All students must complete three credits of math (i.e., MAT155 or higher). 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.

We believe 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. You may enroll in the introductory level math course (i.e., MAT 155) if you meet the following criteria:

  • You earned a math ACT sub-score of at least 20 or a score of at least 530 on the mathematics section of the SAT.
  • You successfully completed MAT 111 Elementary Algebra at USF or an equivalent course at another institution.
  • You 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 below Frequently Asked Questions. 

Students who prefer or need to take a higher math than MAT155, please work directly with your academic advisor to determine appropriate placement.

How to Schedule a Math Placement Exam

The Thomas Kilian Academic Success Center administers placement exams individually at students' convenience. To schedule a time to complete your exam, contact us at (605) 331-6740 or

Frequently Asked Questions About the Math Placement Exam

What content is covered in the exam?

The screening exam is a 30-question, multiple choice exam written by 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 and evaluating problems with percentages.

How long is the exam?

You will have 90 minutes to complete the exam. There are 30 questions on the test, and we have given students extra time to permit them 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?

You are permitted to retake the exam after 30 days. You 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 MAT 111 Elementary Algebra and you did not earn a math ACT sub-score of at least 20 or a score of at least 530 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?

You are encouraged to complete the Sample Exam Questions and use the Sample Exam Key to identify your strengths and weaknesses in the areas assessed in the exam. We encourage you 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 the hours of operation for the USF Math Center.

I received extra time for exams in high schools. Can I receive this accommodation for this exam?

The Thomas Kilian Academic Success Center (ASC) is eager to visit with you to learn more about your needs. Simply contact ASC at to arrange a confidential conversation. Students who qualify for accommodation are granted an additional 45 minutes (135 total) to complete the exam. The ASC will proctor your exam in a private office that reduces distractions. We will schedule your exam with you when you qualify for this accommodation.