To prepare incoming students to make informed course selections during their first year, Harvard College offers a variety of placement examinations, some online during the summer and others on campus during Opening Days. Answers to many commonly asked questions can be found on the placement exams website, but key information can be found below.
Administered between mid-June and mid-July, the summer placement exams are offered exclusively online; some are required and others are optional.
- Expository Writing
*Note that students considering STEM fields are strongly encouraged to take these exams.
During Opening Days, one afternoon is set aside for a separate set of on-campus placement exams. Offerings include the following:
- Greek (Ancient)
Students who have experience in languages not list above are able to arrange a separate exam in order to determine placement or fulfill the language requirement. To do so, email the placement exam team.
Using Placement Exams for Course Selection
Using Placement Exam Scores for Course Selection
Following each exam, the results are analyzed by respective academic departments and students receive – in late August through my.Harvard.edu – a score report that includes placement recommendations (see sample below).
Using Placement Exams to Satisfy the Language Requirement
Language placement exams can be used to fulfill the Harvard College language requirement.
Students who take an online exam over the summer and achieve an appropriate score will be eligible to take an on-campus language verification exam (LVE) during Opening Days in the Language Resource Center. Upon successful verification, the requirement will be met.
For on-campus tests offered during Opening Days the requirement can be fulfilled by successfully passing the exam.