Many placement tests can be taken online prior to coming to campus. Please take them before you register for classes.
Please read the following carefully to determine which exams you need to take.
Required of the following majors: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Environmental Science, Math, and Physics. All other majors do not need to take the Math Placement Test.
This test is used to place you into the appropriate math course at USF. Previous college-level coursework will also be used when determining the appropriate course. This is a 40-minute algebra and trigonometry test, with 32 multiple-choice questions. No calculators are permitted. You may only take this test once, all subsequent scores will be not be accepted. Here is a link to practice tests: http://math.usfca.edu/~jcchubb/placement.html
You do not have to take this test if you have submitted an official SAT or ACT score to USF.
Undeclared students: If there is even a remote chance that you may choose a Math, Science, Business, Kinesiology, Architecture, or Economics major, and you have not taken the SAT or ACT, then you should take the math test.
Required of the following majors: Chemistry, Computer Science, Data Science, Engineering, Math, and Physics.
Recommended for Economics and Environmental Science majors.
This test is used to place you into the appropriate calculus course at USF. This is a 30-minute test, with 24 multiple-choice questions. No calculators are permitted. You may only take this test once, all subsequent scores will be not be accepted. Here is a link to practice tests: http://math.usfca.edu/~jcchubb/placement.html
You do not have to take this test if you have completed and passed Calculus I at another college, or if you have submitted an AP Calculus score of 4 or 5.
Note: If you are interested in going to medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary school after attending USF, one semester of Calculus is strongly recommended by many schools.
Foreign language test scores are used to place you into USF language courses. You only need to take this test if you plan on studying a foreign language at USF that you have previously studied.
Note: if you are a native speaker of a foreign language, or have extensive experience with a language other than English language, you may apply for a waiver by completing the Waiver Request Form once you complete a foreign language placement exam in a language we teach (Chinese, Filipino, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish). Please contact the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at email@example.com to request the Waiver Request Form or to inquire about getting tested in a language that we do not teach.
You do not have to take a language placement test if you are beginning a new foreign language.
The following are available to take online:
- Spanish Heritage
For Chinese, Filipino and Japanese: Take the Online Foreign Language Placement Test
For French, German, Italian, Spanish, Spanish Heritage: Take the Online Foreign Language Placement Test
Please make sure to Log In with your organization credential (usfca).
Please take these tests prior to registering for your classes. Plan ahead! The results from the French, German, Italian, Spanish, Spanish Heritage placement tests take 2 weeks to record on your account.
The following must be taken on-campus. The format of these tests vary.
Students who have studied Arabic, ASL, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, and Portuguese before attending USF must schedule individual interviews with faculty in these languages, prior to registration for accurate placement. Contact the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 422-2802 to make arrangements.
- American Sign Language
Chemistry 111 (General Chemistry I) and 113 (General Chemistry II) are required of the following majors: Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science
If you are majoring in any other major and taking Chemistry 111 and 112 to fulfill your Lab Science requirement or for a pre-health professional requirement (e.g., premed, predental, pre-physical therapy, etc.) then you must also take the Chemistry Diagnostic Test.
Once you have taken the diagnostic test, the results will appear within 24 hours along with how you need to proceed to enroll in Chemistry 111 and 112 (for enrollment details see: https://myusf.usfca.edu/arts-sciences/chemistry/registration-general-chemistry)
The diagnostic test is to be completed online and is timed. Find a quiet place to work for 45 minutes. You will need a scientific calculator, scratch paper, and a pen or pencil. You will also need to refer to this periodic table. To most accurately assess your readiness for success in General Chemistry do not use a chemistry textbook or online sources when taking the diagnostic test (also if you use these resources you will likely run out of time).
Notes: A score of 4 or 5 on the AP Chemistry exam normally gives you credit for CHEM 111 and possibly CHEM 113 (you may want to take the test anyway to see where you stand. Please speak with a chemistry advisor). Even if you completed a college pre-general chemistry course at USF or another institution you must take the diagnostic test to gauge your readiness.
The Owl Prep course has been replaced with the General Chemistry Preparation course. It is available to all students and is designed to help prepare you for CHEM 111. This course is online and is free.
To determine which rhetoric and composition course or courses you will be taking, you will need to complete the Directed Self Placement (DSP). This self-assessment should take between 1–2 hours to complete. First, make sure you have created a myUSF account. Then:
- Log in to myUSF
- On your main dashboard, click the square button that says "Canvas" OR the "Canvas Link" as shown below. Google Chrome is the recommended browser for DSP, Safari browser is not recommended.
- Click on "Dashboard" in Canvas, and you should see the Directed Self Placement. If you do not see the DSP, please email email@example.com with your 8-digit student ID number.
- Follow the directions within the Directed Self Placement
When you complete the DSP, you'll be instructed to choose which Rhetoric course to register for.
If you choose RHET 195 or 110, you must also complete RHET 120 (or other selected equivalent course options carrying A2 credit). RHET 120 (or an equivalent course) fulfills your Core A2 requirement. Please note that some sections of RHET 195 are Public Speaking courses carrying core A1 credit. These Public Speaking versions of RHET 195 do NOT count as prerequisites to RHET 120. If you take a RHET 195 that carries Core A1 credit, you must still pass a writing course (RHET 110) in order to take RHET 120 or its equivalents.
If you choose RHET 106, you must also complete RHET 110 and RHET 120 (or other selected equivalent course options carrying A2 credit). RHET 120 (or an equivalent course) fulfills your Core A2 requirement.
Transfer students: Many transfer students will take core A2 classes such as RHET 250 or 295, or a specialized writing course designed for certain majors. Some transfer students choose to start with RHET 110 and then take RHET 120 (or an equivalent course). Your writing requirement is fulfilled upon successful completion of any Core A2 class.
Required of the following majors: Computer Science. All other majors do not need to take the Computer Science Placement Test.
This test is used to place you into the appropriate Computer Science course at USF. Previous college-level coursework will also be used when determining the appropriate course. This is a 60-minute test that will evaluate your knowledge of conditionals, iteration, arrays, functions, object-oriented programming, and other computing fundamentals with multiple-choice questions. No external resources permitted. You may only take this test once, all subsequent scores will not be accepted.
Note: If you are a student with a disability who will need accommodations for the placement tests, please apply to Student Disability Services and email firstname.lastname@example.org one week before the scheduled test date.
More Questions? For foreign language placement test questions, please call Languages, Literatures and Cultures at (415) 422-2802 or email email@example.com. For math, calculus and chemistry placement test questions, call CASA at (415) 422-5050 or email Tonya Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org. For Directed Self-Placement, call (415) 422-6243 or email email@example.com.