The Department of Biology at Western Oregon University is committed to helping students succeed in our majors-level coursework, which begins with Biology 211 (Principles of Biology).  We require students interested in taking Biology 211 to take the Biology Placement Test, unless they have earned a B or higher in college-level Biology 102 (or equivalent).  This test is designed to let you, your advisor, and the Biology Department, know whether you have the necessary background to enable you to do well in Biology 211.  These scores will NOT be recorded on your transcript nor will they affect your admissions status or financial aid award.

Please read the following information and plan to take this test in a timely manner if you want to take Biology 211, offered every fall and winter.  If you have any questions about the placement test please email biology@wou.edu

Who must take the Biology Placement Test?
All students interested in taking Biology 211 must take the Biology Placement Test, unless they have earned a B or higher in college-level Biology 102 (or equivalent).  Biology 102 covers biological molecules, cells, metabolism, genetics, and genes.

What’s the test like?
The Biology Placement Test consists of 30 multiple choice problems.  There is a 45 minute time-limit.  The test covers basic high school-level knowledge about biological molecules, cells, metabolism, genetics, and genes.  There are also a few related chemistry and applied math questions.  The test is administered “closed book.”  You do not need a calculator for any of the problems.  You may take the test only once, so be sure you are ready for it and have time to complete it.

How should I prepare for the test?
Biology 211 recommends that all interested students have successfully completed a year of general biology and chemistry in high school, including good coverage of cells and genetics.  If you have successfully completed this coursework, then you should be ready for this test.   Students wishing to “brush up” should review high school textbooks or study guides (e.g. Cliffs Notes, BarCharts, etc.) about biological molecules, cells, metabolism, genetics, and genes.

How and when can I take this test?
This test is available on a walk-in basis spring, summer, and fall terms.  To take this test, students must be accepted and admitted to WOU, and have a current WOU V-number.  The test is administered at the Academic Advising and Learning Center (AALC, wou.edu/provost/aalc/advising) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The AALC serves many students and needs on a first-come, first-served basis – which means that students may need to wait during peak times (e.g. week 7 through finals).

Entering freshman are STRONGLY recommended to attend SOAR events – as these events organize advising and placement testing.  For more information about SOAR, please visit their website at:  http://wou.edu/student/admissions/soar.php

What will my test scores mean?
There are three possible placement test score outcomes:  

(1) Students who earn 50% or lower will not be allowed to register for Biology 211. The following course of action is recommended – in consultation with your advisor:

  • Biology 102: you need to perform at an A-B level
  • Get Your Math Up: you need to be at the Math 111/College Algebra level

(2) Students who earn 51-70% have variable success. Although they will be allowed to register for Biology 211, they should thoughtfully consider the following if they have received any low previous grades (C, D, or F’s).

  • Students who have not done well in a year of high school biology AND chemistry are probably not ready for Biology 211.
  • Students who have not done well in 100-level college biology OR chemistry are probably not ready for Biology 211.

(3) Students who earn over 70% are well-prepared for enrollment in Biology 211.

 

 

 

 

CONTACT US

Biology Department

503-838-8452 | or e-mail: duttonb@wou.edu