Placement

Placement exams and/or transfer credit help Otterbein University determine the correct math and modern language placement to help ensure your academic success.

If you have already completed college level work, your official transcript will be evaluated by the Office of the Registrar. Part of that review may indicate coursework in math and/or modern language which will provide answers on whether you need to take a placement exam in math and/or modern language.

On this page, you will learn when you can take the exams, whether you need to take them, and more.

Who can I contact about placement exams?

Math Placement

Tess Schwarz
Administrative Assistant and Math Placement Coordinator
614-823-1218
tschwarz@otterbein.edu

Modern Language Placement

Elena Costello
Assistant Professor, Modern Languages & Cultures
ecostello@otterbein.edu

Mathematics Placement

What is math placement?
Your math placement level determines which math course is appropriate for youThe math class you will take is determined by your intended major.  Some majors will require that you take specific math classes and we need to make sure you are prepared to be successful in that class. 

How is Math Placement determined?

Math placement is determined one of three ways.

  1. ACT or SAT Math subscore: With our test optional policy, many students have not sent test scores as a part of their application.  You can still submit your score directly to Otterbein from the ACT/SAT website, just for math placement purposes. This is the fastest and easiest option!
  2. Accuplacer math exam:  This must be taken on campus, or an Accuplacer-approved testing location, and can be scheduled starting in the early spring before you arrive.
  3. Transfer credit from a college math class.
ACT Math SAT Math Course options
27 or higher 620 or higher Eligible to register for MATH 1500, 1700, or one of: MATH 1210, 1220, 1230, 1240, 1250 or PHRE 1200
24-26 560-610

Eligible to register for MATH 1250, Section B or one of: MATH 1210, 1220, 1230, 1240, 1250 or PHRE 1200

Successful completion of a summer math improvement tutorial is required to register for MATH 1500 or MATH 1700

23 or lower 550 or lower Eligible to register for: MATH 1210, 1220, 1230, 1240 or PHRE 1200
OR
MATH 1250, Section A (3 credit) AND MATH 0960 (1 credit)

 

What are the options to improve my Math Placement?

If you do not feel your Math subscore on your ACT or SAT accurately represents your math ability, you have two options to improve your placement.

The first option is to complete an online summer tutorial called ALEKS (Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces). This is a self-paced, mastery-based online tutorial. Please send an email to tschwarz@otterbein.edu if you would like to enroll in this tutorial. Registration information will be available in May for fall term start students.

The second option is to take an Accuplacer test. We use the Advanced Algebra and Functions test as a math placement test. You can reach out to Tess Schwarz at 614-823-1218 or tschwarz@otterbein.edu to schedule a time to come to campus to take it. You may also look on the Accuplacer website for locations available near you, though you will still need to contact Tess Schwarz for a testing voucher once your location is confirmed.

Students whose major requires beginning MATH 1700 but are not eligible for that course should plan to either take the Accuplacer test in June with enough time to complete ALEKS if MATH 1700 is not reached, or plan to complete the ALEKS option in the first place.

What if I have taken a mathematics course at another institution?

Be sure your official college or university transcript has been sent to the Otterbein Registrar. (A high school transcript is not sufficient.) Once the transcript has been evaluated, appropriate transfer credit will be assigned. Final math placement is determined by your best option from your math ACT/SAT or transfer credit.

Mathematical Foundations Courses required for certain majors/degrees

What math class do I take?
Although any of the Mathematical Foundations Courses satisfy the general Otterbein Mathematics Requirement for graduation, certain majors require specific 1200 or 1700 level mathematics course(s). Any student whose major requires MATH 1250 or MATH 1700 is required to have some sort of math placement in place (ACT/SAT Test scores or Accuplacer).  Refer to the online Otterbein University Catalog for the most up-to-date information regarding degree requirements.

Descriptions of these courses are available online at www.otterbein.edu/math-placement. 

You can learn more about Otterbein’s Mathematics Requirement Purpose and Goals at www.otterbein.edu/math-placement. 

