FAQ - OVERRIDES AND MORE


§A. Override Questions 

§B. Prerequisite Questions 

§C. Mathematics Placement Test Questions


 

§A. Override Questions 🔼🔽

QA1. How do I get an override for a course?

QA2. I really really need this course now.  It's a matter of life and death.  Can't you make an exception?

QA3. Can I get an override by contacting the instructor?

QA4. Now that I am on the notification list, how long do I have to wait?

QA5. What if I need to get into a particular section of a course?  How do I indicate the section that I need?

QA6. I was signed up for the section that I wanted, and now the instructor changed to a different section which is full?  How do I get into the section the instructor is teaching now?

QA7. A seat is available, but I can't register until later.  Can you reserve a seat for me?

QA8. There are seats in the course, but I get an error when I try to sign up.  What do I do?

QA9. I tried to get my name on the notification list, but the course I want is not listed.  What do I do?

QA10. How do I get an override for MATH 300 or a MATH 500 level course?

QA11. I saw some open seats, and I wasn't notified about them.  What happened?

QA12. I saw that an override was given for a course that I wanted, but you indicate that doesn't happen.  What's up with that?


QA1. How do I get an override for a course?  The most common request for an override is a capacity override, an override to get into a course or a section of a course that is full.  This answer concerns this common override request.  See the FAQ's section on “§B Prerequisite Questions” for the next most common request for overrides.

The Mathematics Department does not give capacity overrides for courses numbered under 500, except for MATH 300.  Instead we use a notification list to alert students when we open more seats for a course (whether it is for an existing section or for a new section of a course).  To get on the notification list, use the first link HERE.

After you and others on the list are alerted of seat openings for a course, the seats become available on a first come first served basis - whoever registers first for an open seat gets it.  So it is important to regularly check your email at the address you leave for the notification list.  You should also continue to monitor Self-Service Carolina in the event a seat becomes available because a student drops the course.

QA2. I really really need this course now.  It's a matter of life and death.  Can't you make an exception?  No, we will not make exceptions.  This would be unfair to the large number of other students who also really really need to get into the course.  

QA3. Can I get an override by contacting the instructor?  No, instructors cannot give overrides (even if they want to).

QA4. Now that I am on the notification list, how long do I have to wait?  You should get an email immediately indicating that your name is on the notification list.  After that, the time period will vary greatly.  If you put in a request in the spring, we may not create more seats for the course until early August.  And it is possible that we will not create more seats for a course at all, especially for requests that are made close to the start of classes.  In any event, you will be notified after we have made our last changes for the semester of the course you requested.

QA5. What if I need to get into a particular section of a course?  How do I indicate the section that I need?  There is no need to indicate the section you need.  We will notify you whenever we create seats for a course including if we create additional seats in the section you happen to need, whatever it is.  When we notify you, you should also be sure to check whether there are new sections created of the course you want that will fit into your schedule.

QA6. I was signed up for the section that I wanted, and now the instructor changed to a different section that is full?  How do I get into the section the instructor is teaching now?  We cannot accommodate this.  The instructor that is assigned to a section can change or switch at any time prior to the semester or summer session starting.  We try to indicate early on for some of the sections who the instructors will be, but there are a number of reasons that the instructors may need to change.  We cannot assign a student to a particular instructor.

QA7. A seat is available, but I can't register until later.  Can you reserve a seat for me?  No.  You can only obtain seats through the registration process and when it is time for you to register.

QA8. There are seats in the course, but I get an error when I try to sign up.  What do I do?  There are several possibilities, but most likely you do not meet the prerequisites for the course you are trying to get into.  Please see the separate section for FAQ's on “§B. Prerequisite Questions” below.  

If you meet the prerequisites, then you may be trying to sign up for a course that is restricted to students in the Opportunities Scholars' Program (section numbers beginning with “T”), restricted to students in the IAP program (section numbers beginning with “S”) or restricted to students in the South Carolina Honors College (section numbers beginning with “H”).   If you are getting a student attribution error, then you are likely trying to sign up for one of these classes and are not eligible.  Enrollment in these courses is not handled by the Mathematics Department but rather by the individual programs involved.

QA9. I tried to get my name on the notification list, but the course I want is not listed.  What do I do?  This notification list is for the Mathematics Department.  In particular, we are not the Statistics Department.  You should contact the department that offers the course you are interested in to inquire about overrides into their courses.

QA10. How do I get an override for the course MATH 300 or for a 500 level math course?  This is done the same way.  Fill out the notification list indicated in the first question above.  The only difference is that we may give you an override into the requested course and contact you directly.  Note that an override does not register you for the course; you will still need to do that yourself.  

QA11. I saw some open seats, and I wasn't notified about them.  What happened?  We only notify students for courses when we create seats in them.  There are other reasons seats can become available.  In particular, if a student drops a section, which is out of our control, a seat will become available, but we will not know and will not notify you.

