Math Placement Test

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All incoming students are highly encouraged to take the Math Placement Test, even if you do not currently plan on a major with math related prerequisites. Research shows it is quite common for students to change their major at least once in their college career. College is an exciting time of academic and personal exploration and it can be hard to tell how our interests may change over the next couple years of study. Having a Math Placement Test on file will prepare you for that possibility and by doing so early, you ensure that your math skills are at their freshest. Being successful involves being prepared.  Be ready for the possibility of change and don’t let a missing Math Placement Test score hold you back from declaring the major that’s best for you.  

About the math placement test

UW Tacoma administers Accuplacer,  an adaptive, computer-based math placement test.  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.  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.  You need to have a math placement test on file before registering for any math classes, unless you meet one of the exemptions listed below.  

  • We accept official Accuplacer scores which are less than two years old from other colleges and universities. ​​​​​If you have already taken the Accuplacer Math Placement Test at another institution, please send your score report to for review
  • We also accept official Academic Placement Testing Program (APTP) scores showing placement into pre-calculus and above.
  • UW Tacoma does not accept COMPASS mathematics assessment scores or ALEKS Placement Scores.
  • Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA):  Students that have taken the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) in high school can send a copy of their official score report to our office for review. You can either email the score report to: or drop it off at the Office of Undergraduate Education (located in the GWP 102 suite).
        - With a score of 1 or 2 on the SBA, students will begin test on Elementary Algebra.
        - With a score of 3 or 4 on the SBA, students will begin test on the College Level.

Currently, the Office of Undergraduate Education only administers tests to admitted UW Tacoma students.

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 (eg. TMATH 098)
  • Statistics course (eg. TMATH 110 or THLTH 320)
  • Precalculus (eg. 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 IB Mathematics score of 5 or higher

If you are uncertain about whether you need to take a placement test, please consult your Academic Advisor at the Academic Advising Center for more information. For prerequisites and registration restrictions, consult the UW Tacoma Mathematics course description page.  

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

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. 

Steps for taking a math placement test:

  1. Email (using your UW email account) with the following information:
    • Name
    • Student ID number
    • Telephone number
    • 3 different testing times and dates (group test dates listed below)
  2. Pay the $25 testing fee (Must be paid online prior to taking test)
  3. Arrive at least 5 minutes early to your scheduled appointment
  4. Bring your valid photo ID (you will be unable to take the test without valid photo identification. Husky ID card preferred)

There is an integrated calculator app built into the test where College Board has deemed the use of a calculator as appropriate.

**Please provide a minimum 24 hour notice prior to cancellation of your testing appointment.

Available group testing times*

(Advanced registration required)

Testing Dates: Summer 2018

  • July 27th, 2018- 10am
  • August 17th, 2018- 2pm
  • August 24th, 2018- 10am
  • September 7th, 2018- 2pm
  • September 14th, 2018 - 2pm
  • September 21st, 2018- 10am

We also accept requests for individual placement tests from students who are unable to attend the group test dates.  When emailing your request, be sure to include at least three (3) preferred test dates and times.

*Group testing dates subject to cancellation if minimum enrollment is not met

How the Math Placement 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 Math Placement 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, but have been found to be helpful to students in the past.  Please feel free to use what works best for you.

Practice Questions (free)

  • Accuplacer Sample 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.)

  • TSI Sample Questions* - The Texas Success Initiative (TSI) offers more practice questions developed by College Board.

  • Accuplacer Practice* - A website dedicated to preparing for the Accuplacer Placement Test including practice questions for math.  

*Sample questions will not be entirely representative of the test and will not fully prepare you for all the math you will encounter.  Please use them in addition to other study methods. 

Study Aids (free)

  • Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Project (Recommended) - computer exam with scores broken down by topic, created by the University of California and California State University. Can be used to customize your study plan to your needs. Works well with Khan Academy.

  • Kahnacademy (Recommended) - a free online learning website with tutorials, videos and practice tests.  Works well with the Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Project listed above.  For a more focused approach, Khan Academy has created study guides for Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry and Trigonometry located under the "Targeted Review" heading.  

  • IXL Math - An extensive amount of math practice questions organized by skill, category and level.  Detailed explanations of incorrect answers are provided.

  • - Modules for various levels of math with practice problems and tutorials.  Well organized and includes unit quizzes in each module.

  • AAA Math - A basic yet informative website for learning or relearning math.  Includes practice problems and lessons.

  • PatrickJMT - a free Youtube channel that offers detailed and informative videos for several levels of math.

  • Union Test Prep - a free online learning website with practice tests and flash cards.

Smartphone Apps ($)

  • Web Based Study App - A web-based version of Accuplacer's study app for use in most common we browsers. Also compatible with IOS and Android devices (Cost: $2.99).

  • iOS Study App - "The official Accuplacer study app" available for download from iTunes (Cost: $2.99).

General Information

  • Accuplacer Prep Workshop - a free prep workshop located at the Tacoma Community College campus designed to help students learn how the Accuplacer placement exam works. Available dates and times are listed on the TCC website (UW Tacoma students will only need to attend the session labeled "math").

  • 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.

How to read your scores

Printed score reports are provided after completion of the test.  In addition, your score will be uploaded to the UW student database for registration within two-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.  

How to request your score report

If you need a copy of your test score or would like it mailed or emailed to another institution, please complete the Placement Test Release Form and send it to  

Retest policy

There is a two-week wait period for students that wish to retest. However, students may not exceed a maximum of 4 retests within a 6 month period. After the 4th retest, students must wait a minimum of 6 months (2 quarters) before they are able to retest again. Students may not exceed a maximum of five retests in a year. Also, once you are enroll in a math course, you may not retest.  Please note: each retest is subject to a $25 fee. 


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
42 - 79

Precalculus I & II Sequence - TMATH 115 & TMATH 116, (Please note, the entire two quarter sequence must be completed to satisfy the prerequisite for Calculus) OR Precalculus - TMATH 120 OR Statistics - TMATH 110

35 - 41

Precalculus I & II Sequence TMATH 115 & TMATH 116, (Please note, the entire two quarter sequence must be completed to satisfy the prerequisite for Calculus) 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.
Arithmetic (ACC-AR)
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.