Placement Exams

English Placement

The English placement procedure at USD helps place you in the highest-level English course based on your English ACT subscore, SAT reading and writing scores, Smart Balance English score, or the most recent high school academic years’ worth of English grades. If you do not have any valid scores in these areas, you will need to take a placement test (ACCUPLACER).

Refer to the BOR Guideline 7.6 Section 4 (located on pages 4 and 5) for more information.


If You Want to Take ACT English Smarter Balanced Grades (full academic year) ACCUPLACER NextGen Writing 
ENGL 032 1-17 0-2582 C or lower 200-262
ENG 101 18-36 2583 or higher B or higher 263+  

 

Challenging your placement

You may also choose to challenge your placement by taking a computer-based placement exam (ACCUPLACER). The cost of the exam is $20. Some testing options may require additional service fees. You may challenge your placement up to two times.

 


Foreign Language Placement

If you will be taking a foreign language class at USD and have had previous exposure to the language, the WebCape foreign language placement test will help place you in the course level most appropriate to your current skills in the language.

Take the WebCape Foreign Language Placement Test 

 


Mathematics Placement

The Math placement procedure at USD helps place you in the highest-level Math course based on your GPA, Math Index, or Smart Balance mathematics score. If you do not have any valid scores in these areas, you will need to take a placement test (ACCUPLACER).

You will have the opportunity to challenge your initial placement if you don't believe it is the appropriate course for you using the Challenge Index. A student must score high enough on the QAS test and reach the AAF assessment in order to calculate these results.

Test Scores and high school GPA must be no more than 5 years old to be used for placement. If you do not have a valid GPA, there is no charge for the first attempt.

Placement levels will remain the same if you have already taken the ACT, SAT, Smarter Balanced and/or ACCUPLACER exam. Refer to the BOR Guideline 7.6 Appendix B (located on page 10) for the official placement chart.


If You Want to Take:

High School GPA (HSGPA)

Math Index (MI)
MI = 250 x HS GPA + 17 x MATH ACT*

ACCUPLACER Score
(only if no HS GPA)

Smarter Balanced Score
Challenge Index (CI)
CI = 290 x HS GPA + AAF** + 20
If student does not reach AAF domain, no challenge index

MATH 103 or MATH 114


3.03 ≤ HSGPA < 3.55

MI 1150 or higher

QAS 255-300 or AAF 200-249

2628 or higher

CI 1150 or higher

MATH 115 or MATH 120 or MATH 121/121L or STAT 281


HSGPA is 3.55 or higher

MI 1300 or higher

AAF 250-300 or ACCUPLACER SDCalculus 1-15

N/A

CI 1300 or higher

MATH 123 w/123L

HSGPA is 3.55 or higher AND ACCUPLACER SDCalculus 16 or higher

MI 1300 or higher AND ACCUPLACER SDCalculus 16 or higher

AAF 250+ AND ACCUPLACER SDCalculus 16 or higher

N/A


CI 1300 or higher AND ACCUPLACER SDCalculus 16 or higher

MATH 123

HSGPA is 3.55 or higher AND ACCUPLACER SDCalculus 19 or higher

MI 1300 or higher AND ACCUPLACER SDCalculus 19 or higher

AAF 250+ AND ACCUPLACER SDCalculus 19 or higher

N/A

 


CI 1300 or higher AND ACCUPLACER SDCalculus 19 or higher

SAT is converted to equivalent ACT for MI calculation.
Students are permitted to take the ACCUPLACER 2 times (students pays fee for each attempt; if no valid HS GPA - no charge for first attempt).
ACCUPLACER domains: QAS: Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra & Statistics; AAF: Advanced Algebra and Functions.
Test Scores and HS GPA must be no more than 5 years old to be used for placement.
ALEKS and ACCUPLACER access may vary by campus. 

Determining your Math Index

Math Index - (250* HS GPA) + (17*Math ACT subscore)

If a student has a high school GPA of 3.2 and a math ACT subscore of 22, their Math Index would be 1174 and placed into MATH 102, MATH 103 or MATH 104.
(250*3.2)+(17*22) = 1174


Calculus

If you wish to take calculus and have a qualifying initial placement (see table), you will take the ACCUPLACER exam. In these situations, you will not be charged a fee for the first exam.

 

Challenging your placement

You may choose to challenge your placement by taking a computer-based placement exam. The cost of the exam is $20. Some testing options may require additional service fees. You may challenge your placement up to two times.

 


ACCUPLACER

For preparation on your ACCUPLACER exam, visit the ACCUPLACER website for practice questions and an interactive app for the areas of Writing (English placement), Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra and Statistics (QAS) and Advanced Algebra and Functions (AAF) (Math Placement).

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