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Science placement exams

General information

Certain students entering McGill may earn exemptions from one or more of the basic science courses by taking admission placement examinations before starting classes. These are formal exams held on campus.

If you feel that you've completed the equivalent of one or more university-level mathematics or science courses, but do not have acceptable certification to that effect, you may be eligible to write admission placement exams in linear algebra, 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 of $35.91 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.

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.

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.

When to apply

Visit the "Final exam dates" page for this information.