Music Theory Placement Exam Information

All entering freshmen music majors must take the Music Theory Placement Exam. Students who receive a satisfactory score on the exam will be placed in MUS 1001 Music Theory I and MUS 1007 Aural Skills I or MUS 1003 Contemporary Musicianship (depending on degree program requirements). Music students who do not take the exam or receive an unsatisfactory score will be placed in MUS 0900 Elements of Music Theory, a remedial course that offers students the opportunity to attain the skills required to be successful in the music theory program.

The exam consists of 35 questions focusing on the following aural and written elements of music theory:

  • Note naming
  • Scale writing, identification, and aural recognition
  • Interval writing, identification, and aural recognition
  • Triad writing, identification, and aural recognition
  • Rhythm
  • Key Signature writing and identification
  • Chord analysis (triads and seventh chords)
  • Roman Numeral Analysis

To access the exam:

  1. Using either Firefox or Internet Explorer, go to
  2. Click on the link "Setup a new student account."
  3. Enter the number "19" for the assigned class ID.
  4. Fill out the rest of the information on the student profile sheet. Be sure to remember your password!
  5. Click on "create account" to save your profile. You will then be taken back to the login screen.
  6. Login with your username and your password.
  7. You have the option to take the PRACTICE test as many times as you would like; however, you can only take the PLACEMENT test once.

***If you have technical issues accessing or completing the test, please contact Dr. Jennifer Snodgrass in the Hayes School of Music at  or 828-262-7231.

If you have little or no music theory background, we recommend that you consult an introductory music text before taking the test. ASU currently uses Kostka and Payne's Tonal Harmony textbook. The following websites may be useful for reviewing theory fundamentals and practicing aural skills:

Aural Skills


Students who have received a score of 4 or higher on the Music Theory Advanced Placement Test are not required to take the theory placement test. See ASU Admissions for details regarding acceptance of AP credit. Transfer students are placed on an individual basis, according to proficiency with music theory and aural skills.