The purpose of math placement testing is to place you into a math course appropriate to your skill level in order to ensure your success. If you plan to take math as part of your studies at UW Tacoma (and you have not yet completed the prerequisite coursework at the college level) you will need to take the math placement test before registering for any math classes. You do not "pass" or "fail" the placement test, but it is very important that you do your best to have an accurate measure of your mathematic skills.
UW Tacoma administers Accuplacer, an adaptive, computer-based math placement test. We accept Accuplacer scores which are less than two years old from other colleges and universities. We also accept Academic Placement Testing Program (APTP) scores showing placement into pre-calculus and above. UW Tacoma does not accept COMPASS mathematics assessment scores.
When the math placement test is needed
You will need to take the math placement test if you have not yet completed the prerequisites for these courses at the college level:
Intermediate Algebra (ie. TMATH 098)
Statistics course (ie. TMATH 110 or THLTH 320)
Precalculus (ie. TMATH 115, TMATH 116 & TMATH 120) or any further courses in the Calculus series
Other college courses with college level math prerequisites
You are exempt from taking the math placement exam if you:
Have already earned college credit (2.0 GPA or higher) in Intermediate Algebra, Precalculus or Calculus
Received a Calculus AP score of 2 or higher in either Calculus AB or BC
Earned a Higher Level IB Mathematics score of 5 or higher
Scheduling the math placement test
Math placement test appointment times are listed below. Advanced registration is required and space in each test is limited. If you would like to secure one of these appointments, please indicate your preference in your email. If one of these times do not work for you, other appointments may be scheduled based on the availability of test proctoring staff. To schedule a test, or for questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is a $25 fee for the math placement test that must be paid online before taking the test. Valid photo identification is required at the time of the test.
Available testing times
(Advanced registration required)
- Friday, February 6th, 2015 at 2:00pm
- Friday, February 13th, 2015 at 2:00pm
- Friday, February 20th, 2015 at 2:00pm
- Additional individual testing appointments are currently available upon request. Please follow the instructions listed below to schedule a test. Appointments are made on a space-available basis.
Steps for taking a math placement test:
- Email email@example.com with name, student ID number and telephone number with desired testing time and date. (Please be sure to use your UW firstname.lastname@example.org email account)
- Pay the $25 testing fee (Must be paid online prior to taking test)
- Arrive at scheduled testing location with photo ID and take test.
Basic calculators (no graphing, sin, or cos features) are allowed during testing. Scratch paper and pencils will be provided.
**Please provide a minimum 24 hour notice prior to cancellation of your testing appointment.
How the test works
The UW Tacoma administers Accuplacer, an adaptive, computer-based math placement test. Questions are chosen on the basis of your answers to previous questions. There is no time limit on the test, so you can give each question as much thought as you need. You cannot skip a question or go back and change your answer, so it is important to take the time and double check your work before submitting an answer. If you do not know the answer to a question, try to eliminate one or more of the choices, then pick from the remaining choices.
You begin with the Elementary Algebra Test (twelve questions). Based on the results you may then automatically progress to either the College-Level Mathematics Test (twenty questions) or the Arithmetic Test (seventeen questions) based on your performance.
It is recommended that you allow approximately two hours to complete the test. The test is not timed, so you may take as long as you need.
Preparing for the test
Here are a few recommended resources to aid you in studying for your math placement exam. These resources are not affiliated with the University of Washington yet have been found to be helpful to students in the past. Please feel free to use what works best for you.
- Practice Questions- Free practice questions offered by the Accuplacer testing service available on the College Board website. (Scroll halfway down to reach Algebra, Arithmetic and College Level Math. Answers are located at the end of the document.)
- Teaching and Learning Center- The TLC (located on the 2nd floor of the Snoqualmie Library building) offers drop-in tutoring, resources, study planning and other aids for preparing to take the math placement test.
- Kahn Academy- Kahnacademy.org is a free online learning website with tutorials, videos and practice tests.
- Study App- Accuplacer now has a Web Based Study App and an iphone Study App available for purchase.
- Youtube- PatrickJMT is a free youtube channel that offers detailed and informative videos for several levels of math.
- Workshop- The Accuplacer Prep Workshop is a free prep workshop located at the Tacoma Community College campus designed to help students prepare for the Accuplacer placement exam. Available dates and times are listed on the TCC website (UW Tacoma students will only need to attend the session labeled "math").
- Udacity.com – free online courses, including an introductory algebra and college algebra courses
- Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Project - computer exam with scores broken down by topic, created by the University of California and California State Universities
How to read your scores
Your student record will be updated in most cases within three business days. Once updated, you will be able to register for your math course. Click on the course that matches your score for more information, or check out MPT Student Options & Score Equivalencies.
|College-level math (ACC-CL)|
|80 - 120||Custom Placement: Placement into Precalculus II (TMATH 116) OR Calculus I (TMATH 124). Placement will be determined by Math faculty upon further evaluation. Process: Email detailed request to email@example.com|
|35 - 79||Precalculus I & II Sequence (TMATH 115 & TMATH 116), Precalculus (TMATH 120) or Statistics (TMATH 110)|
|0 - 34||Intermediate Algebra (TMATH 098). This course may also be taken at a community college. Tacoma Community College offers MATH 095.|
|Elementary algebra (ACC-AL)|
|70 - 120||Intermediate Algebra (TMATH 098). This course may also be taken at a community college. Tacoma Community College offers MATH 095.|
|38 - 69||Elementary Algebra. You will need to complete this course at a community college. Tacoma Community College offers MATH 090.|
|0 - 37||Introduction to Elementary Algebra. You will need to complete this course at a community college. Tacoma Community College offers MATH 085.|
|81 - 120||Introduction to Elementary Algebra. You will need to complete this course at a community college. Tacoma Community College offers MATH 085.|
|0 - 80||Review Arithmetic. You will need to complete this course at a community college. Tacoma Community College offers MATH 075.|