Spring 2018 Placement Exams and Course Placement

Some departments require that you pass a placement exam before you may enroll 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. A picture ID card is required at all in-person placement exams.

See "View Placement Exam Schedule" for exam dates in each section below.

Chemistry (CHEM 131, 161 and 171)


View Placement Exam Schedule http://manoa.hawaii.edu/chem/academics/undergraduate/placement-exam/

Students who wish to enroll in CHEM 131 (Preparation for General Chemistry), CHEM 161 (General Chemistry I) or CHEM 171 (Principles of Chemistry) must first pass the Prechemistry Assessment Exam. Students may not take the exam more than twice per testing period and the exam cannot be taken twice within a 24-hour period.

Please allow three business days from passing the exam for an approval code to be entered into your account which will enable you to register for the course. If you have any questions, please refer to the departmental website or email chemreg@hawaii.edu.

Students may be waived from taking the Prechemistry 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. If you have passed a course you believe to be equivalent to the prerequisite course, please use the departmental Override Request Form found on the departmental website.

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

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East Asian Languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean)


View Placement Exam Schedule

Students with no prior Chinese, Japanese or Korean language experience should enroll in 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. Students who are placed in 102 or a higher level may complete the language requirement faster and also earn back credits. Visit the UH Mānoa back credit policy at http://www.hawaii.edu/gened/HSL/Guidelines2010.pdf for information on receiving back credits. Students starting from courses numbered 101 will receive no back credits. A placement adjustment made in the first week of class does not guarantee a seat in the course appropriate for the student.

Students with prior experience in the 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 test.

For Japanese only, taking the placement exam is optional for students who have already earned prerequisite college credits at one of the University of Hawaiʻi campuses, including community colleges, with a grade of “C” or better. However, the placement exam is strongly recommended if you are interested in taking advanced courses (300-400 level courses), if there has been a gap since your last language class, or if you would like a firmer sense of your proper placement.

Continuing and Incoming UH Mānoa Students: Please view the placement exam schedule and register online at http://www.hawaii.edu/eall/eall-placement-registration/ for an exam. A confirmation email will be sent. If you are unable to attend any of these sessions, please email eallexam@hawaii.edu. Please check the EALL department website for additional placement exam information. You will also need to fill out the "Language Placement Survey" before the exam date. By completing that information sheet now, you will have more time for the placement exam, as all placement exams are timed.

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European Languages (French, German, Spanish)


View Placement Exam Schedule

The French, German and Spanish placement exams are given on a walk-in basis as space permits, are free, and results are given upon completion of the test. Bring a photo ID card with you and please arrive on time.

For more information about other European Languages, call the Department of Languages and Literatures of Europe and the Americas at 956-4187.


Continuing UH system French students may continue on to the next course.

Students with no prior French language experience should enroll in FR 101.

Students with experience with French (i.e., high school instruction, residence in a French speaking country, live with native speakers, etc.) are encouraged to take the placement exam, except those students with college credit for French classes.

PLACEMENT EXAM: First come, first served. No reservations. Please arrive on time. Photo ID required. The test is free and takes around 45 minutes. Results are given upon completion of the test.

For more information regarding the French placement exam or if you are not able to attend the placement exam at the times noted, please email Jacob Huss at jacob@hawaii.edu.


Students with no prior German language experience should enroll in GER 101, and may do so without consent.

Non-native speakers of German with previous experience (high school or college) who need assistance with placement in a course above GER 101 may take the placement exam. Please arrive on time.

Native or near-native speakers do not need a placement exam and may enroll in the following courses for credit: GER 312, GER 313, GER 320, GER 361, GER 371, any 400-level GER courses, and any of our LLEA courses, including LLEA 320, LLEA 340, LLEA 342 and LLEA 416. The remaining GER courses are designed for non-native speakers and will not be open to native and near-native speakers. To obtain an override code in order to register for a GER course, please contact the instructor of the course.

PLACEMENT EXAM: First come, first served. No reservations. Please arrive on time. Photo ID required. The test is free and takes around 30 minutes. Results are given upon completion of the test.

Please note that up to 12 back credits may be granted to students who have not previously taken any German courses at other universities or colleges. These credits are awarded after the completion of a course at the 102 level or above. The number of back credits awarded depends on the level of course you place into.

For information regarding placement in a German course above 101, please email Katinka Hammerich at katinka@hawaii.edu.


Continuing UH system Spanish students should proceed to the next higher course in the sequence (101, 102, 201, 202). See the Spanish Division undergraduate chair for assistance. The UH Manoa placement exam is only for students beginning Spanish coursework at UH Mānoa.

Students with no prior Spanish language experience may enroll in SPAN 101. Students with prior Spanish experience (i.e., high school instruction, contact with native speakers, etc.) must take the placement exam. For information on receiving back credits visit http://www.hawaii.edu/gened/HSL/Guidelines2010.pdf.

