About placement testing
Placement testing in English, foreign languages and mathematics helps determine the appropriate first course for you to take in Ohio State's course sequences in these academic areas. Your ACT/SAT scores, Advanced Placement (AP) credit, and any college-level course work you have completed while in high school will determine your placement testing requirements.
While you may bring a copy of your ACT/SAT scores, AP test result, and transcripts of college-level course work with you to orientation, you must arrange to have the official scores and official transcripts sent to the following address:
The Ohio State University
P.O. Box 182646
Columbus, OH 43218-2646
Some course credit in English composition is required in all undergraduate programs at Ohio State. Your ACT/SAT scores initially determine whether you will take the English placement test. You are required to take the placement exam prior to scheduling your first-quarter classes if one of the following applies:
- Your ACT English score is 18 or below.
- Your SAT verbal score is 450 or below.
- You have an English admission condition.
If you are required to take the English placement test before scheduling classes, you will need to check-in at orientation at 7:30 a.m. in order to take that placement test at 8 a.m.
If you are an international student, the requirement to complete an English as a Second Language (ESL) Composition Placement Exam does not depend on ACT/SAT scores or college credit. For more information, visit esl.ehe.osu.edu/home/placement/esl-composition-testing-and-placement.
Foreign language testing
All students entering Ohio State are required to take a placement test in the language they used to satisfy Ohio State's foreign language admission requirement. You are not required to test if you have an AP score of 3 or higher or college credit in a foreign language.
- Students testing in Latin will be assigned an orientation program check-in time of 7:30 a.m. to complete the Latin test prior to the opening session.
- If you are testing in Spanish, French, German or Italian, you'll have an opportunity to take a computer-based placement test at orientation in the afternoon of Day 1.
- If you are planning to test in a language other than Spanish, French, German, Italian or Latin, you will make arrangements for testing with the appropriate language department when you return to campus for classes.
- If you intend to study a different language at Ohio State, you must still test in the foreign language you used to satisfy the admission requirement.
Mathematics Skills Assessment information
Because most undergraduate programs at Ohio State require some work in mathematics, all entering freshmen are required to take the Mathematics Skills Assessment. You should complete this testing requirement no later than two days prior to orientation and can do so online (see instructions below). If you do not take the assessment prior to orientation, you must arrive to take the exam the day before your orientation date at 2:30 p.m. to complete the exam. If you receive an undetermined ("U") score, you must arrive at 7:30 a.m. the day of your orientation session to complete a second assessment on campus.
- You are not required to take the Mathematics Skills Assessment if:
- You have received transfer credit for Math 1050 or higher.
- You received General or Deferred/Unknown mathematics credit that has been evaluated by a mathematics counselor exempting you from the assessment (refer to Understanding Your Transfer Credit Report for details).
- You received a score of 3, 4 or 5 on the AB or BC Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus exam while in high school. You will need to have an official copy of your AP test scores sent directly to Undergraduate Admissions to receive credit.
- You are a nontraditional student who is 23 years of age or older. If you are a nontraditional student and choose not to take the math assessment, you will be placed in Math 1050, an introductory math course. You may take the assessment if you wish to begin at a higher level
- You are required to take the Mathematics Skills Assessment if:
- Your credit for college course work in mathematics is not transferring to Ohio State.
- You have received math credit designated as Special (S000), Technical (T000) or Undefined Technical (Und Tech.).
- You have received General (G000) or Deferred/Unknown (D000) math credit, unless you have the credit evaluated by a mathematics counselor from the Math Counseling Office prior to your orientation session. More on math advising: math.osu.edu/undergrad/advising.
Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus test
- If you will not have your AP Calculus test scores by two days prior to your orientation session, you will need to take the mathematics skills assessment by the two day testing deadline.
- If you take the math assessment and receive your AP scores before your orientation session, bring a copy of the scores with you to orientation, as those results will be used in determining your appropriate math placement.
- If you receive a score of 3, 4 or 5 on the AB or BC Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus exam, those results will be used in determining your appropriate math placement.
- If you have not had your scores sent to Undergraduate Admissions, please bring your copy with you to orientation and contact the AP Program at 1-888-CALL4AP to have an official copy sent.
College credit in mathematics
If you have taken college math courses and had the transcript(s) of those courses sent from your previous college to Undergraduate Admissions, you will be able to view your transfer credits on your Student Center, available on buckeyelink.osu.edu.
Instructions for completing the Mathematics Skills Assessment
The math placement test will be available online after April 30. You must complete the math assessment at least 2 days prior to your orientation session. (You can also take it the night before IF you print off the score and bring it with you to Orientation.) There are two versions of the Mathematics Skills Assessment: Test B and Test D. If you have an ACT math score of 24 or lower (SAT math score of 560 or lower), you will take Test B. If you have an ACT math score of 25 or higher (SAT math score of 570 or higher), you will take Test D. Scoring high enough on the B Assessment will allow you to take the D Assessment (pre-calculus) during orientation, which may result in a higher placement level. If you have an unreported Act or SAT math score that would qualify you for Test D, contact the Office of Testing at (614) 292-2241 (8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday).
NOTE: The Math Skills Assessment is used only as a placement tool. No course credit will be given, nor will the assessment fulfill any math requirements for your chosen major. The assessment has a maximum time limit of 75 minutes. Please provide yourself with an environment that will give you uninterrupted time and an atmosphere conducive for working math problems.
Students with disabilities should contact Caitlyn McCandless in the Ohio State Office for Disability Services at (614) 292-3307 to make alternate arrangements for taking the math assessment. This includes students with disabilities who may need extended time, as well as students who need a scribe, a reader, an interpreter, or other support services. Documentation must be provided to determine eligibility before authorization can be given for accommodations.
Since your score on the math assessment determines your beginning placement level in math and science courses, you are encouraged to review the appropriate topics prior to taking the test. View sample problems for both exams and a list of topics at math.osu.edu/undergrad/future-students/incoming/placement-test/study-materials.
Step 1: Obtain your Ohio State Username (lastname.#)
If you haven't already, obtain your Ohio State Username and set up delivery of your Ohio State email at my.osu.edu. If you experience probems related to activating your username, contact the Office of Information Technology at (614) 688-HELP, email@example.com, or by TDD at (614) 688-8743.
It is important that you remember to write down your Ohio State Username (lastname.#) and password and bring it with you to orientation. Your username and password is issued to you only, so it is important that you safeguard the password and not share it with anyone.
Before the assessment begins, you will be asked to specify the math courses you completed in high school and the grade you received for each. You should check your high school math courses and grades before taking the assessment, so that you are able to provide accurate information.
Take the Mathematics Skills Assessment
The math placement test will be available online after April 30 at https://buckeyelink3.osu.edu/secure/math.
- Netscape version 4.06 or higher or Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher is required.
- You may use either an IBM-compatible PC or Mac.
- Many students experience difficulty using AOL. We recommend that you switch to a different browser and do not use AOL for the assessment.
Log in using your Ohio State Username (lastname.#) and password from Step 1.
Thoroughly read the Mathematics Skills Assessment instructions, specifically noting the following:
- You may use scratch paper, pencil, and a scientific or graphing calculator (you should not use a calculator with computer symbolic algebra or QWERTY keyboard).
- The test is timed for 75 minutes and the time remaining will be updated after you answer each question.
- The test is entirely multiple-choice with only one correct answer. Partial credit is not given.
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