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Placement Examinations

Monthly Math Competency Exams- Spring 2014

Tuesday Feb. 18th 2:00pm-3:00pm LEF-012
Thursday Mar. 20th 10:00am-11:00am LEF-225
Monday Apr. 07th 3:00pm-4:00pm SCB-150
Friday Apri. 18th 9:00am-10:00am LEF-012

For questions or to arrange testing for Placement Exams email or call the Center for Academic Achievement at 617-521-2474.

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Placement Exams

Language Placement Exam

As part of its commitment to international education for all of its students, Simmons College has a language requirement to help students understand languages and cultures other than their own. To fulfill the language requirement, you much reach competency through the 201 level. During orientation, you will have the opportunity to take the French or Spanish Placement Examination. If you would like to take a placement exam in a language other than French or Spanish, or if you are unable to attend orientation, you must contact the Center for Academic Achievement at to make arrangements.

Students who wish to be exempted from having to take language courses at Simmons must demonstrate proficiency by one of the following ways:

  1. AP Test Scores of 3, 4, or 5
  2. SAT subject test scores of 560 or above; or,
  3. Placement exams given through the Center for Academic Achievement at Simmons. Students must pass third the semester (201) level in the designated language.

If you are exempted from taking language courses but you would like to continue your language study, you should take the placement exam to determine the appropriate course level.

In some cases, students with a documented learning disability may be exempt from the language requirement. Students who wish to be exempt from the language requirement due to a documented learning disability must submit documentation to, and meet with, the Disability Services staff in the CAA. Staff members will assist you with petitioning the Administrative Board. If approved, you must complete an alternative requirement consisting of three courses in an area of study relating to global issues and perspectives. For more information please see FAQs About Language at Simmons.

Students who wish to begin studying a new language do not need to take a placement exam; they may simply enroll into the 101 course in their language of choice. All students who wish to continue taking a language that they have previously studied must take a placement exam to ensure that you are in the appropriate level. Students who feel that they want to place out of the language requirement must take a proctored placement exam on campus.

Placement exams for French and Spanish are now being offered via the web throughout the summer. These exams are for PLACEMENT ONLY. Students may not test out or exempt themselves from the language requirement by taking an on-line test.

Students wishing to take the French and Spanish exams can contact the CAA for the password) please go to the following web page. this link is to WebCAPE Foreign Language
Placement Exam.

Students wishing to take the Italian placement exam ()


Those students who feel that they would be able to test out or exempt themselves from the language requirement must take a proctored exam on campus. There are placement exams offered during Summer, Fall and January Orientation.

Students interested in taking the Manadrin Chinese Placement Exam must make an appointment with the Center for Academic Achievement.

Exams for languages not taught at Simmons are offered only twice a year and must be pre-ordered. Exams are ordered on August 1st. for testing in September and December 1st. for testing in January. If you wish to take an examination for a language other than French, Spanish, Mandarin, or Italian, you will need to contact the Center for Academic Achievement to arrange for one to be ordered. Students are only allowed to take exams not offered at Simmons only once at the cost of the college. Please note that in some cases, the CAA may have to arrange with another institution for exam rental. In such cases please allow a minimum of three weeks prior to the date you wish to take the test for the CAA to locate the exam. In very special circumstances, students may petition the Center for Academic Achievement to take an exam by individual appointment during the academic year. For more information, contact the Center for Academic Achievement (

Chemistry Placement Exam

What is the chemistry placement exam?
This is a placement exam to help determine what initial Simmons College chemistry course you should enroll in (CHEM 111 or 113 or 110). This exam will NOT ALLOW YOU TO PLACE OUT of any chemistry course. Students who believe that they would place out of general chemistry should contact Prof. Michael Berger ( to arrange for a proctored exam on campus.

Who should take the chemistry placement exam?
Every student who plans to take a Fall 100-level chemistry course (CHEM 111 or 113 or 110) must take this exam before meeting with your advisor or registering for classes. The results of this placement exam may be used to help you and your advisor choose the most appropriate chemistry course for you to enroll in.

No materials other than a calculator and the provided Periodic Table should be used while taking this test.

There are 25 questions. Each question has five (5) choices for the answer. Read each question carefully, do any calculations required and choose the correct answer from the choices given. After you mark the answer for a question, hit the "Save Answer" button or your answers will not be saved when you submit your quiz. If you cannot do a particular problem, do not waste time on it. Go on to others you can do and return, if you have time. When you finish the quiz, click "Finish" and your quiz will be submitted for grading.

