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Department of Mathematics

Assessment FAQs

Here, you'll find answers to commonly asked questions about the MAP. Our goal is to provide you with the necessary information to approach your assessment with confidence and clarity.

If you have a question not listed here, please contact us at assess@math.sc.edu

General

Every student at USC is required to complete an Analytical Reasoning and Problem Solving (ARP) requirement for their general education. Depending upon the student's major, there may or may not be a way to fulfill this requirement without taking a mathematics course, but the vast majority of all USC students take at least some mathematics before completing their undergraduate degree. These students are faced with a very important decision: Which MATH course should you take first? The Mathematics Assessment of Prerequisites (MAP) is designed to help answer this question.

No. This assessment does not give any class credit. The purpose of this assessment is to properly match you with a MATH class that is appropriate for your skill level.

Yes, absolutely. For example, if, after taking the MAP, you place into MATH 141 (Calculus 1), but you do not feel comfortable taking that class yet, you may register for any MATH class lower than 141, such as MATH 115 (Pre-Calculus), or MATH 122 (Calculus for Business Administration and Social Sciences). 

 If you have been admitted to USC, then you have a USC Network username and password. To find them, go to myaccount.sc.edu. Then, click the "View my IDs and manage my passwords" and use your VIP ID to log in. This page will show your USC Network Username and allow you to change your password. Your username and password will be used to log into Blackboard and access the Mathematics Assessment of Prerequisites.

The MAP consists of three levels, each with ten open answer questions. We have prepared a brief video that gives you a preview of the MAP through a Practice Tutorial. We strongly recommend that you view it, and you can do so at any time.

The "open answer" format is very good at determining whether students truly understand the topic being assessed. Scores on "open answer" questions are likely to accurately reflect a student's current level of knowledge, and therefore likely to assist us in placing incoming students in classes which most closely match their level of preparedness. Proper placement sets students on a trajectory to complete their degree in a timely manner; it greatly reduces failure rates and the need for students to retake courses. In this way, the MAP is designed to help students reach their potential and be as successful as they can be in their foundational math courses.

The "open answer" format serves other purposes as well. It matches the format for homework and tests that students will complete in their coursework at USC. Also, individualized "open answer" problems promote student academic integrity during the assessment.

You can take the MAP three (3) times before the semester starts and until the last day to change/drop a course during the first week of classes. Your most recent MAP score is the one that will be used for determining eligibility for 100-level MATH courses. These scores are officially recorded in my.sc.edu and are updated daily. At times, you may see multiple records if you took different levels on different days or if the system uploaded records more than once. If you have questions about what you see in your record in particular, please contact us at assess@math.sc.edu. We can verify the number of attempts that you have made and how many attempts remain, and we can advise you on how to proceed. 

If you wish to retake the MAP, please fill out the Take/Retake MAP online request form, which will be processed within two days of your last attempt.  We highly encourage you to study what you missed previously and take the Practice Assessments during this two-day period.

You must meet the prerequisites for any MATH course for which you want to register. Since registration is part of Orientation, not taking the MAP prior to attending Orientation decreases the likelihood that you will be able to complete registration at Orientation. Durring the first day of Orientation, we will offer make-ups in person, late at night. Students can complete the test after Orientation and register at a later time.

Many factors influence a student's success in a college-level calculus course (MATH 122 or MATH 141 at USC). The National Mathematics Advisory Panel recently found that algebraic manipulation, fractions, and problem solving are the three most important mathematical skills needed to develop the mathematical and technological understandings needed for the 21st century.

The results of the Mathematics Assessment of Prerequisites are our best estimate of the student's current mathematical readiness for college-level mathematics.

Students whose programs of study start with MATH 141 but who start in MATH 115 will take only one extra mathematics course; the other courses will be required courses. This will make you at most one course behind but should not delay your graduation. On the other hand, taking a course for which you are not ready can lead to lower, or even failing grades, and is likely to delay your graduation.

However, students also need to be aware that several courses in their programs of study may have MATH 141 as a pre- or co-requisite. If these courses are not completed until later, graduation in four years becomes more difficult.

Students whose academic program depends critically upon taking MATH 141 in their first semester but place into MATH 115 are strongly encouraged to seek ways to improve their math preparation and retaking the MAP before their first full-time semester at USC. Some options include taking a Precalculus course at a local technical college (or USC) or self-study with the MAP Practice Assessment.

You must meet the prerequisite for any MATH course that you take at USC. If you meet this with transfer credits, then you do not need to take the MAP. If you do not have appropriate transfer credits, then you will need to take the MAP.

