New Students

Placement Exams

Placement exams help identify the courses appropriate for your experience level, and successful completion of a placement exam enables you to skip the introductory course in some departments.

If you're hoping to place out of first-year Greek, Latin, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, physics, economics, or music theory, you'll need to take the relevant placement exam(s) before classes begin. Placement exam results last for your entire Reed career, so you are encouraged to take relevant placement exam(s) as soon as possible (while the material is fresh), even if you don't expect to take the course until a later time at Reed. You will not receive credit for courses you place out of. 

Online Placement Exams

The following placement exams are currently available online. You may take them through July 26. All exams are designed to be one hour in length; students who need additional time can take up to three hours to complete, if necessary.  If students with disabilities are in need of additional accommodations to access and take this exam, please contact the Disability and Accessibility Resources office (DAR) as soon as possible to make the necessary arrangements. 

Arabic placement exam

Reed contact: Kambiz GhaneaBassiri

Students interested in taking Arabic should contact Kambiz GhaneaBassiri

Chinese placement exam

Reed contact: Alexei Ditter 

Economics placement exam
Contact: Denise Hare 

French placement exam

Contact: Luc Monnin

German placement exam

Contact: Katja Garloff

Greek placement exam

Contact: Ellen Millender

Latin placement exam

Contact: Ellen Millender

Russian placement exam
Contact: Naomi Caffee

Spanish placement exam

Contact: Ariadna Garcia-Bryce

Why should I take these exams?

Take these tests if you plan to take these languages at any time while you are at Reed. This will help guide your decision-making as you register for classes.

Do not take these tests to place out of departmental language requirements. If you are using the test for this purpose, please speak to your adviser.

Other Placement Exams

Online versions of the music placement exam are being developed. Information will be added to this page when they are available.

Exam Information

These tests are available online until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 26. They are designed such that blind guessing will be detrimental to your score. If you don’t know an answer, skip the question.

Exam results

These tests focus on reading comprehension and grammar. For modern languages, if you have doubts about your speaking ability, contact the faculty member listed above to arrange a meeting.

Your test results will be available in IRIS ( after July 26 so that you and your adviser can use this information as you plan your fall course schedule. Once you have logged in to IRIS, select Student Information, then check "Exams/Placement." 

If you would like to take an easier or a more difficult course than indicated by the results, you are welcome to discuss this with the faculty contact listed above. 

Taking the test

To take the Chinese, Economics, Greek, Latin, Russian, French, German, or Spanish placement exam:

  • Go to Log in with your Reed username and password.
  • Placement exam links will be at the top of the page. Follow the link to the test you want to take.
  • Click the “Enroll me” button.
  • When you are ready to begin, click “Attempt quiz now.” 
  • Be sure to save your work periodically by using the "Save without submitting" button found at the end of the page.
  • When you are done with the exam, click "Submit all and finish."

If you are interrupted during the exam (power failure, illness, etc.), please email to let us know what happened.


Technical questions about the test can be sent to Other questions about the language classes can be directed to the faculty members listed above.

ADA information

Those seeking ADA accommodation for the placement tests should contact Theresa Lowrie

The Honor Principle

You are a member of the Reed community and, as such, are bound to operate under the Honor Principle. One of the benefits to living with the Honor Principle is the trust that faculty place in students. This means that you agree to take the exam without aids, prompts, or proctors. Do not consult textbooks or other resources while taking this test. 

Although we trust that honor will guide your choices, we also hope you’ll realize that it is not in your best interest to cheat on a placement test, since doing so might put you in a class that doesn’t match your skill level. The goal of the exam is to identify the course that will be most appropriate for you.