Placement Exams

Math Placement Exam

The Math Placement Exam is not a requirement for most students at UCSB. However, for certain majors the exam is necessary to place you in a math class.

If your major is listed on the chart below and requires you to take Math 3A - or - if you want to choose Math 3A as an option for your major requirement, then you need to take the Math Placement Exam. Note the exceptions on the chart.

Go to the Math Department website to take the Math Placement Exam and to find out more about course placement. Please complete the exam online before coming to Orientation in order to register for a math class at Orientation.

Math Placement Exam
is required if:

You are in one of the following majors or pre-majors:

Biochemistry, Chemistry, Computer Science,
Earth Science, Economics/Mathematics,
BS Environmental Studies, all Engineering majors,
BS Physical Geography, all Mathematics majors,
Physics, Statistics.

(If you have an AP Calculus score of 2 or higher, or you have taken a college level calculus course, you do not need to take the exam even if you are in one of the majors listed above).

Math Placement Exam
is NOT required if:

You are not in one of the majors listed on this chart. 

You have a confirmed score of 2 or above on the Advanced Placement Calculus AB or BC exam. 

You are transferring college credit in calculus.
If so, bring an unofficial copy of the transcript showing your college level work to Orientation -
or mail, fax to 805-893-2385, or e-mail your transcript and UCSB perm number to the Math Department.

For questions, e-mail:

Foreign Language Placement Exams

Your Orientation advisor will explain foreign language requirements and placement. Not all students will need to take a foreign language placement exam. These exams are not administered during Orientation. They are offered at the beginning of each academic quarter.

Analytical Writing Placement Exam

Your Orientation advisor will explain writing requirements. The Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE) is not administered during Orientation. For students who did not take the AWPE when it was offered in May, and who have not satisfied the Entry Level Writing Requirement in any other way, the exam will be offered at UCSB prior to the beginning of classes in September. Please see the UC website at for detailed information about the AWPE.