PLACEMENT EXAM: First come, first served. No reservations. Photo ID required. Please arrive on time. The test is free. Results are given upon completion of the test.

The placement exam is a diagnostic tool. It does not satisfy or waive UH Manoa Hawaiian/Second Language (H/SL) requirements. It is in the student's best interest to do well on the placement exam and possibly reduce the number of courses needed to satisfy UHM H/SL. Guidance will be given after completion of the placement exam.

For other registration questions contact the Spanish Division Chair, Benito Quintana (956-8796, benitoq@hawaii.edu) or the Undergraduate Advisor, Eric Thau (956-4440, thau@hawaii.edu).

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Hawaiian Language


View Placement Exam Schedule

Placement Exam is Required for Students Enrolling with Prior Hawaiian Language

If you have prior Hawaiian language experience (i.e., high school, Ka Papahana Kaiapuni, lived with native speakers, etc.), you must register for the Hawaiian Language Placement Exam in order to qualify for UH Mānoa back credits and/or waive credits.

Placement Exam is Recommended for Students Enrolling in Advanced Courses in Hawaiian Language

We encourage students who have not been recently engaged in using Hawaiian frequently, to consider taking the placement exam if they are interested in taking advanced courses (300 - 400 level courses) in Hawaiian language. You must register for the placement exam.

Placement Exam Results

  • Valid for One Year: The exam results are valid for one year from the date of exam. The results are final and cannot be appealed.
  • Use of Results: For placement purposes into credit courses, the results of the exam are only valid at UH Mānoa. The results may or may not be valid or acceptable at other universities and community colleges.
  • Results Reported: Allow four weeks after the exam for results to be reported. Unless otherwise requested, exam results will be emailed.

Take the Exam Early

Since results of the placement exam are used to place students into appropriate Hawaiian language levels and courses, it is to the student's advantage to take the exam well in advance of the UH Mānoa registration period. Test early!

Placement Exam Registration

Please contact Dr. Kamuela KaʻAhanui, academic advisor at (kukakuka@hawaii.edu or call 956-7637) to register for one of the exam sessions (4 hours: read, write, speak, listen, record and reason). Only complete registration applications will be accepted. Space is limited. NO WALK-IN REGISTRATIONS.

Placement Exam is not required for:

  • Students Enrolling in HAW 101

You may enroll in HAW 101 with no prior consent or prerequisites. A placement exam is not required.
  • Continuing UH System Students

You may continue to enroll in the next Hawaiian language course for which you are eligible to meet your Hawaiian or second language requirements for your degree.
  • Students Enrolling with Prior College Credits in Hawaiian Language

If you have already earned equivalent college credits for Hawaiian language (i.e., 100 – 200 level courses at a community college or other accredited university with a C (not C-) grade or better) taking the placement exam is optional. However, the placement exam is strongly recommended if you are interested in taking advanced courses (300 - 400 level courses) in Hawaiian language.

For more information regarding the Placement Exam, including questions from non-UH system students, please visit http://manoa.hawaii.edu/nhss/ or contact Dr. Kamuela KaʻAhanui, academic advisor at (kukakuka@hawaii.edu or call 956-7637).

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Indo-Pacific Languages (Filipino, Ilokano)


Please call 956-8672 (hip@hawaii.edu) to schedule a placement test for courses numbered above 101 for the following languages: ARABIC, CAMBODIAN, CHAMORRO, HINDI, INDONESIAN, MAORI, PERSIAN, SAMOAN, SANSKRIT, TAHITIAN, THAI, TONGAN, URDU, and VIETNAMESE.


View Placement Exam Schedule

Students with no prior Filipino language experience should enroll in FIL 101. Anyone wanting to enroll in FIL 101 may do so without consent.

If you have prior Filipino language experience (i.e., high school instruction, live with native speakers, etc.), you can take the placement exam to enroll in courses above FIL 101.

Please contact Dr. Pia Arboleda at 389-2561 or pca62@hawaii.edu at least two days before the test date to reserve a space for any of the sessions. Please arrive on time. The test is free.


View Placement Exam Schedule

Students with no prior Ilokano language experience should enroll in ILO 101. Anyone wanting to enroll in ILO 101 may do so without consent.

Students with experience with Ilokano language (i.e., high school instruction, live with native speakers, etc.) can take the placement exam to enroll in courses above ILO 101.

Please contact Dr. Aurelio Agcaoili at 956-8405 or aurelioa@hawaii.edu) to reserve a space before the exam date and to let him know what time you are interested in taking the placement test. Please arrive on time. The test is free.

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Information and Computer Sciences (ICS 141)


View Placement Exam Schedule

All students planning to enroll in ICS 141 need to have passed MATH 134 or MATH 140 or MATH 161, or sign up for the Math Assessment Exam and place at MATH 215 or MATH 241 or higher.

For additional information on the Math Assessment Exam, including dates and qualifying scores, please visit the Math Department’s Placement Exam website.

