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.

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.

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 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

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.

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:

  • Chinese
  • Filipino
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
  • Spanish Heritage

For Chinese, Filipino, 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.

On-Campus Tests

The following must be taken on-campus.  The format of these tests vary.

Students who have studied Arabic, ASL, Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese and Russian before attending USF must schedule individual interviews with faculty in these languages, prior to registration for accurate placement. Contact the Foreign Language department at mcl@usfca.edu or (415) 422-2802 to make arrangements.

  • American Sign Language
  • Arabic
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Latin
  • Portuguese
  • 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. 

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.

Owl Quick Prep course - please create an account using the link below.

Course Title: USF Owl QuickPrep Course 2021 (available May 1 - August 25)

Student Registration URL:  https://www.cengage.com/dashboard/#/course-confirmation/E-26R66X75B8R86/initial-course-confirmation

This does not have a course key or code, you are required to pay a $16 fee to access the course. 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 Cengage.com/support, or 800-354-9706

The USF Chemistry Diagnostic Test is 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 - please create an account using the link below.

Course Title: USF Owl QuickPrep Course 2021 (available May 1 - August 25)

Student Registration URL:  https://www.cengage.com/dashboard/#/course-confirmation/E-26R66X75B8R86/initial-course-confirmation

This does not have a course key or code, you are required to pay a $16 fee to access the course. 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 Cengage.com/support, 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 note, students in the School of Nursing and Health Professions must pass their Core A2 requirement with a minimum grade of C.

Exception: If you've been accepted to the Honors College 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.

Link to Fall 2021 First-Year student Directed Self Placement Canvas: https://usfca.instructure.com/courses/1600459

Link to Fall 2021 Transfer student Directed Self Placement Canvas: https://usfca.instructure.com/courses/1600460

Please contact rhetoricandlanguage@usfca.edu and provide your student ID number if you need assistance.

 

*Clarification regarding the Directed Self Placement for Rhetoric: After you take the DSP and get a list of eligible RHET classes, you have to pick one of the classes you want on Canvas. That RHET class will then appear on your Banner View Test Scores, and you will be eligible to register for that class.

If you don't do this step, your test scores will continue to show that you need to take the DSP.

 

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 miller@usfca.edu. For Directed Self-Placement, call (415) 422.6243 or email rhetoricandlanguage@usfca.edu.