Colleges and universities are using math placement tests more frequently than ever to place incoming students into math courses appropriate for their skill level. These tests should not be taken lightly. Here’s what you need to know in order to properly prepare.
What is a college math placement test and what is it used for?
When an institution of higher learning is trying to determine the math skills of a given student, they normally use that student’s college placement test scores. These rigorous exams test on a wide range of math concepts and the final scores are considered an effective measure of their skill level.
Colleges and universities use these tests to determine how many math courses new students need to take in order to graduate. Low scoring students are often placed into remedial classes in order to catch up on skills their test scores say they’re lacking. This has major ramifications. Students have to pay for these remedial classes, which can take multiple semesters to complete, and students usually get no college credit for them. These hurdles greatly decrease the likelihood that a student placed in remedial math will graduate with a degree, and workers without degrees earn significantly less than those with a college diploma.
High scoring students, on the other hand, never require remediation. In fact, they may even be able to skip College Algebra – the most basic credit-level math course - allowing them to move directly into the more advanced classes. As a result, these students save precious time and money, and are much more likely to graduate.
“I’m an older student. Therefore, my algebra was completely forgotten. After taking your course, the test placed me at the College Algebra level. So, I don't have to take the remedial math courses!!! Worked for me!!”MICHELLE ANDRIAN - DECEMBER 2018
What are the different college math placement tests?
There are state-specific tests as well as nationally recognized exams. The following are of some of the more common college placement tests:
Every exam is different. They can be long or short, timed or untimed, and calculators may or may not be allowed. Some are standard multiple choice tests while others use a computer to adapt the test to your skill level as you progress, giving you harder questions when you get them right and easier questions when you get them wrong. It’s best to read about each test online so you know what to expect.
What if I don’t know which math placement test my college uses?
Often students are aware that they need to take a college placement test, but they don’t know which one their school requires. You can find the information on their website or through their admissions office. However, to make life easier, we’ve matched each college or university in the country with the test that it uses.
Click here to find out which assessment test your college offers
Our list of colleges and their tests is very current. However, you may want to double-check with your school’s website just make absolutely sure that you’re preparing for the correct test.
What is the “Math Placement Test (Universal)” course that I see on your list?
Many colleges use a custom, in-house test they’ve created themselves (instead of offering one of the major placement tests such as the ACCUPLACER, PERT, etc.). In this situation, we recommend our “Universal” math placement test prep course. This thorough course covers every topic you might come across if your college offers its own placement test.
Why should I use Math Help?
Very few students are skilled at every math concept. Holes in math knowledge are common, and they’re nothing to be ashamed of. Our test preparation helps plug those holes.
At Math Help, we dive deep into every topic that’s covered on the test, offering individualized tutoring and guided practice in each area. We also track your progress and offer unlimited practice tests so that, come test day, you’re as prepared as you can possibly be.
Regardless of the school you’ll be attending or the math placement exam you’ll be required to take upon entering, we’ll help bolster your skills and your confidence so that you can achieve a high score and avoid the pitfall of remedial math classes. Start your college math placement test prep course today!