Placement Tests

Mills is committed to helping new students make a successful transition to our institution. We require entering students, depending on your academic interests, to take one or more of the placement tests listed below. These tests help you and your advisor make good decisions about your first-year course schedule. The College also uses information gleaned from the aggregate scores of these tests to fine tune its curriculum. In no instance will these scores be recorded on your transcript, nor will they affect your admissions status or financial aid award.

Please read the instructions for each test carefully as there are differences in timing and procedure among them. If you have any questions or concerns about the placement tests, please contact the Office of the Provost at 510.430.2096 or provost@mills.edu.

How to Access Placement Tests | Biology | Chemistry | Mathematics | French | Spanish


Biology Placement Test

The General Biology (Biology 001) test is designed to let you, your advisor, and the Biology Department, know whether you have the necessary background in chemistry and mathematics to enable you to do well in Biology 001. Students taking the biology placement test should also take the chemistry placement test.

The biology placement test should be taken by some students who wish to enroll in Biology 001 or 002. Undergraduate students entering as first-year students usually take Chemistry 017–018 in their first year and Biology 001–002 in their second year; in that case, there is no need to take the placement test. However, those with unusually strong backgrounds in chemistry and mathematics may be able to take the two courses concurrently. First-year students who think they might have the chemistry and mathematics background for Biology 001 should take the placement test. Transfer students and post-baccalaureate students may need to take Chemistry 017 and Biology 001 concurrently; in this case, the placement tests will still allow us to evaluate your level of preparation.

The biology placement test consists of 20 multiple-choice problems, and should take you no more than a half hour. You should take the test "closed book." You do not need a calculator for any of the problems. You may take the test only once, so be sure you have time to complete it.

When should I take the test?
This test is ONLY conducted in the fall. This test should be taken before June 15, 2019.

(Note: The chemistry placement test should be taken BEFORE the biology placement test.)

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Chemistry Placement Test

This test should be taken by all students interested in taking Chemistry 017, the foundation course for science majors. It consists of 20 multiple-choice problems, and should take no more than an hour. It does not require access to any outside information and should be taken as a "closed book" test. You will need a calculator for this test.

When should I take the test?
This test should be taken before June 15, 2019.

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Mathematics Assessment & Placement Test

All incoming first year and transfer students are required to take the Mathematics Assessment and Placement Test prior to the beginning of classes. All students must take the test even if they have fulfilled the core curriculum requirement. The results from this short quiz serve two purposes.

First, they will help us to select an appropriate quantitative skills class for you. Proper mathematics placement is essential for a successful first year at Mills. Taking a mathematics class that you aren't prepared for can hinder the progress of your undergraduate degree.

Second, this test will help Mills better understand the level of mathematics preparation of entering students as a group. We will use this knowledge to guide the development of courses and other programs in this area to best serve our students' needs.

Please take this assessment seriously and with the honor code in mind.

When should I take the test?
This test should be taken before June 15, 2019.

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French Placement Test 

The French placement test is designed to help you and the French faculty to determine your appropriate level in French. All students who have already taken some French in high school or at another institution, and are interested in continuing French at Mills (at any level) should take this test.

When should I take the test?
This test should be taken before June 15, 2019.

The French placement tests are held in the fall semester. If a student needs a placement test for the spring semester a more informal one-to-one placement assessment can be arranged. Please contact the department for more information.

A. The written part is a series of short questions that you can complete online at any time using the instructions above. You must take the written portion before you come in for the oral interview during orientation. It should take you between 30 and 45 minutes.

B. The oral part is a short interview (10 minutes) with the Mills French faculty to see how well you speak and understand spoken French. This is important because all French classes at Mills are taught exclusively in the language. Your speaking ability may not be the same as your writing.  You must sign up for one 10-minute slot during interview times that will be on Monday, August 26 from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm in Mills Hall room 326. The sign-up sheets will be posted in Mills Hall, third floor, outside the door of office 326.

For any questions regarding the placement test or oral interview of French Studies at Mills, please contact Professor Brinda Mehta, Mills Hall 326, 510.430.2212, mehta@mills.edu or
Professor Myriam Da Silva, mdasilva@mills.edu

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Spanish Placement Test

The Spanish placement tests are held in the fall semester. If a student needs a placement test for the spring semester a more informal one-to-one placement assessment can be arranged. Please contact the department for more information.

The Spanish placement test is designed to help you and the Spanish and Spanish American faculty to determine your appropriate level in Spanish. If you are new to Mills and are interested in enrolling in a Spanish course other than Spanish 001, you are required to take the Spanish placement test.

When should I take the test?

This test should be taken before June 15, 2019.

If you received 12-35 points in the placement test, you must meet with Professor Carlota Caulfield in order to discuss your writing skills and grammar level.

If you received 36-57 points in the placement test, you must come for an oral interview in Spanish with the Spanish and Spanish American Studies Program faculty. You must sign up for one 10-minute slot during interview times, This is important because our Spanish classes at Mills are taught exclusively in the language.

For any questions regarding the placement test or oral interview, please contact Professor Carlota Caulfield (Mills Hall 333) at 510.430.2356 or amach@mills.edu; or Daniel Rodriquez (Mills Hall 335) at 510.430.2207.

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How to Access the Placement Tests in Blackboard

Tests for the academic year, 2019-20 are currently available. To self-enroll, please follow these instructions:

  • From a web browser, visit the Mills Resource Portal and login using your Mills login credentials. If you have never accessed the Mills Resource Portal, you will need to set up your password first. Please follow the directions on the Password Information page.
  • Click on the Blackboard icon. If you don't see the Blackboard icon, please switch to your student profile by selecting your avatar in the top right corner and then choosing the 'Switch Profile' button.
  • Click on the Blackboard "Courses" tab in the new window that opens up.
  • Type "placement" in the "Course Search" field and click “GO!”
  • Select the placement test you wish to access by clicking on "Enroll."
  • On the Self-Enrollment page, click "Submit."
  • Click "OK" to continue to the Placement Test homepage.
  • After reading all the information regarding your test, click on the "Take the Assessment" link in the left navigation area to access the test.

IMPORTANT: Be sure to click the “Save” button at the bottom of the quiz when you are finished. Then click the “Submit” button.