Complete placement exams

All entering freshmen at Michigan State University are required to take the online math placement exam before attending a New Student Orientation (NSO) program. Students who have studied a foreign language prior to MSU who wish to continue study must also complete a foreign language placement exam.

For students enrolling in the fall, it is requested all tests be completed before orientation to allow advisers time to preregister students in courses at the appropriate skill level. Students unable to take the test online prior to orientation or those who wish to demonstrate competency to waive requirements must take the appropriate proctored placement exam during orientation. 

Students enrolling in spring and summer semesters must take the exam prior to attending orientation.


Math placement testing

Students may take the math placement exam online. Students seeking to improve their score may retake the test a second or third time with a four-week waiting period between exams. Students who have taken the math placement exam online are welcome to take the proctored exam at orientation if they wish to attempt to improve their score. Students may not take the math placement exam after attending orientation.

Exemption from math placement exam

All entering transfer students are required to take the Mathematics Placement Service exam, unless they meet at least one of the following exceptions:

1. Students with credit in at least one of the following  MTH 103, MTH 110, MTH 116, MTH 124, MTH 132, MTH 133, MTH 234 or any math course above MTH 234  do not need to take the MPS exam.

Note: Students who transfer one of the following  MTH 112, MTH 114, MTH 201, STT 200 or STT 201 alone, with no other math course above the level of MTH 102  must take the MPS exam (online prior to or at orientation).

2. Students who have received Advanced Placement credit for calculus prior to orientation

3. Students who have either an ACT math score of at least 28 or an SAT math score of at least 660, and who will also be taking math courses at MSU


Foreign language placement testing

If you have studied a foreign language and are interested in continuing this course of study (and are not bringing in AP or transferable credit), you must complete the relevant language test. The test results will determine an appropriate starting level for college language study, based on your proficiency in reading comprehension, vocabulary, grammar and listening. It is suggested students take the placement exam even if they do not plan to immediately enroll in foreign language courses.

Foreign language placement tests in French, German and Spanish are available and should be completed prior to attending NSO. Students who have studied languages for which no placement test is offered should consult a representative of the appropriate language department during or after NSO to determine suitable placement.