UW-Madison Placement Testing Information

Please note: This is specific information for UW-Madison students only

UW-Madison students starting classes in the summer or fall semester can
Register to take placement exams on the Regional Testing Registration page starting February 1.

Students who need to take the "UW-Madison ESLAT" must select "Option 2: Schedule a computer based test at a testing center" (available March 1).

Students requesting special accommodations should not register online. Follow this link to
request special accommodations due to a disability.

Information about Regional Placement Testing including locations, directions, contacts, and frequently asked questions can be found on the
Regional Testing Home Page.
Questions specific to students who will be attending UW-Madison are listed below.


You should complete your placement tests at least 2 weeks before your SOAR session if you are testing in a location other than the UW-Madison campus. If you are taking the paper and pencil test on the UW-Madison campus, you may complete your testing up to 24 hours before your SOAR session. Do not schedule your testing on the same day as your SOAR date; the testing time is not compatible with the SOAR program, and you will not be able to register for courses.

You must register for your SOAR date and your placement test separately. Students starting classes in the summer or fall should first register to take their placement tests in the regional testing program using the link above, then register for SOAR at http://soar.wisc.edu. The SOAR registration system will require you to enter your placement testing date and location, but entering this information into the SOAR reservation system does not register you for the test.

DO NOT REGISTER ONLINE for either paper/pencil or computer-based testing (CBT). You will not receive accommodations by registering online, you must follow the process as described below. Please be patient, this process can take up to several weeks.

If you wish to request special accommodations due to a disability, please send a letter on your high school letterhead (please do not send an IEP) from a teacher, counselor or principal who will:

  1. Describe what test accommodations are appropriate for you,
  2. Include your address, telephone number, email address and date of birth,
  3. Include where you wish to test (unless you are choosing to schedule a computer-based test, in which case mention that you want to test using CBT),
  4. Include what campus you plan to attend in the fall.

Send this information to
Tim O'Connor, via email to tnoconno@wisc.edu
(emailed information still requires a letter on high school letterhead)

After submitting this information, you will receive a response from Tim O'Connor with specific instructions how to schedule your exam.

Information on requesting accommodations can be found by following this link:

You should have received an e-mail from the Office of Admissions and Recruitment regarding which placement tests you need to take. Most incoming freshmen will need to take the math and English placement tests. If you wish to continue in studying French, German or Spanish and you already have experience with the language, you will need to take that respective placement test too. More information on placement into language courses, including courses other than French, German and Spanish, can be found at: http://languages.wisc.edu/advising/placement

The process for testing in a language other than French, German, or Spanish varies depending on which language you want to test. Additional information about the tests available and how to register for them can be found here: http://languages.wisc.edu/advising/placement

You should have received information from the Office of Admissions and Recruitment regarding whether you should take the "UW English" placement test or the "UW-Madison ESLAT". If you are unsure, please contact the Office of Admissions and Recruitment (onwisconsin@admissions.wisc.edu).

If your SOAR session is in August:

Students starting in the fall semester who need to take the "UW-Madison ESLAT" must select: "Option 2: Schedule a computer based test at a testing center" (available starting March 1) during the Regional Testing Program. You must complete your testing at least 2 weeks before your summer SOAR session. If you are having difficulty scheduling a computer based test near where you live, please contact the SOAR office at soar@studentlife.wisc.edu or 608-262-4707.

If your SOAR session is in January:

Students starting in the spring semester should attend one of the January ESLAT testing sessions on the UW-Madison campus at least 24 hours before their January SOAR session. A schedule will be linked at the top of this page from November-January. No registration is necessary for the January testing sessions on the UW-Madison campus.

The UW-Madison English as a Second Language Assessment Test (ESLAT) is used to assess students' English language skills required for academic work in a US university classroom and to place the student in the appropriate English course. The ESLAT is required of many new undergraduate students and does not assume that English has not been the student's dominant language. Rather, it assesses what level of English would be best for the student to begin, and in some cases exempts the student from UW-Madison's required academic reading and research course. Those who studied outside the United States will likely be asked to take the ESLAT. There is no practice ESLAT available. More information about the ESLAT can be found:

The Regional Testing Program allows students to test near where they live. If you live in or near Wisconsin, we offer paper/pencil testing at all UW System campuses, as well as some paper/pencil testing in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and the metropolitan Chicago area. We also offer computer-based testing thoughout the United States and many international locations.

There is no extra charge for paper/pencil testing in the Regional Testing Program. There is a fee associated with scheduling a computer-based test (CBT) at a testing center. Costs for CBT will be $80.00 for one test, $90.00 for two tests and $100.00 for 3 tests. Testing at a location outside the United States will be $175.00 per session (a session may consist of 1, 2, or 3 tests).

Paper/pencil testing requires a government-issued photo ID, a non-graphing calculator (if you want to use this for the math placement test) and a couple of #2 pencils. Computer-based testing requires a government-issued photo ID. You will not be allowed to bring a calculator for computer-based testing. However, there will be a non-graphing calculator available as part of the software used in testing.

You will receive information from the Office of Admissions and Recruitment regarding transferring your college-level credit to UW-Madison. If you were instructed to take a placement test by the Office of Admissions and Recruitment you will need to complete those tests regardless of previous course work or college-level exams.

If you registered for a paper/pencil exam you will have an email confirmation message from regionaltesting@exams.wisc.edu with the subject "regional testing registration confirmation". If you registered for a computer based exam, the confirmation email will come from testing@castleworldwide.com and the subject will be "University of Wisconsin - Scheduling Confirmation Notice". Your confirmation email will also provide instructions for rescheduling or cancelling your appointment. If you believe you registered to take the placement exams and either deleted or cannot find your confirmation message, please contact the Center for Placement Testing during business hours at 608-262-5863 so that we may assist you.

Retesting in English is not allowed. Retesting in math requires permission from a math advisor. To talk about this possibility and receive permission for a retake, you need to see the math consultant at SOAR or email: placement@math.wisc.edu during the academic year. If a math retest is taken, the retest scores will be used for course placement even if they are lower, so the decision to retake the math placement test should be made after serious consideration.