Placement Exams

It is strongly recommended that you take placement exams prior to the start of your first semester at UH Mānoa.  Your exam results will be used by departments to place you into a course that is most appropriate for your academic success.

Some departments require that you take a placement exam before enrolling in a particular course.  Others have policies that determine which course you will be placed into.  Please refer to the department or area below for more information.  Note: An official picture ID or UH student ID is required at all in-person placement exams.


Chemistry Placement Exam Schedule

See the Chemistry Department’s website for qualifying scores to register for each of the following course:

  • CHEM 131 (Preparation for General Chemistry)
  • CHEM 161 (General Chemistry I)
  • CHEM 171 (Principles of Chemistry)

Students may be waived from taking the Pre-Chemistry Assessment Exam for CHEM 161 if they received a score of 3 or higher on the Chemistry AP exam or received a grade of “C” (not C-) in CHEM 131 or 151.

Doing well in CHEM 131, 161, and 171 depends on, among other things, a thorough understanding of all prerequisite material.  Passing the Pre-Chemistry Assessment Exam should not by itself be regarded as a guarantee of success.

East Asian Languages Placement Exam Schedule

Students with no prior Chinese, Japanese or Korean language experience should register for CHN, JPN or KOR 101 (or 111). If your language proficiency is judged to be beyond the 101-level on the first day of class, you will be placed in a higher level course. A placement adjustment made in the first week of the semester does not guarantee you a seat in the appropriate course.

Students with prior experience in Chinese, Japanese or Korean language (i.e., formal classroom training, residence in the country of its use, cohabitation with a native speaker, etc.) are required to take a placement exam.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE INSTITUTE (Students whose native language is not English)
English Language Institution Placement Exam Schedule

All students who have English as a second language and do not meet ELI exemption criteria are required to take the ELI Placement Exam for possible placement into listening/speaking, reading and writing courses.  Visit the ELI Requirements Website for a list of ELI exemption criteria and more information about ELI courses.

For the Foundations in Written Communication (FW) requirement, most undergraduate students who have English as a second language will be placed into ELI writing courses based on the ELI placement exam.  Students who are exempt from the ELI placement exam will place directly into ESL 100.  Students who have attended 6 years or more of school in the U.S. or another English-speaking country are often placed into ENG 100 or ENG 190.  Contact the ELI for more information.

Placement Exam Schedule
Email (French):
Email (German, Fall semesters):
Email (German, Spring semesters):
Email (Spanish):

Please contact the department for their placement exam schedule.


Filipino Placement Exam Schedule

Ilokano Placement Exam Schedule
Email: or

Please call 956-8672 or email to schedule a placement test for courses numbered above 101 for the following languages: Arabic, Cambodian, Chamorro, Hindi, Indonesian, Maori, Samoan, Sanskrit, Tahitian, Thai, Tongan, Urdu, and Vietnamese.

Mathematics Placement Exam Schedule

See the Mathematics Department’s website for minimum required scores to register for each of these courses:

  • MATH 140 (Precalculus: Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry)
  • MATH 203 (Calculus for Business and Social Sciences)
  • MATH 215 (Applied Calculus I)
  • MATH 241 (Calculus I)
  • MATH 251A (Accelerated Calculus I)
  • PHYS 151 (College Physics I)
  • BIOL 220 (Biostatistics)*
  • BIOL 220L (Biostatistics Lab)*
  • ATMO/ERTH/OCN 150 (Intro to Quantitative Earth and Environmental Science)

Note: The Mathematics Department doesn’t accept COMPASS, ACCUPLACER, or exam scores from other institutions.

*See 2020-21 UH Manoa Catalog for additional prerequisites

Physics Placement Exam Schedule

All students wishing to enroll in PHYS 151 who have not earned a grade of “C” or better in MATH 140, or MATH 215 or higher, may instead use a qualifying score on the Mathematics Department’s Math Assessment Exam. For additional information on the Math Assessment Exam, including dates and qualifying scores, please visit the Mathematics Department’s Placement Exam schedule.