Math Placement Exam

The Mathematics Placement Exam is intended for students who have not taken any college mathematics and want to take mathematics at USC.

The test is 60 minutes long and contains 40 questions.

The topics covered {with Mastery Scores} are:

  • Rational Expressions {3}
  • Exponents and Radicals {4}
  • Linear Equations, Inequalities and Absolute Values {4}
  • Polynomials and Polynomial Functions {4}
  • Functions {4}
  • Trigonometry {3}
  • Logarithmic and Exponential Functions {3}
  • Word Problems {3}

Based on the results of the exam, students may place into:

  • Math 040: Basic Mathematical Skills
  • Math 108: Contemporary Precalculus or Math 117: Introduction to Mathematics for Business and Economics
  • Math 118: Fundamental Principles of Calculus or Math 125: Calculus I

Students should consult their academic advisor to determine the Math course that is appropriate or required for the major/minor program.


Math Placement Exam Repetition Policy

The policy on repetition 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 policy on repetition for continuing students is as follows:

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

For Math, the test administration can take up to one and a half hours, so please plan accordingly.

  • Please arrive at least 10 minutes before the start of the test.
  • Students with disabilities who are not yet registered with USC Disability Services and Programs should contact their office at to make arrangements for testing accommodations at least two weeks prior to the scheduled placement exam date.

For Exam Dates & Locations, click here.


  • Math placement results do not expire.