 

Actuarial Science (BS) MATH 1250 – Precalculus
Allied Health (BA) MATH 1240 – Statistics I
Allied Health (BS)
(Including Athletic Training)
MATH 1240 – Statistics I and
MATH 1250 – Precalculus
Biochemistry/Molecular Biology MATH 1250 – Precalculus (or MATH 1700 – Calculus I, if placement allows)
Biology (BA) MATH 1250 – Precalculus
Biology (BS) MATH 1250 – Precalculus
Business Administration & Management (BS) MATH 1240 – Statistics I
Business Analytics (BS) MATH 1240 – Statistics I
Chemistry (BA & BS) MATH 1250 – Precalculus
Computer Science (BA) MATH 1250 Precalculus and  MATH 1230 – Discrete Mathematics
Computer Science (BS) MATH 1250 Precalculus (or MATH 1700 – Calculus I, if placement allows) and
MATH 1230 – Discrete Mathematics
Criminology and Social Justice Studies (BA) MATH 1240 – Statistics I
Environmental Chemistry (BS) MATH 1250 – Precalculus (or Math 1700 – Calculus I, if placement allows)
Economics (BA) MATH 1240 – Statistics I
Engineering Physics (BS)* MATH 1250 – Precalculus
Environmental Science (BA & BS) MATH 1250 – Precalculus
Equine Pre-Vet/Grad Studies (BS) MATH 1250 – Precalculus
Finance (BS) MATH 1240 – Statistics I
Global Studies (BA) MATH 1240 – Statistics I
K-12 Intervention Specialist (BSE) MATH 1210 – Nature of Mathematics (or MATH 1500, if placement allows)
Marketing (BS) MATH 1240 – Statistics I
Mathematics (BA & BS) MATH 1250 – Precalculus
and MATH 1500 – Introduction to Mathematical Thought and MATH 1240 – Statistics I
Mechanical Engineering (BS)* MATH 1700 – Calculus I
Nursing (BSN) MATH 1240 – Statistics I
Physics MATH 1250 – Precalculus
PreK-5 Education (BSE) MATH 1210 – Nature of Mathematics (or Math 1500, if placement allows)
Public Accounting (BS) MATH 1240 – Statistics I
Sociology (BA) MATH 1240 – Statistics I
Sport Management (BA) MATH 1240 – Statistics I
Sustainability Studies (BA) MATH 1240 – Statistics I
Systems Engineering (BS) MATH 1700 – Calculus I
Zoo & Conservation Science (BA & BS) MATH 1250 – Precalculus

*Indicates the major assumes eligibility for MATH 1700 (Calculus) beginning Fall Semester. If your Math ACT places you into MATH 1200, you MUST successfully complete a summer improvement option PRIOR to the freshman year to allow first semester entrance into calculus. Failure to do so will results in a five year program for these majors, due to scheduling of the sequential offerings in math or science.

Modern Language and Culture Placement

The Academic Skills Development Core, which complements the Integrative Studies Core of Otterbein’s General Education program, requires students to take 8 – 9 credit hours to develop skills in any combination of Modern Languages, Oral and Written Communication, and/or Experimental Laboratory Sciences categories.

For students not transferring Modern Language credit and interested in taking Modern Language courses (toward Skills Development requirements, toward a language minor or major, or as general electives), placement into the appropriate Modern Language course will be determined:

1. by the number of years of high school work the student has completed or is currently completing; and/or
2. the results of placement testing in their language of interest.

Students are not required to study the same language studied in high school. A list of languages offered that fulfill the Skills Development requirement is provided below.

High School Years of Language Otterbein Placement
0 to 2 years of language completed (or in progress) LANG 1000
Between 2.5 – 3 years of language completed (or in progress) LANG 1000 or 1100
– Given the vast differences in language instruction at this level, students should take the online Modern Language Placement Exam prior to orientation for the most accurate placement level (ASL, French, and Spanish only).
– If the student does not take the placement test, they will automatically be placed into 1000

3.5 years or more of language completed (or in progress)
and/or

Any student who has had a significant learning experience outside of the classroom (native language speaker, heritage speaker, experience abroad, etc.) may opt for this placement option.

1100 Level course or higher
– You may qualify for placement into a higher level course. Students interested in placing into courses higher than 1100 should take the online Modern Language placement exam prior to orientation.
– If the student does not take the Modern Language Placement Exam, they will automatically be placed into 1100.

Otterbein University will verify years completed upon receipt of the student’s final transcript.

AP Credit:

Please note that a score of 3 on an Advanced Placement (AP) Language and Culture test means a student is proficient in LANG 1100 and is thus automatically eligible for a 2000 level course (Spanish only). In this case, the language placement test is not necessary unless the student wishes to place higher.

