students taking a test

There are several assessments each incoming student needs to complete in order to ensure they enroll in the appropriate classes their first semester. Not all assessments are required, but you are strongly encouraged to review each assessment below to determine which is required for you. Each assessment will help identify your areas of academic interest as well as your subject matter background and preparation level. It is important that you complete all of the assessments that pertain to you as soon as possible so your results may assist us with pre-registering you for the correct level of class. Make sure you carefully review the information below and then access all assessments through your Buff Portal. If you have questions, make sure you contact the New Student & Family Programs Office for assistance.

Be sure to click on the "+" icons below to view specific details about each of the placement assessments.

Do I need to complete the Advising Questionnaire?

All incoming students should complete the Advising Questionnaire. This brief questionnaire will provide your advisor with valuable information about you, so that they are better able to help and support you. It should take just a few minutes to complete, but is an important step.

Complete the Advising Questionnaire

You must complete the online Math Readiness Test if you plan to take a precalculus or calculus 1 class in the summer or fall. Your score on the exam combined with other information like high school GPA and SAT/ACT scores will determine your math placement for summer or fall 2020. Placement results will be available beginning in late-June or three business days after you complete the test. You can view your placement results in Buff Portal Advising or in Canvas by clicking on "Grades" in the CU Boulder Math Readiness Test course. 

*The following majors may require Calculus 1: All majors in the College of Engineering & Applied Science, Applied Mathematics, Astrophysics, Astronomy, Atomospheric & Oceanic Sciences, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Computer Science, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Geology, Integrative Physiology, Mathematics, Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, & Physics.

The math assessment is offered online through Canvas. Make sure to review the self-enroll tutorial, then complete the CU Boulder Math Readiness Test.

Before taking the online exam:

Complete the CU Boulder Math Readiness Test

If you are planning to take a chemistry course (except Engineering students who should go to the Chemistry Readiness Exam for Engineers) in the fall 2020 term at CU Boulder, you should review the course and preparation information on the Chemistry department website.

The information at this site will help you determine which of the several starting courses is best suited for you based on your chemistry and math background and their future chemistry needs. In reviewing the material and completing the various assessments contained within the Chemistry Preparation and Placement Program (CHEM P3), you will be able to have an informed conversation with your advisor about chemistry course selection PRIOR to registering for fall 2020 classes. The CHEM P3 program is designed to guide students to the most appropriate course and prepare them for success.

If you are not taking Chemistry in fall 2020, you do not need to complete this assessment.

If you plan to study a language in which you already have some experience and/or coursework completed, you must take a Language Placement Exam so that you enroll in the appropriate class level of that language. 

Access the online Language Placement Exams or review information about the proctored Language Placement Exams on the Anderson Language and Technology Center (ALTEC) website. If you need assistance or information not found on the ALTEC website, you can email

The language assessment is offered through Canvas. You will need to self-enroll in the appropriate Language Placement Exam course.

If you plan to begin studying a new language, you do not need to take a placement exam; simply enroll in the introductory level class of that language.

Do I need to take this assessment?

Only students beginning in the College of Arts & Sciences, Leeds School of Business, Program in Environmental Design, College of Music or School of Education need to take this placement assessment.  

This brief questionnaire will help you determine an appropriate writing course for your first year.

Encouraged, but not required.  Login to Buff Portal to complete.

Access Assessments

Note: You will need your CU Boulder login and IdentiKey password in order to log in. Need help with your IdentiKey?