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Math Assessment

The Math portion of Accuplacer online consists of three sections: Arithmetic, Elementary Algebra and College Level Math.

Background questions at the beginning of the test will assess your previous experiences with math. Your answer will determine which section you begin with.

For example, if you begin with the Elementary Algebra section, one of two things will happen after you’ve answered the 12 questions:

  • The test will finish and you will see a results page with your math results, or
  • The test will direct you to the College Level Math section or to the Arithmetic section.

Keep in mind, your selection of major at the beginning of the test does not affect your math placement.

 Arithmetic (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: Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, recognizing equivalent fractions and mixed numbers, and estimating.
  • Operations with decimals and percents: Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with decimals; percent; recognition of decimals, fraction and percent equivalencies, and estimating.
  • Applications and problem solving: Rate, percent, and measurement; simple geometry, and distribution of a quantity into its fractional parts.

Elementary Algebra  (12 questions)

This section measures your ability to perform basic algebraic operations and to solve problems that involve elementary algebraic concepts. The questions come in three types:

  • Operations with integers and rational numbers: Computation with integers and negative rationals, the use of absolute values, and ordering.
  • Operations with algebraic expressions: Evaluation of simple formulas and expressions; addition, subtraction, multiplying and dividing monomials and polynomials; evaluating positive rational roots and exponents; simplifying algebraic fractions, and factoring.
  • Solution of equations, inequalities, and word problems:  Linear equations and inequalities; quadratic equations by factoring; verbal problems presented in an algebraic context, including geometric reasoning and graphing, and the translation of written phrases into algebraic expressions.

 College Level (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 six different types of questions:

  • Algebraic Operations: Simplifying rational algebraic expressions; factoring and expanding polynomials, and manipulating roots and exponents.
  • Solutions of Equations and Inequalities: Linear and quadratic equations and inequalities; systems of equations, and other algebraic equations.
  • Coordinate Geometry: 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: Polynomial;  algebraic; exponential, and logarithmic functions.
  • Trigonometric functions

See Sample Math Questions.