Science Placement Exams

Newly admitted McGill students may earn a course exemption from one or more basic science courses by taking an admission placement exam before starting classes. 

If you feel that you've completed the equivalent of one or more university-level science courses, but do not have acceptable certification to that effect, you may be eligible to write admission placement exams in biology, chemistry, math, or physics.

Students who pass the placement exam for biology, chemistry, or physics must pass the corresponding lab course if they did not study in a formal course that included laboratory work meeting the relevant department's approval.

Note: There is a non-refundable application fee for each exam. Once your application has been received, your student account will be charged automatically. Applicants have the option of not writing the placement exam(s) once they have applied; however, the application fee will not be refunded. Science Placement exams are open to newly-admitted students only, and must be written the semester they are admitted. Please note that the Science Placement exams will be offered as online exams, with the exception of those for MATH courses, which will be held in person.

Applicable courses

Science Placement Exams are held for the following courses:

  • BIOL 111 - Principles: Organismal Biology
  • BIOL 112 - Cell and Molecular Biology
  • CHEM 110 - General Chemistry 1
  • CHEM 120 - General Chemistry 2
  • CHEM 212 - Introductory Organic Chemistry 1
  • CHEM 222(234) - Introductory Organic Chemistry 2
  • MATH 122 - Calculus for Management
  • MATH 123 - Linear Algebra and Probability
  • MATH 133 - Vectors, Matrices and Geometry
  • MATH 140 - Calculus 1
  • MATH 141 - Calculus 2
  • PHYS 131 - Mechanics and Waves
  • PHYS 142 - Electromagnetism and Optics

How to apply

Faculties of Arts and Science

Students admitted with an acceptable certification may not apply for admissions placement exams. Arts and Science students who are eligible to apply will be given exemptions, but not credit, for each test passed.

Science Placement Application Form

Other faculties

All other students should contact their faculties' Student Affairs Office before applying to determine if they have acceptable certification. They should also inquire as to whether they will receive credit and/or exemption for placement tests satisfactorily passed.

Science Placement Application Form

When to apply

Visit the "Final Exam Dates" page for this information.






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