QA12. I saw that an override was given for a course that I wanted, but you indicate that doesn't happen.  What's up with that?  Looks can be deceiving.  Sometimes caps (the number of seats available in a course) are lowered (for example, to help us balance enrollments in different sections).  This will cause an appearance that overrides were given.  Also, enrollments in courses taught through the South Carolina Honors College or the Opportunities Scholars' Program are not handled through the Mathematics Department even though they may be mathematics courses.  We do not control how registration is handled for these, and overrides for students in these programs may occur for these courses.


 

§B. Prerequisite Questions 🔼🔽

QB1. How do I know what the prerequisites are for a course I want?

QB2. I know the material that is required for the course I want to take.  Can't you let me just sign up for the course I want to take without my having to fulfill the requirements?

QB3. I am registered in the prerequisite

 course now and haven't finished it yet.  How do I get in the course I want for the next term?

QB4. I am going to take the prerequisite course this summer.  Can I get an override to register for the course I want in the fall before I finish the course this summer?

QB5. I have taken the prerequisite course elsewhere, but it isn't showing up on my record yet.  Can I get an override until it does?

QB6. I took MATH 122 and I want to take MATH 141 now, but it says I don't satisfy the prerequisites.  What's up with that?


QB1. How do I know what the prerequisites are for a course I want?  Be prepared for some inconsistencies depending on where you look for these prerequisites.  We suggest looking at the prerequisites listed in the undergraduate bulletin at http://bulletin.sc.edu  using the link to “Course Descriptions”.  Selecting the course you want will give you the current prerequisites for that course.  In some cases, this will refer to a Mathematics Placement Test (MPT) at https://assess.math.sc.edu  The type of placement test needed and the score that is required for the course you want is explained in the link there to the “Guide to the MPT”.

QB2. I know the material that is required for the course I want to take.  Can't you let me just sign up for the course I want to take without my having to fulfill the requirements?  No, we cannot.

QB3. I am registered in the required course now and haven't finished it yet.  How do I get in the course I want for the next term?  The system will let you register for courses if you are currently taking the required course at USC at the time you register.  If you do not get the required grade in the course you are taking, you should drop the course you registered for.  Otherwise, be prepared to be dropped from the course by the department sometime prior to the start of the term you are taking the course.

QB4. I am going to take the required course this summer.  Can I get an override to register for the course I want in the fall before I finish the course this summer?  If you are going to take the required course at USC in the summer, register for the summer course first and go to the previous question.  If you are going to take the required course elsewhere, there are some things you need to know, some that deal with the Mathematics Department and some that don't.

Part I.  Pre-Mathematics Department Part.  Go to the undergraduate bulletin at http://bulletin.sc.edu and read the link “Admissions Policies and Procedures” and, in particular, the “Applicability” section under “Transfer Admission” at this link.  Important information there includes you cannot take a course for transfer credit if you were “previously enrolled in an equivalent course at this university, unless the student was enrolled full time at least one year at the transfer institution.”

Assuming you are eligible to take the required course elsewhere, there is a list of courses from other institutions and how they transfer at

http://registrar.sc.edu/html/TransferWork/transfertable.stm

but note that these are constantly changing.  To make sure that the course you want to take at another institution transfers the way you intend it to transfer, you should complete the Special Enrollment/Transient Request (AS-30) form

http://registrar.sc.edu/pdf/SPT.pdf

and get all the appropriate signatures including your academic dean's signature.  Make a copy of this form for yourself and turn in the original form to the registrar's office.  

Part II.  Mathematics Department Part.  Complete the departmental form at

http://www.math.sc.edu/registration/ 

and take note of the agreement you are making there.  Take the copy you made of your completed Special Enrollment/Transient Request (AS-30) form above with signatures to DeeAnn Moss, in LeConte 413, together with proof that you have registered for the summer course indicated on the form.  She will provide you with a temporary prerequisite override.

QB5. I have taken the required course elsewhere, but it isn't showing up on my record yet.  Can I get an override until it does?  This can happen if you have taken a course outside the USC system, including AP Calculus or IB Mathematics (higher level).  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.  The answer to the question though is, “Yes.”  Complete the departmental form at http://www.math.sc.edu/registration/ and take note of the agreement you are making there.  This will give you a temporary override for the course you want to take.  If it is within 14 days of the first day of class, you should immediately provide the proof required, as indicated in the agreement on this form, that you have taken the required course elsewhere and received the required grade.

QB6. I took MATH 122 and I want to take MATH 141 now, but it says I don't satisfy the prerequisites.  What's up with that?  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 112 or 116) or obtaining a score of at least 19 on the Pre-Calculus version of the Mathematics Placement Test.


 

§C. Mathematics Placement Test Questions 🔼🔝

QC1. What is the purpose of the Mathematics Placement Tests?

QC2. Do I need to take a Mathematics Placement Test?

QC3. Where do I go to take a Mathematics Placement Test?

QC4.  Which version of the Mathematics Placement Test do I take and what score do I need to get on it for the course that I want?

QC5.  How are the placement tests scored?

QC6. I took the Mathematics Placement Test and got a good enough score, but I am still not able to register for the course I want.  Why is that?

QC7.  I passed the Mathematics Placement Test at one of the other USC campuses before coming to USC Columbia.  Do I need to take the Mathematics Placement Test again?

QC8. Can I re-take the Mathematics Placement Test?

