Testing Services FAQ

General Questions

Placement Exams

Exam Proctoring

Scanning and Scoring Exams for USC Faculty

 

General Questions

Where is Testing Services located?

Testing Services is located in Student Union (STU) 300 at the corner of Childs Way and Trousdale Parkway on the main campus.

What are the directions to the campus?

Click here for directions and maps to the campus.

Which entrance on campus is closest to Testing Services?

Gate 3 on Figueroa St.

Can you mail me an application/information bulletin for a national test?

We do not mail out any applications/information bulletins.

Do you offer any preparation classes?

No, Testing Services is neither involved in any preparation classes, nor does it have any information on them. Please contact the appropriate National Testing Agency for more information.

 

Placement Exams

Which exams do I need to take?

Students in major or minor programs that require Math and/or Chemistry should take the Math and/or Chemistry placement exams.  All students with a major in the Dornsife College or pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in other schools should take the Foreign Language placement exam for any language in which they have had previous experience or instruction.

Information on Math Placement Exams
Information on Chemistry Placement Exams
Information on Foreign Language Placement Exams

Consult an advisor in your academic department for further information.

If I took AP or IB courses in high school or took a class at another school, do I still need to take a placement test?

The Undergraduate Transfer Credit/Articulation website has information on both AP exam credit and IB exam credit.  Most AP and IB exams are not granted direct equivalency to specific USC courses, but your major department may accept AP or IB credit for major requirements and/or prerequisites. Consult an advisor in your academic department for further information.

Is there a fee for the placement exams?

There is no fee to take USC placement exams.

When can I take the placement tests?

New students entering USC for the first time can take the Math and Chemistry placement exams online as part of the Pre-Orientation Checklist.  Reservations are not required for the online placement exams.  Online placement exams must be completed no later than 10 days before the start of your Orientation event.

For continuing students, the paper and pencil version of the Math and Chemistry placement exams are given on scheduled test dates.  Reservations are required for Math and Chemistry placement exams.  Reservation requests must be submitted at least one week in advance of the exam date.

The foreign language placement tests are given on scheduled test dates.  No registration is required for foreign language placement exams, but you must arrive at least 10 minutes early to check-in for the exam.

What do I do if I did not take the online Math and/or Chemistry placement exam during Pre-Orientation?

Online Math and Chemistry placement exams are not available to students who failed to complete them during Pre-Orientation.  However, new students may take the paper and pencil version in August during Fall Welcome Week, and in January during Spring Welcome Week.

How do I register for a placement test?

To register for the paper and pencil version of the Math and/or Chemistry exam, go to PLACEMENT EXAM RESERVATIONS.

No registration is necessary for foreign language exams unless noted otherwise.

What should I bring to the test?

Bring the following:

  • USC ID (or a photo ID and your admission letter to USC if you have not yet received an ID card)
  • two No. 2 pencils
  • a pen

Calculators are NOT allowed.

How and when can I get my test results?

Math and Chemistry placement results are ready by 2:00pm the next business day, and may be picked up at Testing Services (STU 300) in person with a picture ID.  Math and Chemistry placement results are NOT given over the phone.  Please note that Testing Services DOES NOT report raw scores, only placement levels.

For foreign language exams, students can call or email the USC Language Center to receive their results.  Results from the foreign language placement tests are also uploaded to the student’s record, and are accessible to academic advisors.

If I took a placement exam before, when can I repeat the test?

Foreign language placement exams may only be taken once every 6 months (typically once in a semester).

The repetition policy for Math and Chemistry placement exams for incoming students is as follows:

  1. Online exam (as part of Pre-Orientation Checklist; only for incoming students)
  2. Paper and pencil exam during Welcome Week
  3. After six (6) months

The repetition policy for Math and Chemistry placement exams for continuing students is as follows:

  1. First administration of paper and pencil exam
  2. After six (6) months

How long are my placement exam scores valid?

Math placement results do not expire.

Chemistry placement results are valid for nine (9) months from the test date.  Students who do not enroll in the appropriate Chemistry course before the nine month expiration must re-test for placement.

Foreign language placement results are valid for one year from the test date.  Students who do not enroll in the appropriate foreign language course before the one year expiration must re-test for placement.

 

Proctoring Exams

Does Testing Services proctor exams for students who need alternate exam administration?

Testing Services offers support to faculty and departments who need to accommodate students in their USC courses with alternate exam administration.  In most cases, the faculty or department of the course should make arrangements for special exam times due to authorized DSP accommodations or conflicts with other course exams.  However, Testing Services may be consulted if the instructor and department are unable to arrange an alternate exam date for students with three final exams on the same date, or with two final exams at the same time.

What should I do if I have two final exams at the same time or three final exams on the same date?

Students should plan in advance to avoid scheduling conflicts in their final exams.  If you are scheduled for two final exams at the same time, you should request to take one of the exams at a different time.  If you are scheduled for more than two final exams on the same date, you may request to take one of the exams on an alternate date.  In either situation, you must contact the professors involved to request accommodations.  If accommodations cannot be arranged by the faculty or the department of the course, contact Testing Services at or (213) 740-7166 for assistance.

If I have three final exams on the same date or two final exams at the same time, and my professor is able arrange an alternate exam date, does my professor still need to contact Testing Services?

No.  Instructors do not require permission from Testing Services to make arrangements for an alternate exam date for students with three final exams on the same date or two final exams at the same time.

Can Testing Services provide verification of my exam conflict(s) to my professor(s)?

Yes.  Students can request Testing Services to provide faculty with verification of their exam conflicts, specifically three final exams on the same date or two final exams at the same time.

Does USC Testing Services offer proctoring for exams from other schools/agencies?

No.  Unfortunately, USC Testing Services is not able to accommodate proctoring for outside school exams at this time.

 

Scanning and Scoring Scantron Exams for USC Faculty

What Scantron forms are supported by Testing Services?

Currently, there are only two Scantron forms available for use on our scanning machine:

  • General Purpose Scantron Answer Sheet (Blue), form no. 4521
  • General Purpose Scantron Answer Sheet (Green), form no. 4887

Can I purchase Scantron forms from Testing Services?

Yes.  Scantron forms can be purchased from Testing Services using an internal requisition.  Cash or checks will not be accepted.  The cost is $90/box (500 sheets); this price includes all scoring and handling of the sheets.  Call our office to order and arrange for pickup of Scantron sheets.

Where do I drop off the exams?

Exams can be dropped off in STU 300 anytime during business hours, 8:30am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday.

Please make sure that the scoring key for your exam is included and filled out completely.

Who can drop off the exams?

Exams will be accepted from professors, TAs, student assistants, and staff.

Please make sure to bring an ID when dropping off exams.

Does the instructor of record for the course have to pick up the graded exams?

No.  Exams make be picked up by professors, TAs, student assistants, and staff.  Whoever is picking up the exam needs to bring an ID when signing out the graded exams.

How long does it take for the exams to be graded?

Exams are usually available within 24 hours.  Exams dropped off on Friday will be available the following Monday.

Can I request for item analysis on an exam?

Yes.  Item analysis allows the professor to see the percentage of students that answered each question correctly, and also the percentage of students that selected each individual answer choice.  With this information, it is possible to assess the quality of the test item and of the exam as a whole.

Can I have exam results sent via email?

Yes.  Faculty may request an electronic copy of exam scores (in Excel format) for their own use.  However, faculty or another approved individual (e.g., TAs, student assistants, and staff) must pick up the graded Scantrons before electronic copies of exam scores are released.  Submit requests for electronic exam scores here.