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Placement Exams

Depending on your major or degree type, you may be required to take a placement exam. Biola offers placement exams in Foreign Language, Physics, Chemistry, and Music. Please see the placement exam information below for more information about who needs to take which exam(s) as well as how and when to take these placement exams.

Writing/English Placement (required for all Freshmen/Transfer students)

All students are required to take an English writing course (ENGL 100 or ENGL 112) as part of their graduation requirements.

For the 21-22 school year, all freshmen and transfer students must submit information to the English Writing Program on how they plan to meet their Biola english writing requirement.

There are six ways to meet the requirement:

  1. Submit a writing sample to Biola for evaluation. The Biola English Writing Program will place you into either ENGL 100 or ENGL 112 (both courses fulfill the same graduation requirement).
    1. Your writing sample needs to be at least four pages in word document or PDF format.
    2. You may include up to two essays, research projects, or creative works written for previous academic assignments.
  2. Self-select into ENGL 100. See below for details about the differences between ENGL 100 and ENGL 112 before opting into ENGL 100.
  3. Transfer in an equivalent English writing course.
  4. Earn a score of 3 or higher on the AP Literature & Composition or AP Language & Composition exam.
  5. Pass IB Higher Level English A: Language and Literature (+ IB Diploma) with a grade of 5 or higher.
  6. Be accepted into the Torrey Honors College or Accelerated Learning Placement (ALP) program.

Use the following form to confirm how you will meet the English Writing requirement and/or submit your writing samples for review. If you are submitting a writing sample, please have it ready before completing this form.

Complete Writing Placement

ENGL 100 vs. ENGL 112 at Biola

During your first year, in addition to major courses, you will be enrolled in “Biola Core” courses, which consist of general education and Bible courses. A first-year writing course (ENGL 100 or 112) is part of the Biola Core and is particularly significant to your academic success.

ENGL 100 – Studies in Critical Thinking and Writing with Studio: A writing course that meets four times a week, providing students more structured time with faculty, student mentors, and peer cohorts than a conventional course does. The extra weekly meetings allow students more in-class writing and revising practice.

ENGL 112- Studies in Critical Thinking and Writing I:A writing course that meets twice a week according to a conventional college-class schedule. This course, like ENGL 100, emphasizes writing and revision practice, with much of that practice completed independently, outside of class.

If you have any further questions about the differences between ENGL 100 and ENGL 112, contact

Science Placement (Chemistry & Physics)

Science placement exams are required only for select programs within the School of Science, Technology and Health Majors. Review the table below for placement information.

Additional Exams for Select Majors

Exams Needed

Applied Physics
Biological Sciences
Engineering Physics
Health Sciences
Kinesiology — Health and Human Performance
Kinesiology — Exercise Science Chemistry 105 & Physics
Physical Science
Public Health — Pre-Health ProfessionsChemistry 105 & Physics

Please Note: Kinesiology: Health and Human Performance students have the option of taking either CHEM 120 or CHEM 105.

Public Health: Global Health majors are not required to take a Chemistry or Physics placement exam.

Foreign Language Placement

Core Requirements for Foreign Language

To find out your foreign language requirements, please review the Program Requirements for your majorNote: Those from a catalog earlier than 18-19 have different foreign language requirements and should contact the Modern Languages department at

B.S. Majors (0-4 Credits): Students pursuing a B.S. degree, who have completed two years or more of high school language study in the same language, will have their language requirement waived. Those with one year or less of high school language must complete four credits of language study at the level into which they place.

B.A. Majors (4-8 credits): Students pursuing a B.A. degree must complete 8 credits of language study in the same language starting at the level into which they place. Students who have completed four years of high school studies in a language offered at Biola will have 4 credits of the foreign language requirement waived, if they continue studies in that language beyond the 100-level. Students must complete the remaining 4 credits at the level into which they place. Students who have completed four years of language study in a language not offered at Biola will have 4 credits of their language requirement waived and can complete 4 additional credits in the language of their choice at the level into which they place.

B.M. and B.F.A. Majors (0 Credits): Students pursuing B.M. or B.F.A. degree programs are exempt from the language requirement.

All students are strongly encouraged to satisfy their foreign language requirement during their freshman and sophomore years; the nature of foreign language acquisition makes it difficult to retain one’s level if continuous enrollment in language study is not maintained. The Modern Languages department may require students who enroll at the wrong level to change to an appropriate level.

French, German and Spanish Placement Exams

Please set aside a minimum of one hour for taking the Placement Test — it will likely not take you this long, but it must be taken in one sitting and cannot be repeated, so plan for that time.

The placement exam is closed book and cannot be taken with any additional resources including translating programs. Any additional attempts to take the exam will incur fees.

Click here for access to the French, German, and Spanish Placement Exams. Use your Biola email address when signing in. 

Upon completion, if you receive a note that indicates "Contact the Modern Languages Dept. for further evaluation," please connect with the Modern Languages department at to confirm your placement level.

Note: The Modern Languages Department recommends taking the placement exam at least one week before registration as, depending on your score, you may need to meet with a professor to confirm placement before you can register for a language class. Additionally, the placement test is not linked to the registration system at Biola and test scores need to be manually inputted to give access to register for 200-level courses or higher. We cannot guarantee that you will be able to register for the class you placed into if you take the test within 48 hours of your registration window.

Music Placement

Only students pursuing a Music major or minor are required to take Music placement exams.

Learn more about Music Placement.