QC9. What should I do if I take the wrong Mathematics Placement Test?

QC10. I am wanting to take the lowest level math course, MATH 111I.  Why would I need to take a Mathematics Placement Test to get into that course?

QC11. Math is my best subject in high school, and I even took an AP calculus course. Why might I need to take a pre-calculus course?

QC12. If I take MATH 111 or MATH 115 the first semester, can I still graduate on time?

QC13. I already have AP credit (or dual enrollment credit) for Calculus I and/or Calculus II.  Do I still need to take the Mathematics Placement Test?

QC14. I have a documented disability that allows me to have more time to complete tests. Can I have more than 90 minutes to take the Mathematics Placement Test?


QC1. What is the purpose of the Mathematics Placement Tests?  The Mathematics Placement Tests help place students in a course that they can succeed in by checking if they have the right background needed for the course they want to take.  Based on past performance on these tests and our courses, the score required for the course you want to take represents the historical minimum a student needs to succeed in the course.

QC2. Do I need to take the Mathematics Placement Test?  See QB1 in “§B. Prerequisite Questions” where we address the prerequisites for courses.  For every undergraduate course at USC, either a Mathematics Placement Test is required or USC credit for a prerequisite course is required.  

QC3. Where do I go to take a Mathematics Placement Test?  The Mathematics Placement Tests are taken online.  For taking these tests as well as additional information on these tests, including answers to many of these questions, go to

https://assess.math.sc.edu

 

QC4. Which version of the Mathematics Placement Test do I take and what score do I need to get on it for the course that I want?  There are two versions of the placement test: Algebra and Pre-Calculus. The version and the minimum score needed for the course you want is provided in the “Guide to the MPT”.

QC5.  How are the placement tests scored?  Each correct answer is counted equally toward your total score (the number you get correct).  Unanswered problems and problems answered incorrectly will not contribute to your score.

QC6. I took the Mathematics Placement Test and got a good enough score, but I am still not able to register for the course I want.  Why is that?  The scores take two to three days to get into the USC system, so you should wait for the scores to show on your record.  If you have already waited a few days, then you should contact your advisor to determine the source of your registration problems.

QC7.  I passed the Mathematics Placement Test at one of the other USC campuses before coming to USC Columbia.  Do I need to take the Mathematics Placement Test again?  Yes, if you do not satisfy the prerequisites based on your course work.  In other words, the Mathematics Placement Tests at other campuses do not transfer to USC Columbia.  We have our own Mathematics Placement Tests.  The prerequisites you have for a course (see QB1) must be met before you can enroll in a course, and a prerequisite to take one of our Mathematics Placement Tests cannot be satisfied by taking a similar test somewhere else.

QC8. Can I retake the Math Placement Test?  Yes. You have to wait at least 7 days before retaking the same Mathematics Placement Test (Algebra or Pre-Calculus). In fact, you can take the same version of the Mathematics Placement Test, with different questions, up to three (3) times. The most recent score is the one that will be recorded in your records and available to your advisor.

QC9. What should I do if I take the wrong Mathematics Placement Test?  Re-take the Mathematics Placement Test, this time selecting the other version of the Mathematics Placement Test.

Note that you do not have to wait 7 days to take the other version of the Mathematics Placement Test for the first time. Once you take a Mathematics Placement Test you have to wait one week (7 days) before you can retake the same version of the Mathematics Placement Test.

Your most recent Mathematics Placement Test score is the one that will be used for determining eligibility for 100-level Mathematics courses.

QC10. I am wanting to take the lowest level math course, MATH 111I.  Why would I need to take a Mathematics Placement Test to get into that course?  All of our courses have prerequisites, including an appropriate score on the Algebra Mathematics Placement Test for MATH 111I.  You will need to have the appropriate Algebra background for this course.

QC11. Math was my best subject in high school, and I even took an AP Calculus course tool.  Why would I need to take a Mathematics Placement Test?  You do not need to take a Mathematics Placement Test if you earned credit at USC for your AP Calculus course (see QC13 below).  If you have a strong mathematical background, you should not have any difficulty taking one of our placement tests.  USC students come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.  The Mathematics Placement Test is our best method for determining the appropriate course for students to take at USC.

QC12. If I take MATH 111 or MATH 115 the first semester, can I still graduate on time?  In general, yes. This is an appropriate question to discuss with your advisor in your program of study.

QC13. I already have AP credit (or dual enrollment credit) for Calculus I and/or Calculus II.  Do I still need to take the Mathematics Placement Test?  You do not need to take a Mathematics Placement Test if your AP scores are already in the USC system, giving you credit for Calculus I and/or Calculus II.  All students must meet the prerequisites for any Mathematics course that they take at USC.  For some courses this requires the Mathematics Placement Test, for others appropriate credit in a specific course is needed, and for a third group either of the previous options will suffice.  If your credit has not yet appeared in the USC system, then see question QB6 and its answer.

QC14. I have a documented disability that allows me to have more time to complete tests.  Can I have more than 90 minutes to take the Mathematics Placement Test?  Students with documented disabilities should contact the Office of Student Disability Services to arrange for appropriate accommodations.