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Math Prerequisites

All students must complete four credits of math (i.e., MAT112 or higher) as a part of the liberal arts core requirements. This requirement must be satisfied within your first two years at USF. If you transferred into USF from another institution, you must complete these courses by the end of your first three semesters at USF.

USF believes that your success starts with selecting the best math course that matches your unique background. As the result of our commitment to your success, we have designed the following math prerequisites. Students may enroll in the introductory level Math courses (i.e., MAT 113, MAT112, MAT233, and MAT151) if they satisfy any of the following:

  • Earned a math ACT sub-score of at least 19 or a score of at least 480 on the mathematics section of the SAT;
  • Successfully completed MAT111 Elementary Algebra at USF or an equivalent course at another institution;
  • Obtained a passing grade on a placement exam designed by the USF mathematics department. This exam is designed to gauge your current proficiency so you and your advisor are able to make informed decisions when you register for classes. The test-out option is available during your first year at USF and may be attempted at most twice during that year. You can learn more about this by reading the information below.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PLACEMENT EXAM

Have questions? We've got answers. Click on the question below to learn more about math placement.

What content is covered in the exam?
The screening exam is a 30-question multiple choice exam written by the USF math faculty. It consists of exercises in the following categories: definitions and properties, numerical expression problems, algebraic equivalences, simplifying algebraic expressions, solving linear equations, equations of lines, radicals, and modeling & evaluating problems with percentages.
How long is the exam?
You will have 90 minutes to complete the exam. There are only 30 questions on the test, but we have given students extra time to permit students to work at a comfortable pace without any apprehension about time limits.
What score do I need?
A score of 70 percent (21 out of 30) or higher constitutes a passing grade. You will receive your score the day of the exam. If you pass the exam, the Registrar will update your student record, which your advisor can access. You may then follow-up with your advisor to register for the respective math course based upon your score.
If I am not satisfied with my score, can I retake the test?
Students are permitted to retake the exam after 30 days. Students may only take the exam twice.
Am I required to complete the exam?
No, you are not required to take this test. You only need to take this exam if you would like to enroll in a Math course above MAT111 Elementary Algebra and you did not earn a math ACT sub-score of at least 19 or a score of at least 480 on the mathematics section of the SAT.
What should I bring with me? Am I able to use a calculator during the exam?
You will be provided with an approved calculator, pencils, and scrap paper. Bring only a photo id with you the day of the exam.
How should I prepare for the exam?
Students are encouraged to complete the Sample Exam Questions and use the Sample Exam Key to identify their strengths and weaknesses in the areas assessed in the exam. The University encourages students to review the questions that you answered incorrectly and study these concepts in more detail in preparation for the exam. The Math Center also provides tutoring during the Fall and Spring semester to help students prepare for the exam. View their hours of operation.
I received extra time for exams in high schools. Can I receive this accommodation for this exam?
The Academic Success Center is eager to visit with you to learn more about your needs. Simply contact the director, Billie Streufert, at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it to arrange a confidential conversation. Students who qualify for accommodation are granted an additional 45 minutes (135 total) to complete the exam. The Academic Success Center will proctor your exam in a private office that reduces distractions. We will schedule your exam with you when you qualify for this accommodation.
I enrolled at USF prior to Fall 2013. Do I need to satisfy these prerequisites?
Students entering USF (either as freshmen or as transfer students) in the Fall of 2013 or later must satisfy the Math pre-requisite. These pre-requisites do not apply to students enrolled at USF prior to Fall 2013, even if they have not yet taken their math Liberal Arts Core course(s).

SCHEDULING AN EXAM

The Academic Success Center administers placement exams individually and during New Student Registration Days. The dates and times for summer 2013 are provided below. Information for fall 2013 will be posted in August.

Placement exams are administered during NSR:
If you would like to complete the placement exam when you are on campus for New Student Registration (NSR), simply attend the event and notify your advisor during your individual registration appointment. We will then arrange for you to take the exam at 2:30 before you leave. 

Non-NSR Dates
To accommodate the students who are unable to attend New Student Registration (NSR) or would like to retake the exam, the Academic Success Center administers the exam individually. Simply contact us at (605) 331-6740 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it for scheduling information.