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School of Engineering

Computer Science & Engineering Placement Exam

Computer Science & Engineering Placement Exam

Effective Fall 2020 all incoming students desiring to major in Computer Science & Engineering and Applied Mathmatics with a Computer Science emphasis, are required to take the CSE placement exam prior to their first term at UC Merced. 

HOW IS THE PLACEMENT EXAM SCORE USED

Your placement exam score, combined with your other academic data, determines your level of readiness for Computer Science & Engineering courses.

The deadline for students to take the CSE placement exam for Fall 2020 is June 1, 2020 at 4:00pm. 

If you do not take the required exams by the deadline, you will be placed into the preparatory level of programing.

WHO NEEDS TO TAKE THE CSE EXAM

All incoming students desiring to major in Computer Science & Engineering and Applied Mathmatics with a Computer Science emphasis, are required to take the CSE placement exam prior to their first term at UC Merced. 

WHAT TOPICS ARE COVERED IN THE PLACEMENT EXAM

The Computer Science placement exam evaluates basic computer literacy skills. The specific topics being tested are:

1. Hardware components of a computer 
- CPU - RAM - Graphics card - Hard disk- Peripherals

Students are expected to know the basics of what makes up a computer. They need to know what each component does, and they need to be able to recognize it. 

2. The Operating System
- Installing the Operating System - Managing files and folders - Storing information

Students are expected to be familiar with at least one Operating System (Windows, macOS, Linux). They need to know what the operating system does, how to install or upgrade it, and how to use the operating system to store information if files and folders, in an organized manner.

3. Application Software
- Installing applications - Microsoft Office

Students are expected to know how to install different software packages on their computer. They need to also be familiar with the Microsoft Office applications Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

4. Internet Technologies
- Downloading content - Streaming - Email

Students need to know how to use the internet. This includes browsing the web, sending and receiving email, signing up for different online accounts, and the differences between downloading and streaming. Students are also expected to appropriately manage content that is downloaded from the internet.

HOW DO I ACCESS THE PLACEMENT EXAM

The CSE placement exam opens on May 6th. Log into your MyUCMerced portal (https://my.ucmerced.edu) using your UCM Net ID and password. After you log in, click on the CatCourses link at the top right of the page. Once the link has opened, click on the Dashboard tab and your placement exam will appear. 

Visit our Fequently Asked Questions for addition information about the placement exam.