Proficiency Exams

The Physics Department will be offering proficiency exams in August of 2020.
Details will be released by August 1, 2020.

Illinois Physics has on-line registration to take a proficiency exam with the final exams in December and May, as well as in January and August before classes begin.

Please check the link above to see the deadlines for proficiency exam enrollment.

Proficiency and Makeup Final Exam Information

Courses available: PHYS 101, 102, 211, 212, 213, 214

Purpose of proficiency exams: To permit clearly superior students who have good knowledge of the course material to get credit for a course without taking it. An exam may be taken only once. Please be sure to cancel your enrollment from an exam if you cannot make an exam you signed up to take before the cancellation deadline, or contact the physics undergrad office at

Grade: The assigned grade is Pass or Fail. To pass the exam an A or B must be made. Students who receive a B- or less will not receive proficiency credit. Failures are not formally reported.

Makeup final exams: Students who missed a final exam in the previous semester may register to make up the final exam when the proficiency exams are given. When you register please indicate the semester in which you took the course.

AP and transfer credit: If you have taken a course at another school that transfers to U. of I. exactly as the course of interest, then there's no need to take the proficiency exam. If you have taken a course at another school that does not transfer exactly as the course of interest, you should consult your academic advisor as to whether you should take the proficiency exam. If you have received AP credit for the course of interest, there is no need to take the proficiency exam.

Study information: A course syllabus is available on the web at Click the course web site of the proficiency exam you wish to take. In order to prepare for the proficiency exam, we recommend looking through the lecture notes, taking any practice exams available, or purchasing the textbook for the course.

Sign-up: Go to, choose the class you'd like to take an exam in and click the 'Signup!' button.

Questions: Contact the Physics Undergraduate Office at 217.333.4361 or by email at

Time and place: With department approval, a proficiency examination may be taken at the time of the regular spring or fall final exams or on the first Thursday before the first week of class for fall and spring semesters 7:00–10:00 p.m. in a room to be determined. You will receive an email the day before the exam to tell you the room where you will take the exam. Bring your Illinois identification (iCard), calculator and two #2 pencils.

If you have taken any exam in a course, you forfeit your privilege to take the proficiency exam. An exam may be taken only once. You may take only one exam in January and in August.

Students enrolled in any advanced physics course are not allowed to take any physics proficiency exam. Please come to 231 Loomis to discuss your options.

Proficiency exams are only offered for PHYS 101, 102, 211, 212, 213 and 214. The Physics Department does not offer proficiency exams for any other courses.