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Placement Exam Instructions

Butler University placement exams are completed online using Butler's course management system, Moodle. Before you begin, you are encouraged to familiarize yourself with the instructions for each exam that you plan to take. Instructions are on the Moodle home page of the individual placement exam. We've also compiled a printable reference regarding each exam for your convenience.

Important Browser Information ~ Show

It is a requirement that you use the latest version of Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. Other browsers, like Internet Explorer, will encounter significant problems when attempting to take placement exams. Use the links to download either Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

General Instructions for ALL Placement Exams ~ Show

  • To access the exams while in Moodle, hover over the "My Moodle" link. From there, hover over "Placement Exams." In the drop down menu, choose the appropriate placement exam(s).
  • You have only one attempt to complete any of the placement exams. There are no "retries." Please be sure that you have ample time to complete an exam once you have clicked the link to start the exam.
  • A timer is located within each testing environment. As soon as you click on "Attempt Quiz Now," the timer will start. Please note that the exams may take a few moments to load.
  • There is no penalty for guessing.
  • To complete each exam, you must click "Next" and then "Submit All and Finish" on the two screens after the initial submission. If the timer runs out, the exam will be submitted automatically.
  • By submitting your answers to any placement exam you certify that you have not obtained any assistance in completing the exam.
  • Note for students with disabilities: If you are a student with a properly documented disability and eligible to receive an accommodation (i.e., extended time) for placement exams, do not proceed with exams until you have contacted Student Disability Services. Special accommodation arrangements can be made for online placement exams; however, advance notice is required. Please contact Student Disability Services at (800) 368-6852, ext. 9308 or (317) 940-9308. You may also send an email to

Troubleshooting ~ Show

  • If you are uncertain as to whether you need to take a placement exam, check your 'To Do List' on My.Butler.
  • For placement exam questions or issues, please call the Butler University New Student Registration Help Line at (317) 940-8298. Note that the placement exam assistance phone line is only answered during regular business hours (Monday-Friday), 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Messages will be returned the following business day. 
  • General information about placement exams can be found at

For incoming first-year students during New Student Registration periods: For technical assistance, call the placement exam assistance phone line at (317) 940-8298 and select Option 1. Note that that the phone line is only answered during regular business hours on Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Messages will be returned the following business day.


When do I take my placement exams?

The completion of placement exams is a critical component of the academic advising process. Any required exams should be completed in a timely fashion, as follows:

For Incoming First-Year Students ~ Show

Exams are available thirty days prior to your scheduled New Student Registration date. All exams must be completed and submitted by 6:00 a.m. one week prior to your New Student Registration date.

If you are attending New Student Registration on: Your Placement Exams will be available on: Your Placement Exams must be completed by 6:00 a.m. on:
Friday, April 3 Wednesday, February 25 Friday, March 27
Friday, April 17 Wednesday, March 11 Friday, April 10
Friday, April 24 Wednesday, March 18 Friday, April 17
Saturday, April 25 Wednesday, March 18 Friday, April 17
Friday, May 15 Wednesday, April 8 Friday,  May 8
Friday,  May 29 Wednesday, April 22 Friday, May 22
Friday, June 5 Wednesday, April 29 Friday, May 29
Friday, June 12 Wednesday, May 6 Friday, June 5

For Transfer Students ~ Show

Complete all necessary placement exams as quickly as possible. Your advising file cannot be forwarded to the appropriate academic department for advising until all exams are completed. Contact the Learning Resource Center for specific questions regarding your file.

Which placement exams do I take?

The following chart indicates which exams are required and any special information pertaining to the placement exams. Incoming first-year students should also reference their To Do List on My.Butler where required placement exams will be listed based on declared college and major. Transfer students will be informed individually about required placement exams during the transfer process.

*Note for first-year students: If you have received updated SAT or ACT scores that may eliminate the need for certain placement exams, please be sure to submit those scores to Butler University's Office of Admission as soon as possible.


Placement Exam Who Must Take this Exam Time Limit Special Information

ACT English score is 20 or below

SAT critical reading score is 520 or below

90 minutes The English placement exam determines enrollment for the EN101 Writing Tutorial, a 3-credit hour writing course designed to be taken concurrently with FYS101. Students who place into the EN101 Writing Tutorial are provided with additional writing and composition assistance to assure student success in the First Year Seminar sequence.

ACT math score is 26 or below

SAT math score is 640 or below


45 minutes

Note: A scientific calculator is needed for some of the questions on the exam; graphing or programmable calculators are not allowed.

The math placement exam measures preparation for  Butler mathematics courses that may be required for certain major or minor programs of study.

For majors in Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Physician Assistant, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering Dual Degree Program, Physics, Pre-Health*, Exploratory Natural Sciences, and Secondary Education - Chemistry

If your curriculum requires enrollment in General Chemistry, CH 105, or above

2 hours

The chemistry placement is not required for Natural World Core Curriculum courses.

*The term Pre-Health for placement exam purposes implies an intention to take pre-requisite courses for graduate programs in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, physical therapy, or any other health profession that requires advanced Chemistry courses.

Foreign Languages

All College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, College of Communication and College of Education majors; and International Management (College of Business) majors have a language requirement

If you have taken any of these languages in high school (or have other extensive experience) and plan to continue your language studies at Butler

French, German, and Spanish:

60 minutes with questions on:

  • Grammar
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Listening

If you intend to begin a new language at Butler, you will start at the 101 level and are not required to take a placement exam in the new language.

It is recommended that you take an appropriate language placement exam, especially if you are unsure about your academic major or degree requirements.


60 minutes with questions on:

  • Grammar
  • Translation
  • Reading Comprehension


No online placement currently exists for Chinese. Contact the department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures directly to arrange placement.

Piano Keyboard

All Music majors

All Dance majors


You will be contacted the week of your New Student Registration date with the details on when your keyboard placement is scheduled.
Music Theory

All Music majors


You will be contacted the week of your New Student Registration with the details on when your music theory placement exam is scheduled.