Placement Exams

The UW-Milwaukee Testing Center offers placement testing in math, English (native & non-native speakers), foreign language (Japanese, French, German, Spanish), and chemistry. Placement tests are designed to determine which classes you are eligible to register for in a given subject area. They do not affect your admission status. Please read the descriptions below for more information on each test and to determine which test you should register for.

If you are a New Freshman admitted to UW-Milwaukee who has never taken any college courses
– You should register for a New Freshman Placement testing session. This is a series of tests completed in one day for UW-Milwaukee New Freshmen only. This session consists of the required math and English tests in the morning, and the option of also completing chemistry, foreign language and/or English placement for non-native speakers of English. All UW-Milwaukee New Freshmen who have not completed any placement tests should choose this testing option. By registering for one test date you are able to complete as many of the tests you may need in one session. You must schedule your test date online; walk in testing for new freshmen is not an option. For more information regarding the New Freshman Testing Session please visit the New Freshman Testing site.

If you are a current UW-Milwaukee student, a transfer student, a re-entry student, a student attending another UW-System school or a student retesting in any subject areaPlease visit our homepage for information about test availability and registration.


English Placement Test (EPT) – Native Speaker

The English Placement Test consists of three subtests. These subtests are English Usage, Sentence Correction, and Reading Comprehension. The English Placement Test is is 90 minutes long.

To view sample items and to learn more about the EPT click here:


Math Placement Test

The Mathematics Placement Test consists of 85 items measuring three different sets of skills: Math Fundamentals, Advanced Algebra, and Trigonometry & Analytic Geometry. The test is 90 minutes. Students are allowed to bring and use a scientific calculator; however calculators often will not be provided at the test site. Graphing calculators may not be used and will not be permitted in the testing room. Only non graphing, non programmable calculators are permitted for use on this test.

To view sample items and to learn more about the mathematics placement test click here:


Foreign Language Placement Test

If you plan on enrolling in a French, German or Spanish course, you are required to take the appropriate foreign language test. Students placing into certain foreign language courses may be eligible for retro-credits upon completion of that UWM course. These tests are 60 minutes.


UW-Milwaukee has a General Education Requirement for foreign language. If you have met this requirement then foreign language placement testing is optional. If you plan to continue your studies in French, German or Spanish you should take the foreign language placement test. Students planning to pursue a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree through the College of Letters and Science may be required to complete foreign language coursework beyond the University’s General Education Requirement Please check the list of majors that fall under the B.A. requirements to determine if you need to take the foreign language placement test. Click here for more information on the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements. It is recommended that students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Letters and Science consider taking a foreign language placement exam in the language they studied in high school.

Chemistry Placement Test

If you are a non-science major, you will not need to complete the chemistry placement test. If you plan to major in the sciences, health sciences, nursing, or engineering and your major appears on the list of majors referenced below, you are only required to complete the chemistry test if you want to try to test out of the first level of chemistry (Chemistry 100). If you plan to start in the first level of chemistry, you are not required to complete the chemistry test. If you would like to start your chemistry studies above Chemistry 100 in Chemistry 101, 102, or 105, you must place sufficiently in the chemistry and math tests. Please check the list of majors for those that require the chemistry exam to test out of the first level of chemistry. Student preparation for this test is assumed to include at least one full year of high school chemistry and one full year of high school algebra. Please note that chemistry placement testing is unique to UW-Milwaukee and is not offered via Regional testing or computer-based testing.

The purpose of this test is to assist with placement in college level general chemistry courses. Student preparation is assumed to include one full year of high school chemistry and one full year of high school algebra. There are three parts to the test: Part I General Mathematics; Part II General Chemical Knowledge; Part III Specific Chemical Knowledge. This test is 55 minutes. Non graphing, non-programmable calculators are permitted for use on this test.

Programs Requiring the Completion of the Chemistry Placement Test to Test Out of the First Level of Chemistry

College of Health Sciences
BioMedical Sciences (BioMedical Sciences, Cytotechnology, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Medical Technology/Medical Laboratory Sciences, Public Health Microbiology, Radiologic Technology)*

*Includes all sub-majors

College of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Engineering Science
Engineering Undecided
Industrial Engineering
Materials Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

College of Letters and Science
Atmospheric Science
Biological Sciences
Conservation & Environmental Sciences
Geological Sciences
Pre-Health Professions
Pre-Physician Assistant
Pre-Veterinary Medicine

College of Nursing

English Placement Test for Non-Native Speakers of English (EPT NNSE)

If you grew up speaking a language other than English, you should take this test. As a non-native writer of English, you can complete your English writing requirement by taking English for Academic Purposes (EAP) writing courses instead of the English writing courses designed for native speakers of English. The support provided in the EAP writing courses can also help you do better in all of your university courses.

For more information on the EPT-NNSE, contact Brooke Haley at or visit her office in Curtin Hall 678.

Note: This test is only offered at UW-Milwaukee and is not available at Regional Placement Testing or through computer-based placement testing. You may bring a print dictionary to check your spelling. Electronic dictionaries are not allowed.

We are in the process of changing how this exam is administered.

Prior to mid-August, the test will be administered on paper. This test lasts 75 minutes and includes a 50 minute essay and a 25 minute reading comprehension test.

Beginning in mid-August, the test will be administered on computer via a program called Accuplacer. There are two sections for this exam: reading and writing. Please allow approximately 90 minutes to complete the exam.


Japanese Placement Test

This test will determine placement into the appropriate Japanese course. The test lasts 65 minutes. A referral from the Japanese department is required to determine which level test you should complete. For more information on the Japanese test contact Masako Lackey ( or visit the Foreign Language and Linguistics site. Once the Japanese Department has determined which semester you should test for, you will need to complete a Japanese Placement Request in our UWM Online Test Registration.

Once the Testing Center approves this request, you will be able to register to complete the exam any time Correspondence Paper Based testing is offered. Please see our testing calendar for more information on test dates or to fill out a request. An approved request and appointment are required to take this exam.

Placement Results

Upon exam completion, placement test score results are loaded to the student’s record in PAWS and milestones indicating the student’s placement level in corresponding courses are created. Placement levels are determined by the academic department affiliated with the exam and are reviewed annually. New Freshmen do not receive their placement test results until they attend their New Student Orientation session.