Mandatory Placement Exams

Mandatory Placement Exams

Incoming first year and transfer students are required to take two placement exams: the Online Math Placement Exam (ALEKS) and a Foreign Language Placement Exam (FLPE).

There is a non-refundable $54.00 IU Bloomington Online Placement Exam fee which covers both the ALEKS and FLPE. This fee will appear on the student's bursar bill the first time the student takes an online placement exam (either the ALEKS or the FLPE) during a testing year (March 1 – last day of February), and it will cover any additional such exams taken during that particular testing year.

These exams should be completed at least 72 hours prior to your New Student Orientation (NSO) advising appointment. During this appointment you will receive your exam scores from your advisor, who will help you interpret them and determine your math and foreign language placement levels. Failing to complete these exams 72 hours prior to your NSO advising appointment may interfere with your appointment and course registration.

Transfer students with IU Bloomington credit for certain levels of coursework may be exempt from one or both of the required exams. Please check your Transfer Credit Report prior to your NSO advising appointment to verify any IUB credits you may have earned through your previous coursework. More information about IU's Credit Transfer Service is available on the IU Office of Admissions website.

Online Math Placement Exam (ALEKS)

The Online Math Placement Exam (ALEKS) assesses the student’s knowledge of mathematics concepts at the undergraduate level. It is taken unproctored at, where you can also learn more about the Online Placement Exam Fee and information about ALEKS such as how to determine whether you need to take the test, how many times you can take the test, and what you need to know before taking the test.

If a student’s transfer credits have not been articulated for these particular IU Bloomington course(s), the student must plan to take the Online Math Placement Exam prior to New Student Orientation (NSO). During your NSO advising appointment you will meet with an advisor who will interpret your score and determine your placement levels and course options. Neglecting to take the exam prior to NSO may disrupt your advising appointment and course registration. Please see the IUB Credit Transfer Service website to see how courses from previous institutions will transfer.

Academic credit for Calculus may be awarded through a proctored exam taken during New Student Orientation. Additional information about the Calculus Exemption Exam is available on the Optional Exemption Exams page of our website.

Foreign Language Placement Exam (FLPE)

The Online Foreign Language Placement Exam (FLPE) tests a student’s current knowledge of particular foreign languages. It is required of all freshman and most transfer students at the undergraduate level regardless of Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) scores or their academic plans. A student is exempt from the FLPE only if he/she has never studied a foreign language. Transfer students may be exempt if certain conditions are met.

The FLPE is taken unproctored and may be accessed at Each language exam may only be taken once. A student may take more than one FLPE in a different language if the student has knowledge of that language. The exam must be completed in a single sitting without interruption. You cannot pause the exam and return to it later. Time limits vary from 60 to 90 minutes, and some exams include a listening section.

The FLPE must be taken without assistance. Dictionaries, books, notes, the internet, websites, and other tools should not be used during the exam. Please do not ask others for assistance during the exam. Otherwise, the test scores may not accurately reflect your knowledge and skill level, and you may be placed into a foreign language course that exceeds your capability.