Placement Examinations

Math, Chemistry, Quantitative Reasoning and Foreign Language Placement Examinations

The Testing Center administers math, chemistry, quantitative reasoning (QR) and foreign language placement exams. Placement exams are required for the following courses:

Mathematics – MATH 108, 117, 118, 125

Chemistry – CHEM 102, 105a and 050 (tutorial).

Quantitative Reasoning – GE-F (see below for important information)

Foreign Languages – all levels only if student has previous experience with the language

QR exams must be taken during the first year of enrollment for students entering as freshmen and during the first semester of enrollment for students entering as transfers.

Test Results

Math and QR placement exam results do not expire.
Foreign language placement exam results are valid for one calendar year.
Chemistry placement exam results are valid for two years.
Students must wait six months before retaking any placement exam.

Test Dates

Placement exams are offered on specific dates throughout the academic year and summers. Reservations are required for math, chemistry and QR placement exams. Unless otherwise noted on the schedule of testing, no reservations are required for foreign language placement exams. Test times, dates and sites can be found on the Testing Center’s website. Contact the Testing Center at (213) 740-1188 or

Testing Details

Only students admitted to USC may take the placement exams and are required to present their USC ID upon arrival. Students who do not have their USC ID can show another form of identification and proof of enrollment. Calculators are not permitted. There is no fee for taking placement exams.

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