First Steps

Students walking on steps at Wells Library

Step 1: Prepare for Orientation Advising

What Will Orientation Advising Be Like?

Your advising appointment happens after placement testing and a general meeting that will provide an overview of advising and academics at IU.  While your family members are encouraged to attend the general meeting and many other orientation activities, the advising appointment will be one-on-one—advisors are here to help you take your own successful first step!

This individual advising appointment is your opportunity to discuss your interests, plan a successful first semester, and ask the questions that are most important to you. 

You and your orientation advisor will:

  • Interpret scores from your placement exams
  • Discuss how transferred credit and AP scores (if available) will count toward your academic plan
  • Review the list of classes from your Academic Planning Worksheet (APW)
  • Select appropriate first-year classes that fill requirements and satisfy your interests
  • Develop a first semester plan that brings balance and variety to your academic workload
  • Provide you with a printout of those courses, along with plenty of alternate choices

You will take that list to the Registration Center.  Trained student assistants will provide support and instruction as you register for your first semester classes at IUB.

How Can I Prepare for my Advising Appointment?

As you can see, we have a lot to accomplish in an hour! While orientation advisors have knowledge and suggestions to share, they do not know your interests, talents, or your hopes and plans for the future.  It is essential that you supply this information and arrive for your appointment with a completed Academic Planning Worksheet (APW).

To have a productive first advising session, and to take your first step toward a successful transition to college, choose courses of interest after reading the course descriptions. Your first college courses should fulfill requirements, but just as importantly, should inspire and engage you, and help you try out majors that you find appealing.

The next two sections of this First Steps web site, Explore Majors, Minors & Certificates and Choose Your Courses, are designed to help you prepare for your appointment.

Which Placement Tests Will I Take During Orientation?

 IUB offers a number of placement and/or exemption exams.  Some are required, while others are optional.  The First-Year-Experience New Student Orientation web site offers the most up-to-date information on how and when you may complete these exams.

  • Required Foreign Language Placement Tests: The score on the exam you take will determine your foreign language placement level. If you score well you may earn special credit for foreign language.
  • Required Math Skills Assessment: Your score will be a significant factor in determining which math course you will take.  You cannot earn math credit through this exam.
  • Biology Departmental Exam:  If you pass the exam you will get credit for BIOL-E 111 and/or E 112. 
  • Chemistry Placement Exam (CPE): If you plan to enroll in CHEM-C117, you must take this exam online by December 1 (prior to orientation).  If you are pre-med or interested in other programs or majors that require Chemistry, take the CPE prior to December 1.

If you are a Transfer Student or a New International Student, please follow the appropriate link to important additional information about your orientation.