Summer SOAR Program (Summer and Fall 2021 Students)

SOAR stands for Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration and is coordinated by the Center for the First-Year Experience (CFYE). SOAR provides the opportunity to:

  • Gain exposure to the array of academic and social opportunities at UW–Madison.
  • Begin to integrate into university life and UW–Madison culture.
  • Think about what you would like your Wisconsin Experience to be.
  • Gain an understanding of university policies, procedures, and processes.

SOAR session selection for Summer & Fall 2021 admitted students will open in late April 2021. More information about the Summer SOAR program for Fall 2021 admitted students will be posted in the coming months. In the meantime, review this page to learn more about the SOAR process!

Tasks before SOAR

Wondering what to do in the meantime? Before making your SOAR reservation later this Fall, there will be several tasks you must complete to prepare for your orientation. Please review these initial pre-SOAR tasks below to start preparing! More tasks will be posted in the coming months.

1) Complete Your Admissions Checklists

The Office of Admissions requires specific tasks for all incoming students after they are admitted. You will need to complete both your Admissions checklists as an Applicant and Admitted Student before making your SOAR reservation. Be sure to check your email(s) often for important information from the University, and keep track of the following information:

  • Your 10-digit UW-Madison Campus ID number
  • Your deadlines for enrollment confirmation, financial aid, final transcripts, and housing

2) Explore your Academic Options

During your SOAR reservation process, you will select the advising group that best matches your academic interests and goals. You will work with the advisors in your group to:

  • Learn more about the requirements for earning a UW-Madison degree.
  • Explore your academic options
  • Strategically choose courses based on your academic experiences and goals.
  • Enroll in your first semester classes.

Please review the two resources below to help you choose your SOAR advising group!

3) Understand your placement testing requirements

Placement testing registration for summer & fall 2021 students will open on March 1, 2021. In order to participate in the SOAR program, students who are required to take a placement test(s) must complete their placement test(s) at least 2 weeks before their SOAR session.

Placement test scores help academic advisors learn about your skills and help you choose courses at the correct level in each subject. Placement testing requirements vary between student types (freshman, transfer, and international). In the meantime, click the tabs below to understand your requirements:

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Freshman Students

Math & English: All freshman students are required to complete placement testing in Math and English (or English as a second language: “ESLAT”), regardless of previous coursework or test credit, such as: AP, IB, CAPP, CLEP, or A-Levels.

World Languages: Freshman students 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 another world language, visit the UW-Madison Languages Placement Procedures page for more information. 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 at SOAR.

If you already completed a required test through the UW System, please use our Missing Placement Test Scores report form.

Transfer Students

Transfer students are informed which placement test(s) they are required to take via email. Information about which test(s) you need to take is also available at the bottom of your Transfer Credit Evaluation, located in the Academic Records section of your MyUW Student Center.

If you have any questions regarding your placement testing requirement(s), please contact Credit Evaluation Services in the Office of the Registrar at or 608-890-4000.

If you already completed a required test through the UW System, please use our Missing Placement Test Scores report form.

International Students

Students who were required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS will take the English as a Second Language Assessment Test (ESLAT) instead of the UW System English placement test. The ESLAT is used to assess students’ English language skills required for academic work and to place students in appropriate ESL courses.

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