If you're wondering which placement exams you'll be required to take, this guide provides a list of placement tests that are administered during Orientation. While this brief explanation of placement tests will allow you to prepare for those you will need to take before you can enroll, an academic advisor will be available at Orientation to answer specific questions.
For further information, you may contact the Testing Bureau.
YWCA Room 104, 857 West 36th Place, (213) 740-7166.
For testing, please bring:
- Driver's license or other picture I.D.
- Two No. 2 pencils and a ball point pen
** AP Disclaimer: Although the university may award course equivalence for certain AP exams, some professional schools, including certain medical colleges, will not accept AP credit in place of college level coursework. For more specific information please see a pre-medical advisor in the Office of College Advising, CAS 120.
|Mathematics Placement Test
Students who want to enroll in a mathematics course, either by choice or because their major requires one, must take the Mathematics Placement Test to determine placement into the appropriate course level. In the College, all BS degree programs require college level math as well as BA programs in all the sciences, as well as Mathematics, Economics, Environmental Studies, and Psychology. In addition, students who are entering undecided but are considering a major or minor in Business, Engineering, or Music Industry should take the Math Placement Test to be placed at the appropriate level. Students who have taken the AP exam in Calculus AB or BC and have scored 4 or 5 do not need to take the Math Placement Test.
Students who wish to enroll in Chemistry 105aLg must take both the Chemistry Placement and the Math Placement tests. However, students who score a 4 or 5 on the Chemistry AP exam will earn credit for Chemistry 105aLg and are not required to take the Chemistry Placement Test. If a student is unable to pass the Chemistry Placement Test, he or she will be advised to enroll in Preparation for Chemistry, CHEM 040. Students who are in the pre-medical track are required to take Chemistry 105aLg or 115aLg as are most BS majors in the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. (Contact an advisor for individual counseling.)
|Physics Preparedness Test
All students who wish to enroll in Physics 151 (Fundamentals of Physics) must take both the Mathematics Placement test and the Physics Preparedness Test. Students who do not obtain a satisfactory score on both examinations will be advised to enroll in Tools for Physics 030. Majors requiring Physics 151L are Astronomy, Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematics, and Physics. Students who want to major in departments that require the Physics 135aL sequence do not need to take the Physics Preparedness Test. (Contact an advisor for individual counseling.)
|Foreign Language Placement Test
All students in the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences are required to demonstrate third-semester proficiency in a foreign language. AP exams do not meet the College's requirements. USC administers placement tests in Mandarin, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Russian, and Spanish. Students who have been previously exposed to any of these languages in a formal or informal setting are required to take the placement test so that they may be placed at the appropriate level. Students who have had no previous foreign language exposure or who want to study a new foreign language may enroll in the first semester of that language without taking the placement test. Students with advanced skills in languages other than those taught at USC may request exemption from the foreign language requirement if they can pass a competency exam for advanced language skills which is administered at USC, subject to the availability of suitable academic examiners.
All students who score less than 560 on the verbal portion of the SAT must take the Composition Placement Exam (CPE). This exam is offered at all Orientation sessions. Students who do not receive a satisfactory score on their CPE will be required to enroll in Introduction to College Writing, WRIT 130, during their first semester at USC. For further information, contact the Freshman Writing Program at (213) 740-1980.