CSE/CIS Placement Exam

CSE 2221 Placement Test

Passing the CSE 2221 placement test is an alternative for taking one of the prerequisite programming classes (CSE 1222 or 1223). Students will not be awarded credit for any entry level course by passing but are eligible to register for CSE 2221 assuming they meet the other prerequisites. Students who have credit for or are planning on taking CSE 1222 or 1223 should not take the placement test. It is intended for students who believe they already know how to program reasonably well.

  • Variables, types, expressions, and assignment statements
  • Fundamental or built-in types for working with integer-, real-, Boolean-, character-, and text-string-valued data
  • Simple input from a keyboard or a file, and simple output to a monitor or a file
  • Conditional control structures such as "if" and "if-else"
  • Iterative control structures such as "while"
Programming Language

Students are asked to write, as a paper-and-pencil exercise, short programs or program segments. Students may write their answers using any programming language they know well. However, experience shows that students who know only the BASIC programming language, or its visual variants, often are not well prepared for the CSE Placement Exam.

Sample Question

Write a program, in a programming language of your choice, that repeatedly prompts a user to input a positive integer value. At any point, if the user enters 0 or a negative integer value, then the program should print the minimum of all of the positive integer values entered by the user, and then terminate execution. For example, if a user enters the values 4 13 8 11 2 66 5 0, then the program should report that the smallest of the positive values entered is 2. Program output should include appropriate user-friendly headings.

Test Registration

Please e-mail ugadvising@cse.ohio-state.edu to request online access. Once the test is completed, it is graded by a faculty member and an advisor will email you the result as soon as it is available. It can take around 2 weeks for a result.

Math Placement

All New First Year Students are required to take a math placement test. The only exception is if a student can bring a copy of their AP test results to Orientation showing they received a 3, 4, or 5 on either the AB or BC calculus test. If students do not have a copy to bring, they must take the placement test. At Orientation students will be registered in math based on placement. Once AP scores are submitted, adjustments can be made if needed as determined by the Academic Advisor.

The math placement test is offered online for students to take before their scheduled orientation session. Make sure to regularly be checking your OSU email account for information.


Ohio State University and the department of Computer Science and Engineering accept certain AP, IB and CLEP test scores. To see a list of required scores and equivalent classes, see the Testing Center website and click on "Credit by Examination Brochure".

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