First Year Advising – Bates Placement Tests

Students who wish to continue a foreign language or the study of mathematics at Bates should take the placement tests the relevant departments and programs provide.  The result of the test will indicate which level course a student should register for.  Students who have questions about the results of their Math placement test or the appropriate course to register for should contact Prof. Martin Montgomery by email:

Students with questions about their language exams or course registrations should contact the chairs of the department in question by email:

Students should note that the Math placement test is not the same as the Quantitative and Scientific Reasoning Assessment students take before Orientation.   The QSR test is designed to assess a student’s preparedness for college level math and science class relative to other incoming Bates First-Year students.  Students’ First Year Advisors will explain their test results and suggest appropriate entry level math and science courses based on those results.

If you are advising a student who has a strong desire to pursue a pre-med or science degree but also has a QSRA below the 50th percentile, explain that they are more likely to achieve their goals if they take courses that will prepare them for the Calculus and 100 level science courses that are the prerequisites for their course of study.  Math 101 and Math 110 are often good introductions to quantitative material, but are not intended to serve as Pre-Calculus refresher courses.  Accordingly, remind students that the Academic Resource Commons and the Mathematics and Statistics Workshop provide support for students at all levels of preparation in their courses. Finally, many of the entry level science courses are supported by Peer Assisted Learning program.  Participation in the sessions offer through the PAL program correlates with better performance in the courses.

It is not uncommon for students who wish to continue their study of math or foreign languages to undervalue their readiness for college-level courses. This approach is deprecated.  Students who place themselves in lower level courses than their placement tests recommend, often do worse than they would in an appropriate course because they become bored with their work.