University Orientation

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Transfer Orientation placement testing

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 Advanced Placement (AP) credit and college-level course work you have completed will determine your placement testing requirements. While you may bring a copy of your AP test results 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
Undergraduate Admissions
P.O. Box 182646
Columbus, OH 43218-2646

Please go to Transfer Credit Report to access a copy of your transfer credit evaluation. For help with the report, read Understanding Your Transfer Credit Report.

English testing

Some course credit in English composition is required in all undergraduate programs at Ohio State. Refer to your Transfer Credit Report and the following information to determine whether you are required to take the English test at orientation:

  • You are required to take the English test at orientation if you have less than four hours of English composition credit or if you were admitted with an admission condition in English.
  • You are not required to take the English test if you received credit for English 1110 or 2367 (the first-year composition course required for all undergraduate students).
  • You have the option to take the English test if you are a nontraditional student (21 years of age or older). If you are a nontraditional student and choose not to take the English placement test, you will be eligible to enroll in English 1110.

Questions regarding the English test can be directed to the Writing Workshop at 614-292-6065.

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

You are required to take a foreign language test if you studied the same foreign language for at least two years in high school.  You will test in the language used for unconditional admission to Ohio State.

  • 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.
  • If you are testing in Spanish, French, German or Italian, you'll have an opportunity to take a computer-based placement test at orientation.
  • If you are planning to test in a language other than Spanish, French, German or Italian, you will make arrangements for testing with the appropriate language department when you return to campus for classes.

You are not required to take a language test if one of the following applies to you:

  • You have transfer credit in a foreign language.
  • You graduated from high school more than five years ago.
  • You have never formally studied a language or had less than 2 years in high school.

Questions about foreign language placement testing can be directed to the Foreign Language Center at 614-292-4361.

Math Placement Exam information

Refer to your Transfer Credit Report and the following information to determine if you need to take the Math Placement Exam. If you are required to test in math, you should complete this testing requirement no later than two days prior to orientation. If you do not take the exam prior to orientation or if you receive an undetermined ("U") score, you must take the exam at 7:30 a.m. on campus the day of your orientation session.

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 may be exempted from the math placement exam based on the following:

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

  • You have received transfer credit for a specific Ohio State math course (Math 1050 or higher).
  • You received General or Deferred/Unknown mathematics credit that has been evaluated by a Mathematics Counselor, thereby exempting you from the exam.
  • 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 1050, 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 and have not had the credit evaluated prior to your orientation session.
  • You are a recent admit and therefore have not evaluated your General math credits prior to orientation.

Learn more about the evaluation of your transfer credit at math.osu.edu/undergrad/new-students/transfer-credit.

Instructions for Completing the Math Placement Exam

Students who are not exempted from the math exam should complete it online at least two days prior to orientation. Transfer students will automatically be registered to complete the "B" placement test, and students who score high enough on the "B" test will be offered the opportunity to take the "D" test at 7:30 a.m. at orientation.

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. You should check your high school math courses and grades before taking the exam, so that you are able to provide accurate information.

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. View sample problems for both exams and a list of topics at math.osu.edu/undergrad/new-students/math-placement/study-materials..

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 Caitlyn McCandless in 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, an interpreter, or other support services. Documentation must be provided to determine eligibility before authorization can be given for accommodations.

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 problems related to activating your username, contact the Office of Information Technology at 614-688-HELP, 8help@osu.edu, 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.

Step 2: Take the Math Placement Exam

Go to buckeyelink3.osu.edu/secure/math and log in using your Ohio State Username (lastname.#) and password from Step 1.

  • 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 exam.

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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