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General Math Placement Information

Common Placement Questions

In general, most entering freshmen will need to complete the Math Placement Tool or take the Math Challenge Exam. Students whose degree program allows them to satisfy their mathematics requirement with MATH 101, Math in the Social Sciences, or STAT 100: Statistical Literacy, can do so without completing the Math Placement Tool or Math Challenge Exa. Students wishing to take a math course other than MATH 101 or STAT 100 will need to complete the Math Placement Tool or Math Challenge Exam. This requirement is waived for students who either scored 3, 4 or 5 on an Advanced Placement Calculus Exam (either AB or BC) or have transfer credit in a math course at the level of college algebra or above. Use the button below to determine if you need to complete the Math Placement Tool.

Do I need to complete the Math Placement Tool?

You should review and prepare before completing the Math Placement Tool, even if you are currently taking a mathematics course. The Mathematics Department has prepared interactive review materials and practice questions for all sections of the tool.

If you are an incoming student, you may be eligible to complete the Math Placement Tool from home. Once you begin your degree program on campus, you are no longer eligible to complete the Math Placement Tool.

Log into the Math Placement web site using your eID to check your options. We generally recommend that you begin with the Math Placement Tool if you are still eligible for this option. Otherwise, you will need to take the proctored Math Challenge Exam.

The Math Placement Tool is a web-based tool with a timer. If you have had accommodations in the past, you will want to contact the Student Disability Center in the TILT Building and plan to meet with an accommodations specialist. The specialist will review your documentation and provide you with a memo that helps your instructors know what accommodations are appropriate.

If you are an incoming student, you are welcome to contact the PACe Office (Weber 137; 970 491-5761) and ask to speak with a PACe director. The director will talk with you about the accommodations you have had in the past, and if you are eligible, can get you set up with extended time for the Math Placement Tool.

All students taking the MPE will be eligible for at least MATH 101, Math in the Social Sciences and STAT 100, Statistical Literacy. The other entry-level math courses at Colorado State have enforced prerequisites that require you to demonstrate a greater level of algebra preparation on the MPE than is required for MATH 101. The entry-level math courses are:

MATH 101Math in the Social Sciences,
MATH 105Patterns of Phenomena, and
MATH 117College Algebra in Context I.

Be sure to consult with your adviser before deciding that MATH 101 is the right course for you. Many academic programs do not accept MATH 101 toward degree requirements. MATH 101 does not prepare you for any other course at the University, and it does not satisfy prerequisites for any other course (such as MATH 117). If you are eligible for only MATH 101 and need to take a different math class, look for information about the ELM Tutorial on the website where you check your Math Placement results.

Yes. You are allowed to take the Math Challenge Exam twice in a proctored setting. Incoming students can also complete the Math Placement Tool remotely prior to their term of admission.

The Math Challenge Exam is given on a walk-in basis in the PACe Testing Center (Weber 138) whenever classes are in session.

Incoming students can complete the Math Placement Tool remotely prior to their term of admission.

Placement results are available immediately after the Math Placement Tool is completed or a Math Challenge Exam is submitted. You can re-check your placement results at any time by logging in to the Math Placement web site using your eID. Your remaining options will also be displayed. The Mathematics Department cannot give you results over the telephone because of federal law regarding privacy of information. Questions concerning exam results should be directed to the PACe Office (Weber 137; (970) 491-5761).

The Math Placement Tool and Math Challenge Exam each consist of 50 multiple choice and multiple response questions. The time limit for each is 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Math Placement covers pre-algebra and algebra, trigonometry, and logarithmic and exponential functions.

The Mathematics Department has prepared interactive review materials and practice questions for all topics covered by Math Placement.

Yes, you are expected to use a calculator. If you take the Math Challenge Exam on a walk-in basis on campus, you must use a calculator provided by the PACe Testing Center. The PACe Testing Center has Texas Instrument TI-84 calculators. To take the MPE on campus, you will also need a pencil or pen, and your Colorado State RamCard (ID card). Reference materials are not permitted.

A one-time exam fee of $15 is charged to your student account the first time you complete a Math Placement Tool or Math Challenge Exam. There is no charge for subsequent attempts on either, or if you take advantage of other placement activities such as the ELM Tutorial.

You must take the Math Challenge Exam in a proctored setting to qualify for course credit by exam. On campus, you would do this in the PACe Testing Center (Weber 138). If you qualify for course credit, you must register for it to guarantee it will appear on your transcript. There is no additional tuition charge for this credit. The registration numbers used for placement credit are published in the Class Schedule. If you are not eligible to register for these "credit by exam" sections, you will receive an error if you try to add them to your class schedule. If you have any questions about registering for earned placement credit, please speak with the staff in the PACe Office (Weber 137; (970) 491-5761).

Didn't find your answer? Send an email to PACe@math.colostate.edu.