The results of the MAP will not have any impact on the credits you have previously earned through the AP program. You will most likely attend Orientation before you know the results of the AP exams, so taking the MAP is encouraged as a back-up. If you know your AP/IB score, but it has not yet been entered on your USC academic record, you should request a Temporary Prerequisite Override and provide documentation of your pending score.

If your major requires a MATH course that you have not already completed, you must have evidence you have taken an equivalent course.

Students who are transferring MATH credit into USC will be allowed to register for MATH courses based upon the existing prerequisites which the transfer credit satisfies. Equivalent MATH  courses must have a grade of ‘C’ or higher. Students can review the Course Equivalency Table to confirm transferability of courses.

Students planning to transfer MATH credit, whose official transcripts have not been processed, should take the MAP to allow advisors to recommend MATH courses if needed as part of advisement. Completing the MAP does not replace any transfer credit awarded.

Students who do not have the transfer credit needed to satisfy MATH requirements or MATH prerequisites will need to complete the MAP.

Students with documented disabilities should contact the Office of Student Disability Services. They can work with you to determine what accommodations are appropriate for your situation.

We will follow their recommendations to ensure you have an opportunity to take the MAP under conditions that allow you to demonstrate your current knowledge of Mathematics.

Prerequisites

The official source for all prerequisite information is the Undergraduate BulletinThe prerequisite usually involves successful completion (C or better) of another course or a qualifying score on the Math Assessment of Prerequisites (MAP)

MATH Course
Course Title
Math Level
Minimum No. of Correct Answers
Needed in each MAP Level
MAP score
C or Better
111I
Intensive Basic College Mathematics
Basic
0 to 3 in MAP1
0 - 3
111
Basic College Mathematics
Basic
4 in Map1
4
115
Precalculus Mathematics
Intermediate
7 in MAP1 + 4 in MAP2
14
111
122
Calculus for Business Administration and
Social Sciences
Intermediate
7 in MAP1 + 7 in MAP2
20
111
141 with 151
Calculus I with Calculus Workshop I
Advanced
7 in MAP1 + 7 MAP2 + 4 in MAP3
24
112 or 115
141
Calculus I Advanced 7 in MAP1 + 7 in MAP2 + 7 in MAP3 30
112 or 115
170
Finite Mathematics
Intermediate
7 in MAP1 + 4 in MAP2
20
111
174
Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science
Advanced
7 in MAP1 + 7 in MAP2 + 4 in MAP3
24
112, 115, 122, 141, or 170

Notes:

  • MATH 112 is not offered at USC Columbia.
  • MATH 151 is a corequisite course for MATH 141.

The registration system will let you register for courses if you are enrolled in the prerequisite course at USC at the time you register. If you do not get the required grade in the course you are taking, you will need to adjust your schedule prior to the start of the next term. If you do not make appropriate changes yourself, you will be dropped from the next course when it is noted that you do not meet the prerequisite.

This can happen if you have taken a course outside the USC system, including AP Calculus or IB Mathematics. It is up to you, and not the Mathematics Department, to make sure that the Admissions Office receives the courses you have taken so that you can register for the courses you want. Note that there are certain instances when courses will not transfer. For example, USC policy does not allow you to get credit for a course from outside the USC system if you have already attempted the course inside the USC system. 

If you are waiting for scores to be transfered and need an override to register, please submit an override application.

The confusion here seems to stem from students thinking that higher numbered courses mean that the student has mastered the material in lower numbered courses. But this is not the case. MATH 122 is not a prerequisite for MATH 141. The prerequisite for MATH 141 is earning a C or better in MATH 115 or obtaining a score of at least 24 on the MAP

If you are going to take the prerequisite course at USC in the summer, register for the summer course first then refer back to the second question on this list.

If you are going to take the required course outside of the USC system, please contact the registrar for the most up-to-date information regarding transfer credits. If you are waiting for your scores to transfer, you can submit an override application to register for clases in the Fall

WeBWorK

WeBWork is the online software used by the University of South Carolina (USC) to administer the Math Assessment for Prerequisites (MAP), which the University uses to help students gauge how their math skills translate into each relevant course.

WeBWorK is supported by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), has been in use for decades, and is now used by over 1300 colleges and universities worldwide. WeBWorK has been widely researched, confirming its reliability and strength as a tool for mathematical assessment.

WeBWorK delivers individualized problems to each student taking the MAP. Before a student submits their work for grading, WeBWorK allows the student to preview the answers they entered. Once a student submits their answers, WeBWorK immediately grades their exam, provides a score, and displays correct solutions to all problems.


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