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Placement Tests & Diagnostics

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For students interested in enrolling in courses in Chemistry, Languages, Mathematics, and/or Physics in their first year, Stanford offers placement tests and diagnostics in these subject areas to help you determine where you should begin your studies at Stanford.

In order to enroll in some Stanford courses, you must take the placement test or diagnostic offered by the department, regardless of any related AP or IB credit or transfer credit you may have. The tests and diagnostics are intended to assess your existing command of the material; thus, it is neither necessary nor advisable that you study for these assessments. Results are valid for one academic year. Diagnostics provide course recommendations and are purely advisory. While you may be required to take the diagnostic in order to enroll in courses offered by the department, you are not required to enroll in the recommended course. Tests are required to be eligible for enrollment into specific courses. 

AP, IB, etc.: If you'd like to see whether your AP/IB score might suggest a particular placement, you can consult consult the Advanced Placement Credit Chart and the International Baccalaureate Credit Chart, which will be updated for the upcoming academic year in mid-summer. For Chemistry and Math, please check specific information about accepting AP, IB, etc. scores in regards to course placement.

The following department websites offer information about placement and choosing among the introductory courses:

Since the placement tests and diagnostics open before ExploreCourses is published for the upcoming academic year, it is normal for students to be undecided about their course plans and whether they will enroll in courses from these subject areas. If you are unsure about your course plans, we recommend that you take the summer placement test(s) and/or diagnostic(s), which will give you more flexibility and options. Taking the assessment does not commit you to enrolling in the course. Your placement results and/or recommendations will give you useful information and provide a recommended starting point for your coursework in these subjects based on your knowledge in those areas, should you choose to enroll. Results are informational and for placement purposes only - they are not recorded on your official transcript. Your advisor can also give you further guidance on choosing courses and assistance in understanding the placement recommendation when you meet with them in August.

Academic Accommodations

Students who may need an academic accommodation based on the impact of a disability must initiate the request with the Office of Accessible Education (OAE). Professional staff will evaluate the request with required documentation, recommend reasonable accommodations, and assist the student in notifying the department of their accommodations. If you need academic accommodations for the placement exams and/or diagnostics, you should begin the process as soon as you are able, as it can take time to obtain the necessary documentation.

Register with the OAE