About the Math Assessment Test
There are three possible sections to this test: Arithmetic, Elementary Algebra and College Level Math. Determination of which section you begin with is based upon your previous experience in math classes. This self-reported information is part of the initial background questions you will answer when beginning the Assessment Test.
For example, suppose your Math test begins with the "Elementary Algebra" section. At the end of your twelve questions one of two things will happen:
- The test will finish and you will see a results page with your Math (as well as English and Reading, if you took the complete test) results, or
- The test will branch you to the "College Level Math" section or to the "Arithmetic" section.
Below you will find expanded information on the types of test items you will encounter in the three different sections. Take note that these questions types are not expressly identified to you during the test. Which types you will be administered and how many of each type is determined by your performance on the test.
Some students have been told their selection of major affects their math placement. This is incorrect. Major selection on the test in no way factors into your math placement. This part of the test results in a placement into Math course(s). Which Math Class(es) you need to take above or beyond these placements depends on several factors with which you need to discuss with a counselor.
About the Arithmetic Section (17 Questions)
This section measures your ability to perform basic arithmetic operations and to solve problems that involve fundamental arithmetic concepts. The questions come in three types:
- Operations with whole numbers and fractions: topics included in this category are addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, recognizing equivalent fractions and mixed numbers, and estimating.
- Operations with decimals and percents: topics include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with decimals. Percent problems, recognition of decimals, fraction and percent equivalencies, and problems involving estimation are also given
- Applications and problem solving: topics include rate, percent, and measurement problems, simple geometry problems, and distribution of a quantity into its fractional parts.
About the Elementary Algebra Section (12 Questions)
This section measures your ability to perform basic algebraic operations and to solve problems that involve elementary algebraic concepts.
The first type involves operations with integers and rational numbers, and includes computation with integers and negative rationals, the use of absolute values, and ordering. These questions test minimal skill levels of the student.
The second type involves operations with algebraic expressions, tests minimal skill levels using evaluation of simple formulas and expressions, and adding and subtracting monomials and polynomials. At all skill levels, questions are provided involving multiplying and dividing monomials and polynomials, the evaluation of positive rational roots and exponents, simplifying algebraic fractions, and factoring.
The third type of questions involve the solution of equations, inequalities, and word problems. As with the Arithmetic Test, few questions from this category are presented to the student unless he or she shows skill in this area. When a high degree of competence is indicated, questions from this category include solving linear equations and inequalities, the solution of quadratic equations by factoring, solving verbal problems presented in an algebraic context, including geometric reasoning and graphing, and the translation of written phrases into algebraic expressions.
About the College Level Math Section (20 Questions)
This section measures your ability to solve problems that involve college-level mathematics concepts starting with intermediate algebra through pre-calculus. There are 6 different types of questions:
- Algebraic Operations: Including simplifying rational algebraic expressions, factoring and expanding polynomials, and manipulating roots and exponents.
- Solutions of Equations and Inequalities: The solution of linear and quadratic equations and inequalities, systems of equations, and other algebraic equations.
- Coordinate Geometry: Questions involving plane geometry, the coordinate plane, straight lines, conics, sets of points in the plane, and graphs of algebraic functions.
- Applications and other Algebra Topics: Complex numbers, series and sequences, determinants, permutations and combinations, factorials, and word problems.
- Functions: Includes questions involving polynomial, algebraic, exponential, and logarithmic functions.
- Trigonometric functions
All figures in this test are drawn as accurately as possible, given the limits of the equipment being used.