Math Placement Exams


What is the purpose of the math placement exam?

The math placement exam may be taken by students who do not have ACT or SAT scores or by students who would like to challenge their ACT or SAT scores.  You can NOT lower your current ACT/SAT scores by taking this test.  High school students planning to enroll in college level math must have ACT or SAT scores prior to taking the placement test.

When can a student take a placement exam?

Students are only permitted to take placement exams before beginning a course.  Placement tests are offered twice a day beginning at 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Monday – Friday by appointment only.  Students cannot attempt to test out of courses after the first week of school.

Where can a student take the placement exam?

Placement exams are given in Communications Building Room 212; please call (304) 696-3169 to make an appointment.

What placement test will I take?

Marshall administers the Accuplacer College-Level Math test.

What does a student need to bring with them to take the exam?

  • A photo ID (A valid driver’s license or MU ID)
  • MU Student ID Number
  • $10 cash, check or money order only. (Please bring correct amount.  Change will not be available.)
  • A calculator is available on the computer for some questions; pencils and scrap paper will also be provided.

When will I know my results?

You will receive your score immediately following the test.  You will take the results back to your Academic Advisor to be placed in the correct math course.

What happens if I score lower than my ACT/SAT score?

Don’t worry.  If the ACT/SAT score has you placed in a higher level class, you will be allowed to stay in that class.

How many times can a student take the math placement exam?

The math placement exam can be taken 2 times during your Marshall University career when attempting to test out of the same math course.  There must be at least one calendar month between tests.

What happens if I don’t cancel my math placement test appointment?

University College must be notified 24 hours in advance when cancelling a placement test.  The first time the appointment isn’t cancelled will result in having to wait 2 weeks to reschedule.  The second time an appointment isn’t cancelled the student will need to wait one month (30 days) to reschedule the appointment.  By cancelling the appointment with adequate notice we are able to offer the appointment to a fellow student.

Should I study before taking the placement exam?

Yes, come to the assessment prepared.  If you don’t take the test seriously, you won’t be successful.  We only have a 12% pass rate from one class level to another because students “just show up” to take the test and have not taken the time to refresh their algebra skills.  The test is difficult and is similar to the ACT/SAT math test; so, if you had difficulties with that test without preparing, you will see similar results on the placement test.

What type of math problems can I expect on the test?

There are five types of College-Level Math questions:

  • Algebraic operations:  topics include simplifying rational algebraic expressions, factoring, expanding polynomials, & manipulating roots and exponents.
  • Solutions of equations & inequalities:  topics include the solution of linear and quadratic equations & inequalities, equation systems & other algebraic equations.
  • Coordinate geometry:  topics include plane geometry, the coordinate plane, straight lines, conics, sets of points in the plane, & graphs of algebraic functions.
  • Applications and other algebra topics:  topics include complex numbers, series & sequences, determinants, permutations and combinations, fractions and word problems.
  • Functions and trigonometry:  topics include polynomials, algebraic, exponential, & logarithmic & trigonometric functions.

If you are not familiar with one of the above topics please review the study guide or use the below links to practice:

Questions or Comments?

Contact University College