All undergraduate students at UWM (international and domestic) must prove proficiency in English and math in order to graduate and earn a degree. Placement tests are taken on-campus, and the results place you into the appropriate English and Math course level.
Placement tests for English are not the same as TOEFL, IELTS, CAE or CPE, and the results of your placement test do not affect your admission or level of English proficiency for admission purposes.
New Freshmen students take math and English placement tests. Students in some majors may also be required to take a Chemistry Placement Test.
New Transfer students will be informed whether placement tests are necessary. Most likely, unless you have taken English or Math courses at the university level, you will need to take both placement tests. Students in some majors may also be required to take a Chemistry Placement Test.
FALL 2019 Placement Testing
You must register for your placement tests: testregistration.uwm.edu
New Freshmen should register for the International Student Placement Testing session on Monday, August 26, 2019. This session will include the required testing for both math and English. English testing will be offered for both native speakers and non-native speakers. Please bring a photo ID and a non-graphing calculator. You cannot use the calculator on your phone or watch.
New Transfer Students should register after learning which tests are required. Students who require both math and English placement tests should register for the International Student Placement Testing session on Monday August 26, 2019. For transfer students who only require one of the exams, please schedule your placement test for a different day due to space limitations. Please bring a photo ID and (if registered for the math placement test) a non-graphing calculator. You cannot use the calculator on your phone or watch.
When you are admitted, you are assigned an academic advisor from your School or College. Your academic advisor will help you identify courses that satisfy the requirements of your major and degree.
- You can find your advisor’s name and email in your PAWS account. Feel free to contact your advisor before you arrive to campus. Advisors welcome questions from students and are especially eager to help new students get a great start to their academic careers.
- There will be scheduled meeting times when you can talk with your advisor in-person on Thursday, August 29, 2019.
Placement Testing Preparation:
Placement testing can be challenging for international students because they are often taken right after they arrive in the US, when dealing with jet-lag, culture shock, and language barriers at the same time. Knowing what to expect will help alleviate a lot of the stress and confusion.
A sample math placement test can be found here: https://testing.wisc.edu/centerpages/MathPracticeTest2013.pdf
A sample English placement exam can be found here: https://testing.wisc.edu/centerpages/English%20Practice%20Exam_2011.pdf
For our non-native English speaking students, we offer an Accuplacer exam. This can help you anticipate what questions will be on the exam.
After Placement Testing:
Students with a hold on their PAWS account for Foundation must work with UWM’s English Language Academy to register for appropriate classes before you will be eligible to register for other classes. This hold is used for new admits with TOEFL/IELTS scores that indicate they might need additional support to ensure successful completion of the English General Education Requirement.
After all holds are cleared, you will communicate with your academic advisor, who will help you identify courses that satisfy the requirements of your major and degree. You can find your advisor’s name and email in your PAWS account. Feel free to contact your advisor before you arrive on campus. Advisors welcome questions from students and are especially eager to help new students get a great start to their academic careers.
Orientation week for new undergraduate international students includes a designated time for you to talk to your advisor on Thursday, August 29, 2019.
You can explore possible course options from UWM’s One-Stop Website.
Note: Students admitted with lower TOEFL/IELTS scores may not be initially eligible for registration-there may be additional required English coursework to register. Students at UWM Waukesha/Washington County may be subjected to higher test scores. More information here.
Graduate Students can contact their respective graduate program representative to inquire which faculty member will advise on course registration. It is important to register as early as possible because classes fill up.