Mathematics Placement Test (Mathematics Assessment)
To obtain a degree at UMass Boston, you need to demonstrate proficiency in mathematics by fulfilling the quantitative reasoning requirement, which depends upon your college and your major. To register for any math course through Calculus I (Math 140 or 145) you must score high enough on the appropriate level of the math placement test. Click here for the link to the Quantitative reasoning requirement
The mathematics placement test is required of all incoming undergraduate students EXCEPT:
- Liberal arts students receiving math transfer credit who do not intend to take more math courses.
- Science students receiving transfer credit for college algebra or pre-calculus with a grade of B or better in the most recent semester, and students transferring in calculus or higher mathematics courses.
- Management students receiving transfer credit for pre-calculus or higher.
- Liberal arts and Nursing students receiving transfer credit for statistics.
This is very important: You will lose math transfer credit if you register for a course that is at or below the level you transferred in. For example, if you transfer in Pre-calculus (Math 130), and then take College Algebra (Math 115), you would lose the Math 130 transfer course.
See also Math Pathways for students in the:
Math Preparation: Where Do You Stand?
- If you are a new freshman taking your math placement at New Student Assessment, your SAT scores will determine the appropriate math test.
- If you are a new transfer or continuing student, spend time to think about your abilities and your goals; you can make smarter decisions about which course(s) are right for you, which math placement exam to take, and whether or not to retake the exam.
- What’s the highest level of math you’ve taken, either in high school or college? If you are trying to transfer college credit, you need to make sure you take the correct test and score high enough to place you in a higher level course. Otherwise you will lose your transfer credit.
- How do you feel about your math ability? Many have developed a fear of math that affects their confidence. A different type of learning environment, using strategies that take into account different learning styles, might be more appropriate. This might include a developmental math course or tutoring.
- Is math required in your anticipated major? Check the course catalog or departmental Web pages to determine if the field that you’re leaning towards is one that requires quantitative skills.
- How long has it been since your last math course? If you’ve been out of school for awhile, it’s important to know what you’ll need to do to refresh the math you once knew but now lies dormant.
- Did you prepare adequately for the math test? Would you have scored higher if you had spent more time reviewing the material to refresh your knowledge? Poor preparation will cause the results to be a poor reflection of your aptitude. The better the preparation, the better the results – and the more accurately the test will reflect your true level. This will lead to better placement and lower likelihood that you’ll need retesting.
The test is offered at four different levels. It's important to select the test level which best meets your needs.
Test Levels: How do I decide?
This test is for students who are not familiar with algebra. It covers arithmetic with whole numbers, percentages, simplification of polynomials and expressions involving integral components, evaluation of polynomials, solving linear equations, graphing points and lines, proportions and radicals. A successful score on this test will place you into College Algebra (Math 115) or the Quantitative Reasoning course (Math Q114), which is a minimum requirement for all students. Click below to practice math at this level. Test A can also place you into a zero credit Math Skills course such as, Pre-Algebra (Mathsk 097), Fundamentals of Algebra (Mathsk 098), or Intermediate Algebra (Mathsk 099).
Sample Test A
This test is for students who have studied two years of high school algebra or one or two semesters of College Algebra. It contains the rules for exponents (integral and negative), scientific notation, square roots, manipulating literal fractions with letters in them example 1(x+1) + 1(x-1) factoring, solving linear equations, solving simultaneous equations, word problems, and lines and points graphed on a plane. Successful completion of this test places the student into Statistics (Math 125), Pre-calculus for Management (Math 129), Pre-calculus( Math 130) , Introduction to Computer Concepts (CS 105), Computer Programming for Engineers (CS 109), Introduction to Computing (CS 110), and Introduction to Java Programming (CS 114) . Click below to practice math at this level.
Sample Test B
Tests C and D:
These tests are for students who have successfully completed an Intermediate Algebra course with Trigonometry and seek to place into Calculus (Math 134, 140 or 145) or Introduction to Computer Programming (CS110 or CS114L). In addition to the material covered in Test B, these tests covers slopes and intercepts of straight lines, parabolas and quadratic equations, exponential, logarithmic and trigonomic functions: their graphs, algebra and inverse functions. Click below to practice math at this level.
The best way to prepare for the Math Placement test is to review the math problems from the last math course you took. A good book for review for Test A or B is Basic Math, You Can Count on Yourself by Linda Falstein. It is available at the reserve desk in the Healey Library at UMass Boston, or at the campus bookstore.
Remember: In order to keep the math transfer credits you matriculate with, it is important that you choose the correct test to take and get a score that places you in a course higher than the one(s) you have transferred. If you register for a course at or below that level, you will lose your transfer credit.
New students take the math placement test as part of their assessment during orientation (see First Steps). New transfer, continuing and non-degree students may take the math placement test on a walk-in basis at specific dates and times scheduled throughout the year.
- Photo identification is required
- Reservations are not needed
- Calculators are not allowed
- Scores are available immediately upon test completion
- Cell phones and beepers must be turned off and put away
- Practice exams are strongly encouraged
- Each test can be taken twice within a 30 day period