 978-0-495-01327-3) for use during the summer and once you enroll in CHEM131.

You can call the chemistry department at 717-245-1296, or e-mail the departmental coordinator (Jann Ernst) at ernstj@dickinson.edu  for more information.

Music Theory Placement Exam Information

Where do I find the Music Placement Exam? The placement exam can be found on the Student Forms tab of the Dickinson Gateway.

Who should take the exam? Any student who is interested in taking music theory courses.

You can call the music department at 717-245-1568, or e-mail Professor Pound at pound@dickinson.edu for more information.