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The biology placement exam is NOT mandatory.

This is not the same case as your language placement exam. The exam is geared towards students who feel they can place out biol 101/L but do not have the proper credit for placement (e.g. AP credit).
Same thing goes for the chemistry and the math placement tests. Not mandatory.

The BIOL 101 & 101L Placement Test is given only twice a year – before classes start in the Fall semester and the Spring semester.  You must take the exam at the scheduled day/place/time.

Spring 2023 = Tuesday, January 10, 5:00 – 6:30 PM in Coker 201 IN PERSON

Deadline to register is Wednesday, January 4 at 5:00 PM.

Please register for the exam here: Registration to placement exam.


First year students (students starting the fall semester of the current year) may take the placement exam and if they pass will receive BE (By Exam) credit.  The student will get 3 hours credit for BIOL 101 and 1 hour credit for BIOL 101L on their transcript.  Such BE credit can be used to fulfill the BIOL 101/L prerequisite and the General Education PL/PX and CI requirements.

Non- first year students and transfer students may take the placement exam and if they pass will earn PL (Placement), credit which shows up as zero credit hours on their transcript.  Such PL credit can be used to fulfill the BIOL 101/L prerequisite and the General Education PL/PX and CI requirements.

There is no separate placement test for lab only.

You are NOT eligible to take the exam if you have completed and received a grade for Biology 101, if you have transfer credit for BIOL 101, or if you have previously taken the placement exam.

If you have earned AP credit in high school of 3 or higher, you will already place out of BIOL 101/101L.  You will NOT need to take our Biology Placement test.

If you decide to not come to the exam, after you have registered, no need to cancel. You are still eligible to come to a future placement exam, as long as you still qualify to take it.

About the Biology Placement Test

This test is designed for people who have had two years of high school biology and probably do not belong in our Introductory Biology (BIOL 101) course.

The exam is comprehensive and covers concepts that would be found in any introductory biology textbook.  A non-majors textbook, such as Campbell’s Concepts and Connections (any edition) would be useful to study from.  The topics covered include cell biology, genetics, evolution, diversity, plant and animal physiology, and ecology. You may find Kahn Academy’s review of biology helpful:

The exam will be all multiple choice and approximately 50 questions.  The exam is scheduled for 2 hours –  you’ll have plenty of time to complete the exam.

If you are currently registered in BIOL 101 and/or 101L and you plan to drop either of them, you should do so immediately upon being notified via email of your passing score.  You may not drop after the last day to drop a course, even if you have placement credit.

If you require special accommodations for the BIOL 101/101L placement exam, please contact Accessibility Resources & Services at or visit their website for more information.

How to check and interpret your score

To check your scores, please go here:

70 and above is a strong pass.

65-70 is a low pass and you should choose your next biology course carefully.

60-64  is a very low pass. If you plan to major in Biology, we suggest that you meet with our Biology Advisor, Dr. Gidi Shemer to discuss what future biology courses you should take.

You will receive an email immediately letting you know if you passed.  Nothing else is required on your part.  The BIOL 101/101L placement test results will be sent to the Registrar’s Office and your BE/PL credit will be evaluated by the Degree Audit staff to ensure that there are no duplicate credits (BE, PL, transfer, or enrollment). Results will be posted to your transcript by October 31 in the fall semester and by February 28 in the spring semester.  Please check your transcript after these dates to see that you got the proper credit.  Please notify Summer Montgomery if there is an error.

If you have any questions regarding the test, please contact Dr. Kelly Hogan

(Updated January 9, 2019)