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 and Community Design, 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, or if you already took this test from home (link to test sent via email).

Undeclared students: If there is even a remote chance that you may choose a Math, Science, Business, Kinesiology, Architecture and Community Design, 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, 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:

  • Latin
  • Italian
  • Russian

Call the Foreign Language department at (415) 422-2802 to make arrangements. The format of these tests vary.

All incoming students (including transfer students) who need to take chemistry should 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-.

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

To determine which rhetoric course or courses you will be taking, you will need to complete the Directed Self-Placement process. Please click on the relevant link:

First-Year Students, click here: Directed Self Placement SP20 First Year Student

Transfer students, click here: Directed Self Placement SP20 Transfer Student

If you complete the Directed Self-Placement process and you still have questions, please contact our office,


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