When you are ready, close this document and click on the icon labeled "Online Quizzes". Click on "Chemistry Placement Exam". Read the directions for how to take the quiz in WebCT, then click "Begin Quiz". Do not click "Begin Quiz" until you are ready to take the exam. If you click this button, then do not click "Finish" at the end of the exam, the next person who tries to take this exam will have access to your partially completed exam. This will affect the results of your exam as well as theirs. You may only take the placement exam once except in the case of technical difficulties.

NOTE: If you have difficulty accessing the Chemistry Placement Exam, make sure that the pop-up blockers on tour web browser are disabled. You must also use Internet Explorer or Netscape as the browser to access the exam. MAC and SAFARI are not supported.

Competency Exams

Mathematics Competency Exam

Every Simmons graduate must have demonstrated competency in basic mathematics and she may do so in one of the following ways:

  • Pass the Mathematics Competency Exam. You will have the opportunity to take the Math Competency Exam during orientation or during Open Campus Days
  • Achieve a score of 600 or better on the mathematics section of the SAT, or a score of 24 on the mathematics section of the ACT
  • Present evidence of satisfactory completion at another accredited college of a mathematics course at the level of MATH 101 OR 102 or above to the chair of the Mathematics Department.
  • Successfully complete MATH 101 at Simmons.

Beginning in fall 2006, students must satisfy the math competency requirement during their first year at Simmons. Students who do not pass the Mathematics Competency Exam during new student orientation, or who do not meet the math competency requirement in one of the other ways described above, may choose to take Math 101 in their first semester or to retake the exam in November. If they do not pass the November test, they will automatically be enrolled in MATH 101 in the spring semester. Students who matriculate in January who do not pass the mathematics competency test or do not meet the requirement in one of the ways described above may take MATH 101 during their first semester, or they may retake the exam in March. If they fail the test in March, they will be automatically enrolled in MATH 101 in the following fall semester.

To help students review and prepare for the Mathematics Competency Exam, a practice test, answer key, and study guide can be downloaded. Another online practice resource for the Basic Mathematics Competency Exam can be found at This site offers over 200,000 graded exams.

An official Practice Exam may be downloaded here: Math Competency Practice Exam (PDF)

The Practice Exam Answer Key can be downloaded here: Answer Key


What is iComps and why does it exist?

iComps is the undergraduate Information Technology and Information Literacy Competencies requirement (Information Competency). It exists to ensure that you are adequately prepared to use technology to enhance your learning experience at Simmons. As of Fall 2008, all incoming undergraduate students (first year students, transfers and Dix Scholars) are required to fulfill a competency requirement in Information Technology and Information iteracy by their third semester.

How do I satisfy the iComps requirement?

The iComps requirement can be satisfied one of two ways either by passing the exam with a grade of 70 or better or enrolling in IT-101/IT-225.

When do I take the iComps exam?

Exam dates will be posted at the beginning of each semester on the CAA website.

What is on the iComps exam?

It is a 50-question multiple-choice and true/false proctored exam taken online through eLearning. It is designed to be completed in an hour. It covers information in 5 broad areas:

  • Information Access — library resources and services, foundational research skills
  • Ethics — copyright issues, Simmons Acceptable Use Policy, ethical and legal use of information
  • Personal Computing — connectivity, operating systems, security
  • Using Simmons Systems — Everything you need to know about using Simmons computing resources
  • Applications - Microsoft Office, Browsers, iTunes

What do I do next?

Log into eLearning and access the iComps site —(Simmons College Student Resource Center- NAC). Read the information in the Introduction Learning Module, complete the iComps agreement and then begin your study. You are encouraged to follow the schedule outlined in the syllabus. Watch for emails and announcements throughout the semester alerting you to various iComps related activities and learning opportunities, as well as the specific date and place of the spring exam.

For additional information or administrative questions, contact the Center for Academic Achievement -E108, 617-521-2474.

For help with iComps content (personal computing, using Simmons Systems and Applications) stop by the Technology Desk on the 1st floor of the Beatley Library Information Commons.

These documents are in a print ready PDF format that you can download and print. Please note that you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in to view and print these files.


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