Placement Tests

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.

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:

Required of the following majors: Architecture, Biology, Business (all majors), Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Environmental Science, Kinesiology, Math, and Physics. All other majors do not need to take the Math Placement Test.

You do not have to take this test if you have submitted a 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.

Take the online Math Placement Test

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:

Required of the following majors: Chemistry, Computer Science, Data Science, Engineering, Math, and Physics.

Recommended for Economics and Environmental Science majors.

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.

Take the Online Calculus Readiness Test

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.

A foreign language is required of all Arts and Science as well as International Business majors.

You do not have to take this test if you are beginning a new foreign language.

Online Tests

The following are available to take online:

  • French
  • Chinese
  • German
  • Filipino
  • Japanese
  • Spanish

Take the Online Foreign Language Placement Test 

Please make sure to click Log In with my organization credential. 

Please take these tests prior to Webtrack.

On-Campus Tests

The following must be taken on-campus.  Contact the Foreign Language department at or (415) 422-2802 to make arrangements. The format of these tests vary.

  • Latin
  • Italian
  • Russian

Required of the following majors: Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science

If you are majoring in Computer Science and using General Chemistry I to fulfill your Lab Science requirement, then you should also take the Chemistry Diagnostic Test. If you are majoring in Kinesiology and have no Chemistry knowledge, you should take Foundations of Chemistry (CHEM 001) before registering for Survey of Human Physiology (BIOL 115/116). 

If you are planning to register for General Chemistry I, you should take the Chemistry Diagnostic Test. Please review our web-based tutorial site (step 1 below), then take our online Chemistry Diagnostic Test (step 2 below).

Once you have taken the diagnostic test, the results will appear along with advice on how to best prepare for college level chemistry. If your score on the diagnostic test is 23 or less (023 in Banner), you are strongly advised to take the OWL Quick Prep and then retake the Chemistry Diagnostic Test. Please note that you are only allowed to take the Chemistry Diagnostic Test 2 times.

Step 1: Your likelihood for success on the diagnostic test will significantly increase if you study for it. To do so, use the Washington University Chemistry Tutorials Website to review topics and complete practice problems, (you cannot take their quizzes or Diagnostic Exam). This may take you several hours but will help you prepare for the diagnostic test and your college chemistry courses. 

Step 2: Take the USF Chemistry Diagnostic Test, a 45-minute test with 42 multiple-choice questions on material from a typical year-long high school chemistry course. You will need a pencil, scratch paper, calculator and periodic table. Relevant equations are provided. We suggest you print out a periodic table. You may not use a chemistry textbook or online sources of help (you will 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.

Take the Chemistry Diagnostic Test

If you did not place into General Chemistry I after taking the Chemistry Diagnostic Test, you should take the Owl Quick Prep course offered by Cengage to prepare you for college chemistry. Quick Prep has been proven to improve student performance in first semester chemistry.  

After you complete the Owl Quick Prep course, you may retake the Chemistry Diagnostic Test. 

Please note: If you are a Biology major, it is essential for you to begin General Chemistry I in the Fall semester to stay on track to graduate.

Owl Quick Prep Instruction

Make sure you use the same email address for all of your Cengage accounts. If you have any issues, please contact Cengage Learning customer support at, or 800-354-9706

All students need to complete Rhetoric courses. In order to complete your Core A2 requirement you'll be taking one-to-three courses. Please remember that for each of these courses, you MUST pass with a minimum grade of C-.

Exception: If you've opted in to enroll in the Honors College curriculum or if your acceptance letter indicated that you will be completing Academic English for Multilingual Students (AEM) courses at USF, you do not need to take the Directed Self Placement.

Please note, students in the School of Nursing and Health Professions must pass their Core A2 requirement with a minimum grade of C.

Link to First-Year student Directed Self Placement Canvas:

Link to Transfer student Directed Self Placement Canvas:

Please contact our office for assistance with your rhetoric placement.


Note: If you are a student with a disability who will need accommodations for the placement tests, please contact Student Disability Services at (415) 422-2613 one week before the scheduled test date.

More Questions? For foreign language placement test questions, please call Modern & Classical Languages at (415) 422-2802. For math placement test and chemistry diagnostic test questions, call CASA at (415) 422-5050 or email Tonya Miller at For Directed Self-Placement, call (415) 422.6243 or email