Swarthmore College Department of Computer Science

The Computer Science Department Placement Exam

The CS placement exam is only necessary for students who think that they may place out of our introductory course (CPSC 21) and start with either one of our two intermediate-level courses (CPSC 31 or 35) instead. Students who want to start with CPSC 21 do not need to take the CS placement exam. Students may answer placement exam questions using any programming language with which they are familiar and which our faculty is also familiar (Python, Java, C, or C++ for example).

After taking the CS placement exam, students should sign-up for an individual meeting with a CS faculty member to discuss their appropriate placement into CS. The placement exam and the individual meeting must be completed prior to registering for either 31 or 35.

The placement exam is offered during fall orientation week. Incoming first year students should take it then. Students who do not take it during orientation should contact the CS main office to schedule a time to take the exam. Students who do not take CS21, must take the placement exam before registering for CS31 or CS35.

If you did not take the placement exam during fall orientation week, contact professor Danner to schedule a time take the placement exam.