Note: this page is now obsolete, please update your bookmarks to point to the new Math Placement page.

 

The mathematics placement examination is regularly administered to new freshman and transfer students during the START orientation sessions. See http://oregonstate.edu/newstudents/start/home for information about the START programs.

You can try an online practice version of the math placement exam to get an idea of your likely mathematics course placement.

For questions regarding Placement Exam, please contact Lyn Riverstone, Math Placement Coordinator.

Based on your total score on the Math Placement examination and depending on your program, it is recommended that you enroll in one of the following mathematics courses:

 

Math Placement Score Recommended MTH Courses
0-10
Preparatory mathematics below the level of MTH 95 or 103 is advised. OSU offers MTH 65. Community colleges offer a variety of preparatory courses.
11-16
MTH 95 or MTH 103
17-23
MTH 105, MTH 111, or MTH 211 (depending on your program)
24-32
MTH 105, 112, 211, 241, or 245 (depending on your program)
33-40

MTH 105, 211, 241, 245, or 251 (depending on your program)

 

Your OSU Mathematics Placement Test score provides helpful information that you and your advisor can use to make an informed choice of an appropriate first MTH course. Other data that can be helpful are your SAT or ACT Math score, your high school mathematics transcript, any previous mathematics coursework at another college, or AP or IB examination scores.

Keep in mind that a mathematics placement into a particular MTH course is no guarantee of success in that course. It only indicates that you appear reasonably prepared in terms of basic skills and knowledge for the course, but your motivation and hard work are still the most critical determinants of your grade.

Math placement test (MPT) scores are generally advisory, and only enforced as prerequisites for special pre-professional courses (for example, MTH 211). If you take a MTH course 1 level above that indicated by your MPT score, keep in mind that your score suggests that you may have some gaps or need brushing up on material you are rusty on - you can still succeed but be prepared for the extra work and effort! Taking a course 2 levels above your indicated placement is generally inadvisable - the likelihood of failing goes up considerably under those circumstances.

Students should consult with their advisors to make a considered decision about choosing the first university-level mathematics course. The following table indicates how MPT and SAT-Math score relate to success rates in Math 111 College Algebra for OSU students since Fall 2008. (Source: OSU Institutional Research) The shaded areas indicate a success rate of 52% or less.

 

Percentage of students successful in MTH 111 based on Mathematics Placement Test score and SAT-Math score

(success means S or C- or better)

 

0-10

11-16

17-23

24-32

33-40

450 -

32

33

42

63

*

450-490

42

50

52

65

*

500-530

31

52

67

77

*

540-590

40

66

71

90

*

600 +

*

74

82

93

93

 

* too little data

No one test score or past grade is a guarantee of future success and many factors combine to indicate what the proper first mathematics course should be for a given student. All students should be prepared to take advantage of all available resources that are available to promote academic success at OSU. These include: