Placement Examinations

Composition Placement Examination (CPE)

Certain entering freshmen, including those who receive a combined score lower than 1100 on the Critical Reading and Writing sections of the SAT or an ACT English score below 24, are required to take the Placement Examination. Those who do not score above the minimum standard must complete WRIT 120 before enrolling in WRIT 150. Entering freshmen who are required to take the Placement Examination will be notified during the admissions process.

Placement Tests

Placement Tests are required for the following courses:

Mathematics – MATH 108, 116, 117, 125

Chemistry – CHEM 050, 102, 105a.

Math and chemistry placement tests are administered by Academic Counseling Services. Foreign language placement tests are administered by the Language Center.

Placement Test Dates

Reservations are required for math and chemistry placement tests. Contact Academic Counseling Services for test times, dates and sites at or

Foreign language placement tests are administered by the Language Center on scheduled dates throughout the academic year and during summers. Results are valid for one calendar year. Students must wait six months before retaking. For additional information concerning foreign language tests, contact the USC Language Center, THH 309, (213) 740-1188 or, or visit online at

Only students admitted to USC may take the placement tests and are required to show their USC ID upon arrival. Students who do not have their USC ID can show another form of identification, but must also show proof of enrollment. Two #2 pencils are required. Calculators are not permitted.