Placement Exams Study Tips
Regardless of your major, all students are required to take a sequence of mathematics courses. As part of the orientation process, you will take a placement exam to determine what level of math courses you should enroll in.
The placement test covers a wide variety of skills from both algebra and trigonometry, including, but not limited to:
- Manipulating algebraic expressions, including factoring /simplifying, solving equations, PEMDAS (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication and Division, and Addition and Subtraction)
- Solving inequalities and absolute value problems
- Working with numbers and expressions in the form of fractions, exponents, and logarithms
- Reading graphs and tables, and plotting functions in the xy-plane
- Finding compositions and inverses of functions
- Solving word problems
- Evaluating trigonometric functions for common angles
- Solving trigonometric equations
- Plotting basic trigonometric functions
- Working with trigonometric identities
Please note: the use of calculators and cell phones is not permitted during the diagnostic exam.
Students whose performance on this test indicates proficiency in these skills will be placed in the appropriate calculus course for the discipline in the fall. In order to prepare for this exam, we recommend that you review the topics listed above and practice doing some examples without the use of your calculator. Some useful online sites to refresh your knowledge are:
- www.mymathtest.com (read the registration instructions)
In the event that the exam indicates that you need more review of your basic algebra and trigonometry skills, we will notify you and provide opportunities for you to remedy the situation.