The Freshman Guide

Are you an incoming UCI student? Then check out our Freshman Guide to learn more about the ATC, placement and exemption exams, and other testing services.


Welcome to UCI! The Academic Testing Center (ATC), under the umbrella of the Division of Undergraduate Education, offers a variety of resources and services to help you make the most of your testing experience this summer. 

This reference guide is designed to provide essential information and assisting with the questions you may have about the placement testing process. We encourage you to read the entire guide as it will save you considerable time and trouble later on. Here you will find the most current updates to the policies and procedures.

Which Test(s) to take?

You are encouraged to consult with your academic counselor or view this Placement Testing Reference Chart if you don’t know which test(s) (if any) you need to take. This interactive page on our website may also prove helpful in helping you determine which tests(s) you need to take.

For more information on specific placement tests, refer to the Placement Testing Program page for detailed descriptions of each test as well as sample test items. Depending on how you intend to fulfill your general education requirements, you may want to take other placement tests. General Education requirements are described in the UCI General Catalogue and must be completed in order to graduate.

When Are Placement Tests Given?

Placement tests will be offered on the dates listed on the Current Test Dates page. During the summer months (July through August), you will find the Orientation dates that coordinate with the test dates.

Why Do You Have to Activate Your UCInetID?

You must activate your UCInetID to register for placement exams. A UCInetID is a three- to eight-letter code based on your name that uniquely identifies you at UCI. UCInetIDs are used to authorize you as a UCI affiliate and provide access to UCI electronic services. These services include establishing your official UCI email account, accessing your test results, and enrolling in classes. UCInetIDs are automatically issued to all students. However, you must activate your UCInetID to be able to use it. Instructions are provided by UCI’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) at New UCI students can activate their UCInetIDs and register for placement exams beginning in June.

Orientation Programs

All new freshmen must attend summer orientation. UCI offers orientation programs for freshmen during July and August. Participation in summer orientation allows you to take your placement tests, receive academic advising, and register for classes in a timely and coherent manner. You also learn about the campus, student services, and the academic demands that will be placed on you when you come to UCI in the fall.

For more information, contact the Student Life & Leadership Office at (949) 824-5182 or visit the UCI Orientation website. Students who will be attending the International Student Orientation (ISO) will be automatically registered for the Academic English Placement Exam.

How Do You Register for Placement Tests?

Test registration will be available online for all test dates. You may register for placement testing when you register for SPOP. You may also register through our website. Early registration is advised. Test dates have limited space, and dates are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Once registration opens, your desired test dates could fill to capacity and become unavailable. 

Registration instructions for the summer placement tests are listed below. Please register using only one of the following methods and do not sign up for more than one date per test. You may contact our office to make a change later.

  • Online Registration: Register at or Remember to print your Entry Ticket (confirmation of registration) at the end of the registration process and bring it with you to the test session. This notice will be sent to the email address that you provide on the Placement Testing Registration Form, so please remember to provide a valid email address.
  • Register by email: If you are unable to register online after activating your UCInetID, you may contact us by email. 
  • Registration Cancellation: If you know that you will not be able to take the test(s) that you have registered for, you must inform us via phone or email. Cancellations are required at least 24-hours before the test date.