For other questions or concerns, please email icsinfo@hawaii.edu.

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Mathematics (MATH 140, 203, 215, 241, 251A*)


View Place Exam Schedule

The Math Department has an exam for placement into certain courses. Based on your UH Mānoa Math Assessment Exam score, the Math Department will enter an equivalent score into your student account to allow you to register for certain Mānoa courses.

Some students may be waived or exempt from taking the Math Assessment Exam. See http://math.hawaii.edu/placement/ for details about exemptions and acceptable scores to meet such exemptions.

Students who wish to enroll in the following courses, but who have not earned the minimum grade required in the prerequisite (or its equivalent) course or who have not met an exemption from the exam, may instead enroll after passing one or both parts of the Math Assessment Exam. This applies both to new incoming students (freshmen and transfer students) and to continuing students. Note: We do not accept COMPASS, ACCUPLACER, or exam scores from other institutions.

See the Math 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*
  • ICS 141, Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science I
  • PHYS 151, College Physics I

*MATH 251A requires an interview with the Math Department's Associate Chair.

For questions about ICS 141 and approval to register, email icsinfo@hawaii.edu.

For questions about PHYS 151 and approval to register, email physics@hawaii.edu

Students may sign up for on-campus exams by going to the Math Department's website. Students who are unable to take the exam at the offered on-campus times may go to the website for information about taking the exam off-campus. Also, please see the Math Assessment Exam website for the schedule, updates on exam dates and times, as well as the Repeat Policy and other information and details about the exam.

If you have questions, contact the Math Department at 956-4679 or email office@math.hawaii.edu.

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All music majors must report for advising (mandatory) every semester. Students planning to register for restricted music courses, variable credit music courses, or applied music courses, which require departmental approval, must obtain approval (and Course Reference Numbers for courses not shown on the Check Class Availability course listings) in-person from the appropriate Music Department personnel (advisor or chairperson).

Students enrolled in applied music courses will be assessed a fee of $200.00 per 1 credit courses and $300.00 for courses that are 2 or more credits.

For more information, contact the Music Department office (Music Building 3; 956-7756).

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Physics (PHYS 151)


View Placement Exam Schedule

All students wishing to enroll in PHYS 151 who have not earned a grade of "C" or better in MATH 140 (precalculus with trigonometry), or MATH 215 or higher, may instead use a qualifying score on the Math Department's Math Assessment Exam.

Note: MATH 161, MATH 203, NREM 203, and BUS 250 do NOT satisfy the mathematics prerequisite for PHYS 151, since they lack trigonometry. Students with only those courses should take the Math Assessment Exam if they wish to enroll in PHYS 151.

For additional information on the Math Assessment Exam, including dates and qualifying scores, please visit the Math Department's Placement Exam website.

For other questions, please email physics@hawaii.edu.

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Writing Placement for Foundations-Written Communication (FW) (ENG 100, ENG 100A*, ENG 190, ESL 100, and AMST 111)


IMPORTANT: Students must complete their FW requirement in their first year at UH Mānoa.

Placement into an FW course is determined as follows:

  • Native speakers of English are placed into ENG 190 if they receive 24 or more transfer credits for their non-UH Mānoa courses, or ENG 100 if they are entering with 0-23 transfer credits (excluding AP). All native English speakers also have the option of taking AMST 111 to fulfill their FW requirement.
  • Non-native speakers of English are placed based on ELI exemption criteria (if exempt), or by taking the ELI's writing placement test. (See http://www.hawaii.edu/eli/courses/what-are-my-eli-requirements/ for ELI exemption criteria.)
Those who are exempt from the ELI based on attending school for 6 years or more in the U.S.(including American Samoa), Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom are placed as described in the "Native speakers of English" section, above. (Students who are exempt based on years of schooling but feel their writing is more non-native-like should contact the ELI.)
Those who are exempt from the ELI based on other exemption criteria are placed into ESL 100.
Those who do not meet any ELI exemption criteria must take the ELI's writing test. Students who place into ELI 073 must take ELI 073 prior to taking an FW course. (Please see details in the next section.)

FW Exemption: All entering students whose test scores reflect significant academic achievement will be sent a letter inviting them to submit a collection of writing for possible credit for and exemption from their required FW course. Students who do not have test scores on file but who feel that they already possess the ability to write proficiently should contact the General Education Office (gened@hawaii.edu) before the end of their first semester at UH Mānoa if they are interested in submitting a collection for review. Visit http://www.hawaii.edu/gened/foundations_FWcollection.htm for details.

* ENG 100A is an Honors version of ENG 100 (Composition I). Interested students should contact the Honors Program at 956-8391 or email honors@hawaii.edu for details.

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English Language Institute (Students Whose Native Language is Not English)


View 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 Test for possible placement into listening/speaking, reading and writing courses. Visit the ELI website or the UH Mānoa Catalog for a list of ELI exemption criteria and more information about ELI courses.

Registration can be done online or in-person at Moore 570.

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