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What is the purpose of the Mathematics Placement Exam?
The purpose of the Mathematics Placement Exam is to place a student into the appropriate math course, and to make sure the student has the skills required for that particular course. It is the ‘test of best fit’. The student can choose one of the five tests offered: Basic Algebra, Algebra, Advanced Algebra, Trigonometry and Elementary Functions, and Calculus Readiness. The placement tests can place students in math classes up to, and including, Calculus I. For additional information and instructional video, please visit the Advising Center's Online Placement Testing page.
Who takes the mathematics placement exam?
All incoming student who do not have college math credit from a prior source (e.g. AP, CLEP, or another college or university) take the Mathematics Placement Exam.
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 establish math proficiency may do so by one of the following:
The Academic and Career Enrichment Center will provide several opportunities to complete the Math Proficiency Exam. For additional information, please contact the ACE Center at (630) 829-6041.
What is the exam format?
The questions are multiple-choice. Once the student is done with the test, he/she must click on "Submit Assignment".
The Placement Exam is designed to be taken without a calculator. Hence, a calculator is NOT to be used during the test. The questions are designed to test knowledge and understanding of algebra, as well as calculation skills, and the test results are most helpful in determining ‘best fit’ when a calculator is NOT used.
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. The time allotted for each test varies from 30 to 45 minutes.
1. Basic Algebra The topics covered include:
Passing this test places the student into MATH 0095 (Intermediate Algebra). If a student does not pass this test, he/she should take remedial coursework at a community college. Please talk to your advisor for other options that may be available to you.
2. Algebra The topics covered include:
Passing this test places the student into a Basic Skills math course (MATH 1105, 1108, 1110 or 1112). If a student does not pass this test, he/she should take the Basic Algebra Test.
3. Advanced Algebra The topics covered include:
Passing this test places the student into MATH 1111 (College Trigonometry-QCM), MATH 1115 (Business Calculus – QCM), or MATH 1131 (The Mathematical Universe - QCM). If a student does not pass this test, he/she should take the Algebra Test.
4. Trigonometry and Elementary Functions The topics covered include:
Passing this test with a high score places the student into MATH 2210 (Calculus I– QCM) . Passing this test with a midrange score places the student into MATH 1111 (College Trigonometry - QCM), MATH 1115 (Business Calculus - QCM), MATH 1131 (The Mathematical Universe - QCM), or MATH 1170 (Introduction to Calculus I - QCM). The student should consult his/her adviser to decide which course is appropriate for his/her major. If a student does not pass this test, he/she should take the Advanced Algebra Test.
5. Calculus Readiness The topics covered include:
Passing this test places the student into a version of Calculus (either MATH 1115 – QCM, MATH 1170-QCM, or MATH 2210 – QCM) or MATH 1131 (The Mathematical Universe – QCM). The student should consult his/her adviser to decide which course is appropriate for his/her major. If a student does not pass this test, he/she 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. Mathematics textbooks can be good study aids. Here are some websites that can also help with your preparation:
updated 8/5/2019
William R. Law, Ph.D.
Dean of the College of Science
Tonia Rucker, Assistant to the Dean
Email: trucker@ben.edu
Phone: (630) 829-6187
Fax: (630) 829-6186
Dean's Office Hours:
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Dean's Office Location:
Birck Hall Room 119