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Placement Exam FAQ

Who must take the exams?
  • All incoming students are required to take the math placement exam.
  • The Chemistry placement exam must be taken by students who plan to enroll in Biology, Chemistry, Secondary Education Sciences, Geology and Planetary Sciences, Pre-health or Pre-Pharmacy Professions, or Engineering Technology.
  • Foreign Language placement exams are offered in German, French, and Spanish for any student who plans to take a foreign language class in college.
Why do I need to take the placement exam(s)?
    General education requirements at Pitt-Johnstown require all students to show competency in quantitative reasoning before they graduate. The math placement exam will give students a chance to satisfy that requirement and test out of a basic competency course. All of the exams help us place you in classes that match your level of preparation, thus increasing your chance to succeed.
What if I fail the placement exams?
    You can't!  This is not an exam that you "pass" or "fail."  Scores are used to schedule you for the appropriate class and to see whether you already have the basic quantitative reasoning skills that satisfy our general education requirements.
What if I'm taking an Advanced Placement Math class or a college Math class in high school?
    You will still need to take the math placement exam. The exam helps us assess your areas of strength and weakness, and schedule you for the appropriate classes.  At the end of your school year, depending on your scores and grades, your AP math or college math class may give you the college credits you need to satisfy our general education requirement.  After you have completed your College In High School class or have taken the AP exam, be sure to have the results sent to Pitt-Johnstown Admissions.
What if I have transfer credits in Mathematics?

If your transfer credits count as a Pitt-Johnstown math course equivalent, you do not need to take the Math Placement Exam.  You can find this information on your Transfer Credit Report from the Registrar's Office.  If you are unsure whether you have Pitt-Johnstown credits you should take the placement exam.

What if I'm taking an Advanced Placement Chemistry class or a college Chemistry class in high school?
    You will still need to take the chemistry placement exam. The exam helps us assess your areas of strength and weakness, and schedule you for the appropriate classes.  At the end of your school year, depending on your scores and grades, your AP chemistry or college chemistry class may give you the college credits you need to satisfy our general education requirement.  After you have completed your College In High School class or have the results sent to Pitt-Johnstown Admissions.
Do I need to take the Chemistry Placement exam if my major is .......?
  • The Chemistry placement exam must be taken by students who plan to enroll in a program that requires General Chemistry I (Chem 0111) and its lab (Chem 0113).
  • Programs that require General Chemistry 1 (and lab) include Biology, Chemistry, Secondary Education Sciences, Geology and Planetary Sciences, Engineering Technology, Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Physical Therapy, Pre-Occupational Therapy, any other Pre-Health Careers (except Nursing and Allied Health).
How long will the exams take?
    You will have one and one-half hours to take the required math placement exam.  The Chemistry exam is an hour long. You will have an hour to complete the foreign language exam.
What will I need to bring to the exams?
    Please bring with you on exam day:
    • A photo ID
    • Your Student ID Number 
    • A supply of #2 pencils
    • A scientific calculator  NOTE: Programmable and/or graphing calculators are not allowed.
    • The Reservation Confirmation page you print when you make your online reservation.
What if I require testing accommodations for a disability?

You should send a letter requesting accommodations and appropriate documentation of your disability (provided by an appropriate professional) to the following address: Theresa M. Horner, Director of Disability Services, G10 Student Union, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, Johnstown, PA 15904 (fax: 814-269-7179).  Additional information and specific questions about testing accommodations and disability services should be directed to ohws@pitt.edu.    To ensure the availability of appropriate accommodations, requests for accommodations with accompanying documentation should be received at the Office of Disability Services at least one week before the date of the exam

How do I access the Placement Exam Online Reservations web pages?
    You will need your University computer account (username) and password to access these pages.
What if I have trouble accessing the online system?
    If you have difficulty with your University username and password, use the Submit a Support Desk Ticket at the site to send a request for help to Pitt-Johnstown's Information Technology unit.  If you do not yet have a username and password, contact Mrs. Dawn Beam at 814-269-2930.
Why do I need to take a Chemistry Placement Exam?
    Your score on  the chemistry exam will determine whether you place in Chemistry 0105 - Preparation for General Chemistry of Chem 0111 - General Chemistry 1. 
What will be covered on the Chemistry exam and in what format it will be?
    The exam consists of 60 multiple choice questions designed to test your knowledge on the mathematics and general chemistry concepts necessary  to succeed in a general chemistry class. There are three parts: 20 questions on general mathematics, 20 questions on general chemical knowledge and 20 questions on Specific Chemical Knowledge.
Are there practice problems available for the Chemistry placement test?
    You will find a link to practice problems on the main page.  The practice problems for the math placement exam will be a big help for the first part on general mathematics. Your tests and notes from your high school chemistry class and the links below will also be helpful.
Are there other resources that I might use to prepare for the Chemistry Placement test?

Check the link below for some sample practice problems.

Who should I contact if I have additional questions about Math Placement?
If you have additional questions about the Math Placement Exam, please contact Linda Tully via email at lintully@pitt.edu .
Who should I contact if I have additional questions about Chem Placement?
If you have additional questions about the Chemistry Placement Exam, please contact Dr. Lisa Bell-Loncella via email at etbell@pitt.edu.
Last Reviewed: May 27, 2008