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General Math Placement Information

Common Placement Questions

In general, most entering first-year students will need to complete the Math Placement Tool. 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. Students wishing to take a math course other than MATH 101 or STAT 100 will need to complete the Math Placement Tool. 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.

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 Precalculus Office (Weber 137; 970 491-5761) and ask to speak with a 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 are eligible for 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 Math Placement Tool than is required for MATH 101. The entry-level math courses are:

  • MATH 101 - Math in the Social Sciences,
  • MATH 105 - Patterns of Phenomena, and
  • MATH 117 - College 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 complete the Math Placement Tool twice. Incoming students can complete one attempt on the Math Placement Tool remotely (without proctoring required) prior to their term of admission.

The Math Placement Tool can be completed on a walk-in basis in the Precalculus Center (Weber 138) whenever classes are in session.

Incoming students can complete the Math Placement Tool remotely without proctoring required) prior to their term of admission.

Placement results are available immediately after the Math Placement Tool is completed. 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 Precalculus center (Weber 137; (970) 491-5761).

The Math Placement Tool consists 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 complete the Math Placement Tool on a walk-in basis in the Precalculus Center, you must use an on-screen TI-84 calculator provided on the testing computers in the Precalculus Center. You will also need a pencil or pen, and your CSU RamCard (ID card). Reference materials are not permitted.

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

Yes - the Department of Mathematics offers Challenge Exams in its Precalculus courses:

  • MATH 117 - College Algebra in Context I
  • MATH 118 - College Algebra in Context II
  • MATH 124 - Logarithmic and Expontial Functions
  • MATH 125 - Numerical Trigonometry
  • MATH 126 - Analytic Trigonometry

These exams can be taken in the Precalculus center. Students must have the prerequisites for a course satisfied in order to challenge that couse, and a course may not be challenged while a student is enrolled in that course. Challenging a course may be done one time, and there is a $20 processing fee charged for each challenge exam. If you have any questions about challenging a Precalculus course, please speak with the staff in the Precalculus Center (Weber 137; (970) 491-5761).

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