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The University of South Dakota is committed to your success in general math, English and foreign language classes. Part of this commitment is ensuring you are registered for the correct course based on your knowledge of that subject.

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 or Smart Balance English score. If you do not have any valid scores in these areas, you will need to take a placement test (ACCUPLACER).

If you want to take

ACT English

Smarter Balanced

Sentence Skills


ENGL 032





ENG 101


2583 or higher



Challenging your placement

  • You may also choose to challenge your placement by taking a computer-based placement exam. The cost of the exam is $18. You may challenge your placement just once.

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

We want you to begin your USD career in the highest-level math course based on your skills and abilities in the subject.

Your initial placement is determined by your Math Index - a combination of multiple measures including your GPA and ACT/SAT scores. You will have the opportunity to challenge your initial placement if you don't believe it is the appropriate course for you. If a valid high school GPA or ACT/SAT score is not available, please contact the undergraduate admissions office or your admissions counselor to determine your appropriate placement.

Due to the unexpected circumstances with COVID-19, the SDBOR has approved special conditions for students regarding placement into math classes:

  1. Students who would like to take Calculus I will be allowed to do with the approval of the chair of mathematics.
  2. Placement into general education courses will be based on a modified Challenge Index; all calculations will include an AAF score of 250.
    1. Example: if GPA = 2.50 then CI = (290*2.50) + 250 + 20. If GPA = 3.50 then CI = (290*3.50) + 250 + 20.
  3. 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 Math Index (MI)  Smarter Balanced ACCUPLACER Score  Next Gen
MATH 095: Pre-College Algebra 0 - 1149  0 - 2627  Elem Algebra 0 - 75 QAS 200-254
MATH 103 w/093 950- 1149  2543 - 2629  Elem Algebra 44 - 75 QAS 224-254
MATH 114: College Algebra
MATH 103: Quantitative Literacy
MATH 104: Finite Mathematics
1150- 1299  2628 or higher  Elem Algebra 76 - 120 OR
 College Level 0 - 50
QAS 255-300
AAF 200-249
MATH 115: Precalculus
MATH 120: Trigonometry
MATH 121: Survey of Calculus
1300 or higher  N/A  College Level 51 + AAF 250-300
Accuplacer Calculus
MATH 123: Calculus I 1300 or higher +
Readiness Exam
 N/A  Calculus 16 or higher Accuplacer Calculus 19
OR higher
AND MI 1300 or higher

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


  • 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 exam.

Challenging your placement

  • You may choose to challenge your placement by taking a computer-based placement exam. The cost of the exam is $18. You may challenge your placement twice.


For preparation on your ACCUPLACER exam, visit the ACCUPLACER website for practice questions and an interactive app for the areas of sentence skills (English placement), elementary algebra and college level math