Mills Follows Shelter-in-Place Order Until Further Notice.Learn More
Alert Close

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. These assessments should be taken seriously and with the honor code in mind. 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 should be taken before pre-registering or registering for BIO 001. It is available starting in early May 2020, and should be completed by the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester.

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

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, 2020.

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.

When should I take the test?
This test should be taken before June 15, 2020.

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, 2020.

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 will be instructed how to sign up for one 10-minute time slot in late  August.

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.

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, 2020.

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 will be instructed how to sign up for one 10-minute slot in late August. 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, amach@mills.edu, or Mar Thomas, marthomas1@mills.edu.


How to Access the Placement Tests in Canvas

Tests for the 2020-21 academic year are currently available. 

From a Canvas supported browser (Chrome is suggested), click on the placement test you wish to take. Login using your Mills login credentials. If you have never accessed the Mills Resource Portal you will need to set up your password first using the directions on the Password Information page. Then return here to click on the link of the placement test in which you wish to self-enroll.

Biology Placement Test

Chemistry Placement Test

French Placement Test

Math Placement Test

Spanish Placement Test