Required Tests and Placement

Placement examinations may be required for certain Open University classes. For more information visit the Testing Office.

Calculus Placement Exam

This test is required for all students wishing to enroll in MATH 20 or MATH 30.

NOTE: This exam may not be used as a substitute for ELM.

Please visit the Testing Office website for information at

Credit by Examination

Students may challenge courses by taking examinations developed at SJSU. Credit shall be awarded to those who pass them successfully.

Regularly enrolled students may earn credit in courses in which the student appears to be qualified by training or experience.

Courses for which credit by special examination may be earned are determined by the appropriate department.

Course credit by examination will not be allowed in a course in which the student has received a failing grade or in which the student has unsuccessfully sought credit by examination.

Credit by Examination is not available to Graduate Students or to students enrolling in 100W courses.

Procedure (During Orientation and Registration Weeks)

  1. Enroll in the course during any available registration period.
  2. Consult with the instructor for preliminary approval.
  3. Forms for Credit by Examination are available in Student Services Center.
  4. Present this form to the instructor for reporting the exam results.
  5. Units earned through Credit-by-Examination are counted as part of the semester's total unit load.
  6. The examination must be administered by the last day of the drop period.
  7. If successful in challenging the course, you remain enrolled in the class but do not attend. Grade of "CR" will be reported to the Registrar at the end of the semester with the regular grade report of the class.
  8. If you fail the examination, you may elect to continue the course for a grade, or officially withdraw through the regular drop procedure before the deadline (or a "WU" will be recorded).
  9. Instructors must return the completed Credit-by-Examination form to the Student Services Center by the twentieth day of instruction indicating whether the student passed, failed, or did not take the examination.
  10. Requests for exceptions to these provisions and procedures shall be made by student petition. The Credit by Exam petition, obtained from Student Services Center, shall explain fully why the case is unusual and the nature of the inconvenience. The petition is then presented to the instructor of the course, major advisor, departmental chairperson and the appropriate College Dean for their approval and signatures. At that time the student should pick up the Credit by Examination petition.

English Placement Test (EPT) and Entry Level Mathematics (ELM)

Please visit the Testing Office website for more information.

English Placement Test (EPT) and Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) Exemptions

Please visit the Testing Office website for more information.

Foreign Language Placement Exams

All students wishing to continue in a foreign language which they have already studied at the high school level are placed in appropriate courses according to their performance on these tests. Contact the Department of World Languages & Literatures for information at

Music Placement Examinations

  • All new and transfer music majors, including graduate students and former students returning, must report to the School of Music and Dance for applied placement auditions, advising and examinations. Music majors must take an applied area performance audition and a major ensemble audition before completing registration.
  • All new freshmen and transfer music majors are required to take a Music Systems (theory) placement examination. The schedule of examinations is listed below. Failure to take the exams at the scheduled times will result in automatic placement into MUSC 009, Music Fundamentals.
  • Orientation and advising required of all new and returning music majors who were not enrolled in Spring 2007 will be held on Tuesday, August 21, 2007, at 1300-1600 in Music Room 250. Additionally, music majors are encouraged to see an advisor at least once a year. New students should visit the music website for initial advising information.
  • Undergraduate students should consult with the undergraduate advisor, Joseph Frank, Music 247. Graduate students should consult with the graduate coordinator, Diana Hollinger, Music 103, for program approval after completing the entrance audition and examinations and prior to registration.
  • Music majors and minors must pay a music equipment use fee of $30.00 directly to the Bursar’s Office and bring a receipt to the Music Office before completing university registration. Students planning to enroll in applied music must pay an applied studio fee of $125.00. Applied instruction will not be authorized until these fees are paid. Music 10B students and ensemble members other than majors and minors must pay a fee of $22.00.

Graduate Systems/History Entrance Examinations

Required of all entering graduate candidates. See the graduate advisor, Diana Hollinger, Music 103.

Physics Placement Test

For instructions, contact the Physics Office, SCI 148, (408) 924-5210

The Physics Placement Test is a one-hour multiple choice exam that covers topics in high school level physics, algebra and first semester calculus.

Basic physics formulae will be provided.

Please bring a calculator.

All students who plan to take Phys 70 must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Pass the Physics Placement Test
  2. Show proof of passing high school level physics with a grade of "B" or better
  3. Pass Math 30 or 30P with a grade of C- or better.

Students who register for Phys 70 without meeting all of these requirements will be dropped from the course.

Students who wish to register for Phys 50 do not need to take the Physics Placement Test. Physics 61 is no longer offered. See your major advisor or visit the Physics department office, Sci 148, for details.