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An Overview

Biola University offers placement exams in the following subject areas:

  1. Writing/English (Required for all Freshmen/Transfer students)

  2. Science (Chemistry & Physics)

  3. Foreign language (Spanish, German, French)

  4. Music


Please see the selections below for more information about the exam requirements.

Writing/English Placement

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 confirmed 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

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.


Exams for Science Majors Placement Needed
Applied Physics
Biological Sciences
Engineering Physics
Human Biology
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

To find out your foreign language requirements, please review the Program Requirements for your major. Students are strongly encouraged to satisfy their foreign language requirement during their freshman and sophomore years.

Major Type Language Credits Needed Waiver Eligibility
B.S. Majors 0–4 4 credits waived with 2+ years of the same language in high school.
B.A. Majors 4–8 4 credits waived with four years of the same language in high school or 4 credits waived by proficiency testing through the Modern Languages Department.
B.M. and B.F.A. Majors 0 Exempt from the foreign language requirement.
ALP Program 6 The ALP program meets the language requirements for all B.A. and B.S. majors.

Note: Those from a catalog earlier than 18-19 have different foreign language requirements and should contact the Modern Languages department at

French, German and Spanish Placement Exams

Biola offers placement exams in French, German, and Spanish. The Modern Languages department may require students who enroll at the wrong level to change to an appropriate level.

Placement exam instructions:

  • Register using your email
  • Set aside one hour for the exam (it will likely not take this long)
  • Exam is taken in one sitting
  • Closed book; no additional resources allowed
  • Additional attempts will incur fees
Complete Language Placement Exam


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 About Music Placement Exams