Note: College credit is not awarded for a score of 3; an AP score of 4 or 5, however, does grant college credit for LANG 1000 and 1100

Course Registration Information

When you complete your Course Registration Survey, you will be asked to indicate which language you are interested in studying and, if applicable, how many years you have previously studied the language. Students interested in taking the language exam will indicate their plans at that time.

Modern Language Placement Exam

All Otterbein students are required to take 8 – 9 credit hours in general education level courses in any combination of the Modern Languages, Oral and Written Communication, and/or Experimental Laboratory Sciences categories.

Students interested in being considered for placement into a higher language level, or who feel their initial placement is not an accurate reflection of their abilities, must take the online Modern Language Placement Exam and may need to complete a speaking proficiency test with the Department of Modern Language and Cultures.

See below for information about the courses offered to meet the general education Skills Development requirements in modern languages and to learn more about the Modern Language Placement Exam (for French, Spanish), the American Sign Language (ASL) Placement Exam, and Otterbein’s Modern Language Skills Purpose and Goals.

The courses offered to meet general education Skills Development requirements in modern languages are listed below. Availability of courses may change depending on student interest/demand.

*American Sign Language:
ASL 1000 – Elementary ASL I, 3 hrs
ASL 1100 – Elementary ASL II, 3 hrs

*French:
FREN 1000 – Elementary French I, 3 hrs
FREN 1100 – Elementary French II, 3 hrs

Spanish:
SPAN 1000 – Elementary Spanish I, 3 hrs
SPAN 1100 – Elementary Spanish II, 3 hrs
SPAN 2000 – Intermediate Spanish I, 3 hrs**
SPAN 2100 – Intermediate Spanish II, 3 hrs**

*Indicates that there are no courses currently offered above the 1100 level in this language.
**These courses count toward the Spanish & Latin American Studies major or minor.

Modern Language Placement Exam Instructions: Spanish and French

Am I required to take the Modern Language Placement Exam?

No, in general, you are not required to take the placement exam. However, any student interested in taking a language course and who has taken more than 2.5 years of their language of interest in high school, who has extensive or unique experiences outside of the classroom, or who wishes to improve their initial placement, should take the online Modern Language Placement Exam. Online exams are available in French and Spanish. For questions about the exam, please contact the modern language placement coordinator, Elena Costello, at ecostello@otterbein.edu.

What is the format of the Modern Language Placement Exam?

This online exam has been calibrated to align with the coursework and instruction offered at Otterbein. Your high school coursework and/or prior experience with the language should have prepared you for the exam, but you are encouraged to refresh your language skills before logging in to take the exam. It is an adaptive exam, meaning the exam will adapt the next question’s level of difficulty according to your previous answers. The number of items you will be required to answer will depend upon your ability to use the language.

When can I take the Modern Language Placement Exam?

The online exam will be available beginning in mid-April. You must complete your exam two weeks prior to your scheduled orientation date to use the correct placement level when creating your individual course schedule.

How do I take the Modern Language Placement Exam?

Please use either the Chrome or Firefox web browser on a desktop computer to access the exam correctly (mobile devices have been hit or miss). You can download a free copy of Chrome at: https://www.google.com/chrome/ or Firefox here: http://mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/download/

  1. Go to the following link: https://app.emmersion.ai/link/f3fc1cef5d 
  2. You will be directed to create an account with TrueNorth.
    • Enter your first name and your last name in the appropriate boxes.
    • Enter your Otterbein e-mail address in the appropriate box. Then, enter your Otterbein ID number, found in your Admission packet (A12345678) in the Student ID box.
    • Create a password, check the Privacy Policy agreement box, and click “Create an Account.”
  3. Your test will show up on the dashboard. Remember, you may only attempt the exam once. Please allow about 30 minutes to take the exam. Be sure you are ready to complete the exam before you begin.

You should not receive any help, nor should you refer to any texts or electronic sources of information during the online exam. It is expected that you will maintain the highest level of academic integrity when taking the Modern Language Placement Exam. Specific details of the Otterbein Academic Integrity policy can be found in the Campus Life Handbook under Section 8: Plagiarism, Cheating and Dishonesty (www.otterbein.edu/CLH). Students found in violation of this policy may be suspended or dismissed.

When will I be notified of my Modern Language Placement Exam results?

