Placement Tests for CESL Courses

Placement tests are required for admission to most undergraduate CESL courses, but not for any graduate CESL courses. Graduate students wishing to take an undergraduate CESL course should refer to the "Graduate Students" section below.

There is no placement test for CESL 299.

There is no placement test for CEAP 250.

Taking the placement test does not guarantee a place in a course. Registration for courses is on a first-come, first-served basis.

About the Test

The purpose of the test is to ensure that you take the CESL course that is most appropriate for you and from which you can get the most benefit. There is no need to study for the test and no reason to misrepresent your ability. The test takes approximately 90 minutes to complete. You will receive the results of your placement test by email within several days. Once you receive the results, you can register for the indicated course immediately.

Schedule and Registration

You will need your McGill user ID/email and password to register for the test.

CESL Course Placement Test Dates and Registration Links

Date Time (Montreal time zone is eastern standard time: GMT-5) Registration Link

Following the Quebec government’s public health guidelines, the McGill Writing Centre will not be offering on-site placement tests until further notice.

Monday, August 16, 2021 10:00 am Registration
Tuesday, August 24, 2021 12:00 pm Registration
Tuesday, September 7, 2021 02:00 pm Registration
Friday, September 10, 2021 10:00 am Registration

Please note that the CESL course placement tests are held online.  Please register for one of the placement tests listed above.  Closer to the date you will be sent the link to connect you to the placement test.


If you have taken the placement test and you have any questions or concerns about your placement or about CESL courses, you may speak with an advisor. Advising sessions are optional and are normally by appointment. 

Link: request an advising session


Graduate Students

  • CESL graduate courses do not require placement tests.
  • Under certain conditions, a graduate student may take an undergraduate course (either CESL or CEAP); in this case, a placement test is required. Following completion of the test, a permit will be issued.  This permit is required for course registration on Minerva.

Undergraduate courses at the 400 level and below also require permission from the student’s department (usually from the supervisor). Students are advised to take the placement test before seeking permission, as the test will demonstrate need.

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