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Math Placement Exam

Who Takes the Exam?

Most students are required to take the math placement exam. However, you are waived if:

  • You have transferred in a math course from another college or university equivalent to a 100-level or above math course at IU South Bend.
  • You took an IU South Bend math course as a high school student and received credit for it.
  • You received a passing score on an Advanced Placement (AP) exam.
  • You took the math placement exam at IU Bloomington or IUPUI (we do not accept placement exam scores from any other college/university).

Exam Format

You have 90 minutes to complete the online exam, which consists of the following:

Part A: Advanced Arithmetic (15 problems)
Part B: Beginning Algebra (15 problems)
Part C: College Algebra and Graphs (15 problems)
Part D: Pre-Calculus and Trigonometry (18 problems)

Although the exam is designed so a calculator is not absolutely necessary, you may still use one. Keep in mind that calculators with built-in algebra systems (such as the TI-89 and TI-92) may not be used.

Since many students have not had previous instruction in some of the higher-level math concepts, not everyone is able to complete the exam, which is okay. If you randomly guess at the answers to the problems you do not understand, you have a fairly good chance of guessing correctly, which could result in your being placed in a math class for which you are not prepared. Keep in mind this is not a pass/fail exam, its purpose is to ensure that you are placed into the appropriate math course.

Can I retake the Math Exam?

The math exam can be taken once a month until you enroll in a math course.


Exam Results

The results are used by your advisor to place you into the appropriate course for your skill level, which are outlined below:

Score Math Course in which to enroll
Level 0

You are required to take an enhanced version of MATH-A100 Fundamentals of Algebra. This course runs from January 7, 2014 - May 22, 2014 (note that it starts one week earlier and runs two weeks later than a normal semester course).

Level 1 You are required to take an enhanced version of MATH-A100 Fundamentals of Algebra. This course runs from January 7, 2014 - May 22, 2014 (note that it starts one week earlier and runs two weeks later than a normal semester course).
Level 2

You must successfully complete MATH-A100 Fundamentals of Algebra to advance to Level 3. A100 is a graded course. Consult with your advisor as to how it counts towards your major requirements.

Level 3

You may enroll in any of the following:

K300 Statistical Techniques
M107 College Algebra
M111 Mathematics in the World
M118 Finite Mathematics
T101 Math for Elementary Teachers I

You must successfully complete M107 with a C- or higher to advance to Level 4.

Level 4

You may enroll in M125 Pre-Calculus or M115 Pre-Calculus and Trigonometry. You can move to Level 5 by successfully completing M125 with a C- or higher. You can move to Level 6 by successfully completing M115 (or its two-semester equivalent, M125 & M126, with a C- or higher.

Level 5

You may enroll in M119 Brief Survey of Calculus or M126 Trigonometric Functions. You can move to Level 6 by successfully completing M126 or M115 with a C- or higher.

Level 6 You may enroll in M215 Calculus I.


Note: Please see your academic advisor prior to enrolling in a math course at IU South Bend, particularly if you placed at Levels 3, 4, 5, or 6. Your first math course placement varies depending on your intended major.

Complete list of topics covered on the math placement exam.

Part A: Advanced Arithmetic

Meaning of fractions and decimals
Operations on fractions and decimal numbers
Meaning and use of percents and proportions
Operations and signed numbers
Square roots and cube roots
The Pythagorean theorem
Area and perimeter of rectangles and triangles

Part B: Beginning Algebra

Evaluation of expressions and equations
Solution of linear equations
Meaning of integer exponents
Application of rules of integer exponents
Operations on polynomials
Factoring quadratic polynomials

Part C: College Algebra and Graphs

Slope and y-intercept of a line
Producing and interpreting graphs of linear and quadratic equations
Finding the intersection of two lines algebraically
Solving and interpreting linear inequalities
Graphing equations involving the absolute value of linear expressions
Solving equations involving the absolute value of linear expressions
Solving quadratic equations

Part D: Pre-Calculus and Trigonometry

The concept of function
Domain and range of functions
Using and interpreting functional notation
Composition of functions
Transformations of graphs of functions
Interpreting the graphs of functions
Inverse functions
Classes of elementary functions: polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric

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Questions
If you have any questions, please contact the Gateway Information Center.