Music Theory Placement Tests

During spring/summer 2020, students will be taking the theory placement exam online through an online course repository called Connect4Education. The placement test is free to NC State students. 

  • The exam contains 100 multiple-choice questions
  • It is timed at 80 minutes.
  • You must receive 75% or better to pass. You will learn immediately how you scored.
  • You must complete the test in one session; you cannot save and return. Unanswered questions will be counted wrong.
  • The test can only be taken once.

In order to take the test, contact Dr. Tom Koch ( for an access code that you will register online at and create login credentials. When you are ready to take the test, you will access your account at to take the Placement Exam. Registration is now open and the exam is accessible now until the first day of class in August.

When creating your account at, select the following options from the drop-down menus:

  • School (North Carolina State University)
  • Instructor (Tom Koch)
  • Semester (Fall 2020)
  • Course (MUS-103-001 Theory and Musicianship I)

There is no sample test available, but you can review the material at and to prepare.

Topics include (there are no listening questions):

  1. Keyboard note names
  2. Octave designation (C4 is middle C)
  3. Note-reading in treble/bass clef
  4. Rhythmic notation and counting
  5. Simple and compound meter
  6. Time signatures
  7. Intervals (simple, compound, inversion)
  8. Major and minor scales and key signatures
  9. Relative and parallel keys
  10. Triadic qualities

For more information, contact Dr. Tom Koch at



A grade of C or better in each theory and aural skills course permits a student to advance to the next level.

AP Music Theory Credit:

Students who have taken the AP Music Theory Test are awarded credit based on the following scores:

-AP Music Theory Exam Score: 3, 4 or 5 = 3 hours for MUS 120

-AP Music Theory Aural Sub-score: 4 or 5 = 1 hour for MUS 104

-AP Music Theory Non-aural Sub-score: 4 or 5 = 3 hours for MUS 103