For new undergraduate students enrolling for Fall Semester 2020, all exemption testing for Biology and Calculus will be offered in and around Welcome Week prior to the start of Fall Semester 2020. Biology and Calculus testing during the summer virtual New Student Orientation program has been suspended.
Optional Exemption Exams
Indiana University Bloomington Evaluation Services and Testing (BEST) oversees the administration of the Biology Exemption Exam and Calculus Placement Exam in cooperation with the Departments of Biology and Mathematics respectively. These undergraduate-level exams are optional and should be taken only if the student does not have prior academic credit or credit-by-testing for Biology-E 111/E 112, Biology-L 111/L 112, and/or Math-M 211.
Each exam is one hour and may be taken in person at a scheduled time in and around Welcome Week prior to the start of Fall Semester 2020. New students will receive information on their New Student Orientation confirmation page from the Office of First Year Experience Programs regarding scheduled testing opportunities and any required registration procedures.
After Welcome Week, currently-enrolled students needing the Biology Exemption Exam should contact the Department of Biology Academic Advising Office to obtain permission to take the Biology Exemption Exam. Students who still need to take the Calculus Placement Exam should review the Department of Mathematics Calculus Placement and Exemption Exams website to identify alternate testing opportunities later in the semester.
The Biology Exemption Exam may be taken up to two times. The Calculus Placement Exam may be taken only once.
There is a non-refundable $26.50 fee per exam that will be charged to the student’s Bursar account for each exam taken. Students taking both the Biology and Calculus exams will be charged a separate fee for each exam.
Calculus Placement Exam
Incoming freshmen and transfer students who already possess strong Calculus skills but do not have credit for Calculus may choose to take the Calculus Placement Exam. If a student scores between 20-24 on this exam, he/she can obtain credit for one semester of Calculus (MATH-M 211) for 4 credit hours and confidently continue studying mathematics at a more advanced level. The exam covers the topics normally taught in MATH-M 211.
Please see the MATH-M 211 course description for more course-related information.
Additional information about other math placement and exemption exams is available on the Department of Mathematics Calculus Placement and Exemption Exams website.
PRE-ADVISING ACTION REQUIRED: Students who need to take the Calculus Placement Exam during Welcome Week should complete the sample exam prior to the summer virtual New Student Orientation program. Please be prepared to discuss your performance on the sample exam with your academic advisor.
Biology Exemption Exam
Incoming freshman and transfer students as well as currently matriculated students in their first semester at IU Bloomington OR who have NOT yet completed 51 credit hours on the IU Bloomington campus, and who have been approved by the Department of Biology academic advising staff, are eligible to take the Biology Exemption Exam. Academic credit may be awarded for BIOL-E 111 and BIOL-E 112. Credit earned through testing will appear as BIOL-E 111 and BIOL-E 112, and students will earn a grade of S (Satisfactory). This credit satisfies the BIOL-L 111 and BIOL-L 112 course requirements for biology majors and other science majors, but it carries no lab credit. Credit through testing can also apply toward College of Arts and Sciences N&M distribution requirements. The exam covers the topics normally taught in BIOL-L 111 and BIOL-L 112.
Please see the BIOL-E 111/L 111 and BIOL-E 112/L 112 course descriptions for more course-related information.
Additional information about Biology credit-by-testing is available on the Department of Biology Frequenty Asked Questions website. A sample test is not available.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Should I take the exams if I have been awarded prior academic credit for Biology and Calculus?
Academic credit for BIOL-L 111/E 111 AND BIOL-L 112/E 112 and for MATH-M 211 may only be awarded once. This includes credit awarded from the Advanced Placement (AP) exam, the International Baccalaureate, the SAT Subject Tests and transfer credit granted by Indiana University for eligible courses completed at other academic institutions. You should take these exams only if you do not have prior academic credit or credit-by-testing for these courses.
- May I change my mind and decide not to take the exam that I am scheduled to take?
Yes, of course! Students are not required to take either exam. If the student decides not to sit for the exam that they registered for, they do not have to take it. No prior notification is necessary.
- May I receive a refund if I take the exam and do not receive academic credit or later find that I took the exam unnecessarily?
The $26.50 fee per exam is non-refundable under any circumstances. You should carefully consider whether you need or want to take the Biology Exemption Exam and/or Calculus Placement Exam before sitting for it.
- Is there anything I should do to prepare for the Biology Exemption Exam and/or the Calculus Placement Exam?
A sample test for the Biology Exemption Exam is not available. Students wanting to take the Calculus Placement Exam should take the sample test before attending summer virtual New Student Orientation. Students should discuss their need to take these exams with their academic advisor.