A pencil is laying on top of a UW math course exam paper packet.

Placement test scores help academic advisors learn about your skills and help choose courses at the correct level in each subject.

Placement Testing

Incoming Spring 2023 Students attending January SOAR:

On January 3, please visit go.wisc.edu/uw_testing to register for your online UW System placement testing.

How to register:

  1. Go to go.wisc.edu/uw_testing. This will take you to the Testing and Evaluation Services Office page with instructions to access the registration form.
  2. Follow the prompt at the top of the page to go to the registration page.
  3. You will then be on a page titled Regional Testing. At the bottom of that page, click the hyperlinked text: “registration form”
  4. The registration form will load onto the page. Fill out and submit the form to register!

*You must log in to this registration page using your UW-Madison NetID and password. If you’ve activated your NetID but have forgotten your NetID password, you can reset it online with the NetID Password Reset Tool. If you have forgotten your NetID, you can recover it using the self-service NetID Recovery Tool.

Shortly after registering, you will receive an email from candidatesupport@scantron.com with a password and instructions to access the Scantron online placement testing system. You will then select the placement tests to take in the Scantron testing portal. Please complete your required placement testing as soon as possible after getting access to the Scantron testing portal.

After you complete each of your required tests, please ensure that you click Submit at the end. If you have you submitted your tests, then you have completed the placement testing process. You can always log back into the Scantron testing system to make sure you submitted each test.

Contact the Testing and Evaluation Services office at frontdesk@exams.wisc.edu or (608) 262-5863 if you have questions during the registration or testing process.

To participate in the SOAR program, you may be required to take at least one placement test before your session. Completing your required placement tests is an important step for your advising process. Academic advisors use placement test scores to learn about your skills and help you choose courses at the correct level in each subject. You will complete all your required placement testing online.

To confirm which placement tests you need to take, please refer to the placement testing email you received after being admitted or review Step 3 of the SOAR reservation process. For further questions about your placement testing requirements, please reach out to the appropriate office below:

Requirements for SOAR

The SOAR reservation system will list your placement testing requirements and ask you to confirm that you understand you must complete them. However, the SOAR reservation system does not register you for online placement testing.  If you already completed a required test through the UW System, please use our Missing Placement Test Scores report form.

Requirements by Student Type


Math & English: All freshman students must complete placement testing in Math and English (or English as a second language: “ESLAT”), regardless of previous coursework or credit-bearing exam scores (e.g. AP, IB, CAPP, CLEP, A-Levels, etc.)

World Languages: Freshman are strongly encouraged to test in the foreign language they studied in high school, even if they have anticipated AP test credit. Freshman who have previous experience in Spanish, French, or German and who plan to take coursework in this language at UW–Madison must take a placement test in that language to qualify and enroll in classes beyond the entry level language course. Previous experience may include native speakers and those who have previous coursework in the language.

If you are interested in taking a course in a world language, visit the UW-Madison Languages Placement Procedures page for more information on the placement process. Additionally, many programs have a world language requirement. Be sure to review the UW Undergraduate Guide to determine your degree requirements for world language and consult with your advisor during SOAR.

Transfer Students

Transfer students are informed which placement test(s) they are required to take via email by Credit Evaluation Services in the Office of the Registrar. Information about which test(s) you need to take is also available at the bottom of your Transfer Credit Evaluation, located in MyUW Student Center. If you have questions about your placement testing requirements, please contact Credit Evaluation Services at crediteval@registrar.wisc.edu.

International Students

Most new international freshman and transfer students are required to take the Madison English as a Second Language Assessment Test (MSN-ESLAT). The ESLAT is used to assess students’ English language skills required for academic work and to place students in appropriate ESL courses.

Note: The ESLAT is separate from the TOEFL exam. A TOEFL score does not meet the ESLAT requirement for undergraduate students. If you have any questions regarding the ESLAT, please contact the ESL office at askesl@english.wisc.edu.

Requesting Accommodations Due to Disability

The online placement tests will be untimed and students can adjust the magnification on their browser, so in most cases accommodations will not be necessary. If you have any questions or concerns, please email Tim O’Connor in Testing & Evaluation Services at tnoconno@wisc.edu.