UW-Madison Placement Testing Information

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

Summer and Fall 2021 Students

UW-Madison students starting classes in the 2021 Fall Semester can
Follow this link when ready to fill out the registration form for Fall 2021 students

Continuing Students

UW-Madison students who are already enrolled in classes and have been advised to take a placement test should email frontdesk@exams.wisc.edu for assistance in registering. You must have permission from an advisor to take a math retest or language retest.


You must complete your placement tests at least 2 weeks before your SOAR program.

No, you must register for your placement tests and your SOAR program separately.
Students committed to the summer or Fall 2021 semester will be able to sign up for SOAR starting Monday, May 3 at 5:00 p.m. CST. In the SOAR reservation system, you will confirm that you understand which placement tests you are required to take.

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

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

Freshman students are required to complete placement testing in Math and English (or English as a second language: “ESLAT”), regardless of previous coursework or credit-bearing exams, such as: AP, IB, CAPP, CLEP, A-Levels. You will also receive an email from the Office of Admissions and Recruitment stating which placement tests you are required to take.

Transfer students are informed which placement test(s) they are required to take via email by 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 the Academic Records section of your MyUW Student Center.

International 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.

World Language placement tests: To be eligible to enroll in a world language course above the introductory level at UW–Madison, you must take a placement test for that language. You will be able to register for the UW System World Language placement tests (Spanish, French, and German) using the registration link on this page. More information on placement into language courses, including languages other than French, German and Spanish, can be found on the UW-Madison Languages Placement Procedures page.

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).

Students required to take the ESLAT will complete the test in Canvas, the University’s online learning platform. After you pay your enrollment deposit and activate your NetID services, you will see the ESLAT course appear within your UW Canvas dashboard by the following Monday. Instructions on how to complete the ESLAT placement test will be found in the ESLAT Canvas course.
For help accessing the ESLAT Canvas course, contact the SOAR office
For questions about the ESLAT exam, contact the ESL office at askesl@english.wisc.edu

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 on the ESL office website:

You will receive information from the Office of Admissions and Recruitment or Office of the Registrar 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 (freshman students) or the Office of the Registrar (transfer students) you will need to complete those tests regardless of previous course work or college-level exams.