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Placement testing

If you have read the instructions and are prepared to take the Math Placement Exam, log in now with your Ohio State Username and password: https://buckeyelink3.osu.edu/secure/math

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 sequence 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 results, and transcripts of college-level course work with your to orientation, you must arrange to have the official scores and official transcripts sent to the following address:

The Ohio State University
Undergraduate Admissions
P.O. Box 182646
Columbus, OH 43218-2646

English testing

Some course credit in English composition is required in all undergraduate programs at Ohio State. Your ACT/SAT scores initially determine when you will take the English placement test. You are required to take the placement exam prior to scheduling your first-semester classes if one of the following applies:

  1. Your ACT English scores is 18 or below.
  2. Your SAT reading score (RDTS) is 24 or below.
  3. 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/testing/undergraduate.

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.

  • If you are testing in Spanish, French, German, or Italian, you'll have an opportunity to take a computer-based placement test at orientation (after the Opening Session).
  • 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.
  • 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.

Math Placement Exam information

Because most undergraduate programs at Ohio State require some work in mathematics, all entering freshmen are required to take the Math Placement Exam. 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 exam 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 exam on campus. 

You are not required to take the Math Placement Exam if:

  • You have received transfer credit for a specific Ohio State math course (e.g., Math 151).
  • You received General or Deferred/Unknown mathematics credit that has been evaluated by a mathematics counselor exempting you from the exam (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 exam, you will be placed in Math 050, an introductory math course. You may take the exam if you wish to begin at a higher level.

You are required to take the Math Placement Exam 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 prior to your orientation session. For evaluation of General or Deferred/Unknown math credit, follow the instructions for doing so on your Transfer Credit Report.
  • You have submitted college transcripts, but have not yet received a Transfer Credit Report by two days prior to your orientation session.

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 Math Placement Exam by the two day testing deadline.
  • If you take the math exam 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 sent a Transfer Credit Report listing your transfer credit.

Instructions for completing the Math Placement Exam

You must complete the math exam 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 Math Placement Exam: Test B and Test D. If you have an ACT math score of 24 or lower (SAT math score of 580 or lower), you will take Test B. If you have an ACT math score of 25 or higher (SAT math score of 590 or higher), you will take Test D. Scoring high enough on Text B will allow you to take Test D (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).

Before the exam begins, you will be asked to specify the math courses you completed in high school and the grade you received for each. Check your high school math courses and grades before taking the exam, so that you are able to provide accurate information.

NOTE: The Math Placement Exam is used only as a placement tool. No course credit will be given, nor will the exam fulfill any math requirements for your chosen major. The exam 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 a disability counselor at the Ohio State Office for Disability Services at 614-292-3307 to make alternate arrangements for taking the math exam. This includes students with disabilities who may need extended time, as well as students who need a scribe, a reader or other support services. Documentation must be provided to determine eligibility before authorization can be given for accommodations.

Since your score on the math exam determines your beginning placement level in math and science courses, you are encouraged to review the appropriate topics prior to taking the test. Find sample problems for both exams and topics covered at math.osu.edu/undergrad/new-students/math-placement/study-materials.

Step 1: Obtain your Ohio State Username

In order to complete the Math Placement Exam, you must have your Ohio State Username. Go to my.osu.edu for more information. If you experience problems related to your username, contact the Office of Information Technology (OIT) Support Center by email at 8help@osu.edu, by phone at 614-688-HELP, or by TDD at 614-688-8743. It is important that you remember to write down your username (lastname.#) and password and bring it with you to orientation.

Step 2: Take the Math Placement Exam

  1. Go to https://buckeyelink3.osu.edu/secure/math and login using your Ohio State Username (lastname.#) and password (see Step 1, above).
  2. Thoroughly read the Math Placement Exam 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 exam is timed for 75 minutes and the time remaining will be updated after you answer each question.
    • The exam is entirely multiple-choice with only one correct answer. Partial credit is not given.

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