Mathematics Placement Exam

Mathematics Placement Exam

Math Part I | Math Part II | Exam Results | Transfer Credit

The Mathematics Placement Exam consists of two parts. It is suggested that students review the material described below before taking the exam, as it may not be retaken. Material for both Parts I and II should be covered in any standard algebra textbook.

Math Part I

Passing Math Part I will place students into Pre-Calculus. Students may take Part II only if they pass Part I. Students who pass Part I must take Part II if they would like to enroll in Calculus I.

Timing, Composition, and Scoring

  • 45 minutes
  • 20 multiple-choice problems
  • 16/20 passing score

Topics and Preparation

The following topics are covered on Math Part I. Students should review a high school textbook covering these subjects to review for Math Part I. Calculators are not permitted.

  • Order of Operations
  • Manipulating Fractions
  • Distributive Law
  • Square Root
  • Linear Equations in One Variable
  • Factoring and Multiplying Algebraic Expressions
  • Coordinates and Graphs (two variables)
  • Inequalities
  • Absolute Value
  • Algebraic Fractions
  • Properties of Straight Lines
  • Functions
  • Quadratic Equations

Math Part II

Passing Math Part II will place students into Calculus I. Students may take Part II only if they pass Part I. We do not offer placement exams to determine placement in courses higher than Calculus I. Students should consult with their academic advisor for additional information on this matter.

Timing, Composition, and Scoring

  • 40 minutes
  • 12 multiple-choice problems
  • 9/12 passing score

Topics and Preparation

The following topics are covered on Math Part II. Students should review a high school textbook covering these subjects to review for Math Part II. Calculators are not permitted.

  • Functions
  • Trigonometric Identity
  • Logarithms
  • Graphing Functions
  • Inequalities
  • Distance

Exam Results

  • Students who do not pass Part I must take a course in Basic Mathematics [MATH S0065], which is offered only during the summer session.
  • Students who pass Part I, but not Part II, will be required to take College Algebra and Analytic Geometry [MATH UN1003], which is offered during the fall, spring, and summer sessions.
  • Students who pass both Part I and Part II can enroll in Calculus I [MATH UN1101].

Transfer Credit

Students who have received transfer credit, or who have transfer credit pending, for the equivalent of MATH UN1003 (a pre-calculus or college alegbra and trigonometry course taken elsewhere) should still take the Math Placement Exam in order to determine their readiness to take Calculus I [MATH UN1101].

Students who have received transfer credit, or who have transfer credit pending, for a calculus course taken elsewhere must follow up with the Math Department for placement into the appropriate Columbia course. For more information, visit the website.