Wayne State University

Biology Placement Exam

Exam information

Please note: this is a test for placement into WSU Biology classes, NOT FOR COURSE CREDIT. If you are interested in credit by exam, please visit the CLEP page for more information.

The purpose of the Biology Placement Exam is to determine appropriate course placement for introductory biology coursework.  Several basic courses at Wayne State University (WSU) are taught with the expectation that the student has attained a certain level of knowledge and skill in the subject. Since it is better to be placed into a lower level course by taking an examination than to fail a higher-level course for which you are not adequately prepared, there is every reason to feel comfortable about taking a placement examination.

The American College Test (ACT) Composite score or the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores in Critical Reading plus Mathematics are used to determine placement into BIO 1050, 1500, or 1510. 

ACT Composite Score
Old SAT Critical Reading + Mathematics Scores
New SAT Reading + Writing + Mathematics Scores
24 or higher = placement into BIO 1500/1510 1090 or higher = placement into BIO 1500/1510 1160 or higher = placement into BIO 1500/1510
23 or below = placement into BIO 1050 1080 or below = placement into BIO 1050 1150 or below = placement into BIO 1050



  1. The ACT score or SAT scores used may not be from an exam taken more than two years prior to enrollment in the course.
  2. If you have taken the ACT and/or SAT more than once, only the most recent score will be considered. If the most recent ACT and/or SAT scores were taken during the same month and year, the highest score will be used.
  3. The course placement is valid for three semesters from the date of your admission to WSU, or until the ACT score or SAT scores age out, whichever occurs first .

As an alternate or additional method of placement, a student placing into BIO 1050 via the ACT or SAT may take the Biology Placement Exam if he/she wishes to attempt placement into BIO 1500 or 1510.   Students who have not taken the ACT or SAT, or have ACT or SAT scores more than two years old, must take the Biology Placement Exam to determine course placement.

The Biology Placement Exam is a computer-based, 50-item multiple-choice test, timed for 60 minutes.  No aids are permitted.  The examination fee is $25.00.  You may take the Biology Placement Exam once per semester.  Examination results are valid for three semesters.  The examination content is based on a one-year high school biology course that included a laboratory.  Resources to help you prepare for the exam are available at http://www.clas.wayne.edu/Biology/Placement-Exams

Rescheduling, refunds, and fees

  1. You may reschedule a test registration a maximum of three times per fee payment.
  2. A refund can be processed only if it is made before the day of the examination. Requests for refunds made on or after the examination date, or after the third reschedule, cannot be honored.
  3. Examination fees not rescheduled or refunded are subject to forfeiture after one calendar year.
  4. Test fees are subject to change without notice.

On the day of the examination

Bring government-issued, current, signed, photo-bearing identification with you to the examination.   You will also need your WSU Access ID and password in order to log in to Blackboard.  Valid identification is required to take the test.  The WSU OneCard is not acceptable identification. Scratch paper and a pencil will be provided.  Be on time. Late arrivals will not be admitted.

Examination schedule

Test results from the dates listed below are valid for course placement for the following semesters:


Spring/Summer 2018, Fall 2018, and Winter 2019







3:00 p.m.




10:00 a.m.




2:00 p.m.




3:00 p.m.




10:00 a.m.




2:00 p.m.




3:00 p.m.




2:00 p.m.


How to register for an examination

This examination is not administered on a walk-in basis. You must register to reserve a seat for the examination at least two business days in advance of the desired date, provided that room capacity has not already been reached.

  1. In Person Registration: If you wish to pay your test fee(s) with a check, money order, or WSU OneCard, come to Testing, Evaluation and Research Services, Room 686 Student Center Building, 5221 Gullen Mall (map). Make your check or money order payable to Wayne State University. You may also use our public computer to make your credit card payment. Cash will not be accepted.
  2. Online registration: Click the "Register for a test" button on the bottom of this page. This will lead you to the online registration system where you may pay with a credit or debit card and choose your test date. You will receive an email confirmation of your payment and registration.

Special accommodations

If you have a documented disability that requires testing accommodations, you will need to register with Student Disability Services for coordination of these accommodations. The Student Disability Services (SDS) office is located at 1600 David Adamany Undergraduate Library in the Student Academic Success Services Department. To schedule an appointment, call 313-577-1851. Information about SDS can be found at http://studentdisability.wayne.edu/ .


Register or Reschedule a test