What is the purpose of the Mathematics Placement Exam?

The purpose of Math placement exam is to place a student into the appropriate math course to make sure the student has the skills required for that particular course. The goal is to screen potential failure rather than predict success. The student can choose one of the five tests offered: Basic Algebra, Algebra, Advanced Algebra, Trigonometry and Elementary Functions, and Calculus Readiness Test. The math placement tests can place students in classes up to Calculus I. For additional information and instructional video, please visit the University's Placement Exam page.

Who takes the mathematics placement exam?

The exam should be taken by every incoming freshman, by transfer students who have not taken a mathematics course in college, by students in the Adult Accelerated Undergraduate (MOD) program, and by all students who have not earned a score of 2 or higher on an AP Calculus exam.

Once you have begun your classes here at Benedictine University you are no longer allowed to take the Math Online Placement test.  If classes have begun and you have no current Math placement result please see the Math Learning Specialist in the Student Success Center.

Can the Math Placement Score be used to show Proficiency in a particular math course?

No. The math placement tests are for placement purposes only. These tests will NOT be used to show proficiency. Students who wish to validate math proficiency via examination must do so by one of the following:

  • The on-campus Benedictine University Math Proficiency Exam
  • An externally administered AP or CLEP exam.
  • The Student Success Center will provide several opportunities to complete the Benedictine University Math Proficiency Exam during the Fall semester. For additional information, please contact Hillary Holecek in the Student Success Center at 630-829-6335.

What is the exam format?

The questions are multiple-choice. Once done with the test, the student must click on 'Grade' TWICE.

Calculator is NOT allowed; the questions are designed to test knowledge and understanding of algebra, as well as calculation skills. The student may choose one of the following five tests. The student should review the list of topics and select the highest test he/she feels comfortable taking. Time allotted for each test generally varies from 30 to 45 minutes.

Which Math Placement Exam should I take?

If you are currently taking, or have taken, AP Calculus, Honors Calculus, or Introduction to Calculus, then you should take the "Calculus Readiness" placement exam.

If you are currently taking, or have taken, Precalculus, Math Analysis, Trigonometry, College Algebra & Trig, or Precalculus & Trig, then you should take the "Trigonometry and Elementary Functions" placement exam.

If you are currently taking, or have taken, Advanced Algebra, Algebra II, Intermediate & College Algebra, Algebra II & Trig, Advanced Algebra & Trig, Intermediate Algebra II, or Discrete Math, then you should take the "Advanced Algebra" placement exam.

If you are currently taking, or have taken, Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra A, Algebra A/B, Algebra I & Geometry, Foundations of Algebra & Geometry, Geometry, or Finite Math, then you should take the "Algebra" placement exam.

If you have not taken any of the above listed courses, then you should take the "Basic Algebra" placement exam.

       

1. Basic Algebra topics covered include:

                       
Topic
# of Questions
Arithmetic of Rational Numbers
2
Order of Operations
2
Operations with Algebraic Expressions
8
Algebraic Fractions
3
Exponents and Radicals
4
Linear Equations and Inequalities
7
Systems of Linear Equations
1
Fractional and Quadric Equations
2
Word Problems
4
Graphing
3

Passing this test places the student into Math 095 Intermediate Algebra. Failure results in placement into Elementary Algebra. This remedial course must be taken at a community college.

2. Algebra topics covered include:

Topic
# of Questions
Arithmetic of Rational Numbers
3
Operations with Algebraic Expressions
8
Linear Equations and Inequalities
8
Factoring and Algebraic Fractions
7
Exponents and Radicals
6
Graphing
3
Fractional and Quadratic Equations and Quadratic Inequalities
4
Logarithms
2
Functions
2
Complex Numbers
1
Absolute Value
2
Systems of Equations
2

Passing this test places the student into Basic Skills (MATH 105, 108, 110 or 112). In case of failure, the student should take the Basic Algebra Test.
 

3. Advanced Algebra topics covered include:

Topic
# of Questions
Arithmetic of Rational Numbers
1
Operations with Algebraic Expressions
4
Linear Equations and Inequalities
5
Factoring and Algebraic Fractions
4
Exponents and Radicals
5
Graphing
4
Fractional and Quadriatic Equations
4
Logarithms
3
Functions
2
Comples Numbers
1
Absolute Value
1
Systems of Equations
1

Passing this test places the student into College Trigonometry (Math 111) or Business Calculus (MATH 115). In case of failure, the student should take the Algebra Test.

4. Trigonometry and Elementary Functions topics covered include:

Topic
# of Questions
Definition of Trigonometric Functions
2
Right Triangles
2
Cofunctions
1
Evaluation of Special Angles
6
Related Angles
1
Radian Measures
6
Graphing
1
Identities
3
Laws of Sines and Cosines
1
Trigonometric Equations
2
Inverse Trigonometric Functions
1
Distance
1
Straight Line
3
Conics
2
Functions: Notation, Composition
5
Graphs and their Properties
6
Logarithmic and Exponential Functions
4
Higher Degree Polynomials
1
Absolute Value
1
Inequalities
1

Passing this test places the student into Calculus. The student should consult their advisor to decide which Calculus class (MATH 170, 210 or 220) is appropriate for their major. In case of failure, the student should take the Advanced Algebra Test.

5. Calculus Readiness topics covered include:

Topic
# of Questions
Geometry and Measurement
5
Graphs of Functions
8
Word Problems, Modeling
5
Concept Formulation
3
Numerical Awareness
2
Exponential Functions
2
Exponents and Logarithms
2
Equations and Factoring
2
Functional Notation
2
Inequalities, Absolute Value
2
Trigonometry
5

Passing this test places the student into Calculus. The student should consult their advisor to decide which Calculus class (MATH 170, 210 or 220) is appropriate for their major. In case of failure, the student should take the Trigonometry and Elementary Functions test.

Should I prepare for the mathematics placement exam?

Yes! You are strongly encouraged to study before taking this exam, and to take the exam only when you feel rested, not under stress and have sufficient time to complete the test. The content information is listed with each exam description. Old mathematics textbooks can be good study aids. Here are some websites that can also help with the preparation:

  • www.math.com - click on "Practice" tab. There is help available in basic math, pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, statistics, and calculus. There is also a VERY COOL "Games" tab. (These are math/logic games that actually require the brain to be "on-line"!)
  • www.sosmath.com - This is an award-winning site that offers help in algebra, trigonometry, calculus, and beyond. You can post questions on the "CyberBoard". It has boatloads (think "aircraft carrier!) of links to other math websites, including sites that offer on-line help, tutoring, and other services. This site also offers practice quizzes with complete solutions. This is a GREAT site.
  • http://www.xyalgebra7.org - This site allows you to download the xyalgebra software package free of charge and this is a fabulous package. It offers "intelligent help at every step" of an algebra problem. This package would be excellent for students who want help with those dreaded "word problems". The downloadable student program includes clear explanations, step-by-step sample problems, practice problems randomly generated until student achieves mastery, solution strategies, and 700 practice problems. All problems have interactive intelligent help at every step. This is a great "interactive" program for elementary algebra, intermediate algebra, and college algebra students and  it's free!

 

       

 

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Bart Ng, Ph.D
Dean of the College of Science

Tonia Rucker, Assistant to the Dean
Email: trucker@ben.edu
Phone: (630) 829-6187
Fax: (630) 829-6551

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