Upon completion of the exam, you will be given your placement level. This information will be sent to Otterbein and processed within 5 business days. If you are placed into Semester 4+ or higher, you may need to complete a speaking proficiency test to ensure that you are placed in the most appropriate level for your proficiency. Students testing into the 2000 level in Spanish may likewise request the speaking proficiency test to qualify for a higher placement level.

American Sign Language (ASL) Placement Exam Instructions

Given the vast differences in ASL instruction, all students interested in placement into ASL 1100 are required to take the online exam and may be asked to participate in a proficiency interview. Students with limited to no experience do not need to take the exam and will be placed into ASL 1000.

To obtain access to the online exam or if you have any questions about the ASL placement process, please e-mail the modern language placement coordinator, Elena Costello​, at ecostello@otterbein.edu. Please use your Otterbein email address in order to expedite the process.

What is the format of the ASL Placement Exam?

This online exam was developed by ASL faculty and the Center for Teaching and Learning at Otterbein and is administered through Blackboard. It has been calibrated specifically to align with the courses and the instruction offered at Otterbein.

The exam consists of a practice test and the ASL 1000 test (to test into ASL 1100). You must pass the ASL 1000 test with 75 percent to place into ASL 1100.

When can I take the ASL Placement Exam?

Your exam must be completed two weeks prior to your scheduled Orientation date. Completing the exam in a timely manner will allow your correct placement level to be used when creating your individual schedule.

How do I take the ASL Placement Exam?

You must have an Otterbein ID. You must use the Firefox web browser to access the exam correctly. You can download a free copy of Firefox from the Mozilla website: http://mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/.

  1. Email the modern language placement coordinator, Elena Costello, at ecostello@otterbein.edu to obtain access to the exam on Blackboard. 
  2. Go to http://otterbein.blackboard.com.
  3. Log in to Blackboard using your Otterbein ID, found in your Admission packet.
  4. Under the My Courses column (at right), click ASL Placement 2024-2025.
  5. Read and follow the instructions provided in the ASL Placement site and complete the exam accordingly.
  6. You may only take the exam once. The ASL 1000 test has a maximum time limit of one hour, and once begun, must be completed in one sitting.

You should not receive any help, nor should you refer to any texts or electronic sources of information during the online exam. It is expected that you will maintain the highest level of academic integrity when taking the Modern Language Placement Exam. Specific details of the Otterbein Academic Integrity policy can be found in the Campus Life Handbook under Section 8: Plagiarism, Cheating and Dishonesty (www.otterbein.edu/CLH). Students found in violation of this policy may be suspended or dismissed.

When will I be notified of my ASL Placement Exam results?

Your score will be calculated automatically when you complete the exam. Placement will be determined based on the following criteria:

  1. ASL 1000: Below 75 percent
  2. ASL 1100: 75 percent or higher

Modern Language Skills Purpose and Goals

PURPOSE: The study of a modern language is foundational in a liberal arts education because it:

  • introduces students to the structured nature of languages and the links between language and cultural meaning.
  • fosters students’ awareness of world cultures, simultaneously making them aware of their own culture within global contexts.
  • helps students to develop and apply critical, analytical, and writing skills.
  • prepares students to be informed about global affairs.

GOAL 1: To assist students in understanding the value and purpose of the study of modern languages.
Outcomes:

  • Students engage in language practice and activities that will help them analyze language structures and their connection with culture.
  • Students gain awareness of the connections of modern languages to other disciplines, careers, and real-world applications, thereby enriching their perceptions of the vitality and importance of knowing other languages.
  • Students cultivate communication and intercultural skills.

GOAL 2: To help students develop foundational analytical, critical reasoning, and writing skills through the study of language.
Outcomes:

  • Students acquire and strengthen learning strategies that will be that useful in the study of other disciplines, required in the workplace and/or needed for informed citizenship.
  • Students gain experiences with the target language to refine critical reasoning skills that can be applied to further professional or educational development.
  • Students examine oral and written language systems to improve communication in both their native language(s) and the target language(s).

GOAL 3: To nurture the appreciation and understanding of the peoples that speak the target language through the study of culture.
Outcomes:

  • Students show an understanding of different cultural worldviews by interacting with the artistic, visual, literary, and other cultural artifacts of the target language.
  • Students progress in their knowledge of contemporary global issues and how they inform one’s cultural perspective by viewing their own culture through another’s eyes.
  • Students expand their abilities to engage locally and globally with speakers of the target language through service-learning, travel courses, and technology.