Math Placement Requirement (MPR)

ALL students who register in MAT 12, 16A, 17A, 21A, or 21M will be required to take the Math Placement Exam. This means we do not accept SAT-M or AP scores for those courses.

For MAT 16A, 17A, 21A, or 21M  you are required to take the Math Placement Exam regardless if you passed MAT 12 (or an equivalent course elsewhere).

The Math Placement Requirement (MPR) determines if you are prepared for college-level math courses offered at UC Davis. This is determined by the Math Placement Examination (also sometimes called the "Precalculus Exam"). The passing exam scores and course placement details are listed below. NOTE: The department will begin dropping students who do not qualify, AFTER the end of the last testing session for that particular quarter.

Math Placement Examination

The Math Placement Examination is only available online. There will be two testing sessions per quarter (Fall, Winter, Spring), and a student may only take it once per testing session. As with any exam, if you need special accommodations due to a disability, please contact the UC Davis Student Disabilities Center.

Students enrolled in MAT 12, 16A, 17A, 21A, and 21M  who do not meet the Math Placement Requirement (MPR) before the testing periods will be notified via email regarding when they will be able to take the exam.

For Newly Admitted Freshmen for Fall 2016

Incoming Freshmen will be notified in late May about the Math Placement Examination. They will be sent instructions and login information in via email to their UC Davis email address in early June.

The testing sessions for incoming Freshmen will be:
College of Biological Sciences 1PM, June 23 - 1PM, June 29
College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences 1PM, June 30 - 1PM, July 6
College of Letters & Science 1PM, July 7 - 1PM, July 13
College of Engineering 1PM, July 14 - 1PM, July 20

For more information about the online math placement exam, please refer to our Math Placement Exam FAQ webpage.

Staff assistance during the testing sessions is only available during regular business hours, Monday-Friday from 9:00a-4:00p. Should you require help, please contact us at placementhelp@math.ucdavis.edu.

For Newly Admitted International Freshmen Students for Fall 2015

Incoming Freshmen International Students will be notified in late May about the Math Placement Examination. They will be sent instructions and login information via email to their UC Davis email address or the email address used on their UC application.

The testing sessions for incoming Freshmen International Students will be:
Incoming Freshmen International Students 1PM, May 30 - 1PM, June 3

For more information about the online math placement exam, please refer to our Math Placement Exam FAQ webpage.

Staff assistance during the testing sessions is only available during regular business hours, Monday-Friday from 9:00a-4:00p. Should you require help, please contact us at placementhelp@math.ucdavis.edu.

Summer Session 2016

Math Placement Exam sessions for Summer Session 2016 are open to students enrolled in Summer Session courses. If you are registered in MAT 12, 16A, 17A, 21A, or 21M and have not taken the placement exam, or did not received a qualifying score for the course you are registered in, you will be automatically registered in the Summer Session 2016 Testing Sessions listed below:

Summer Session I - Testing Session 
Begins at 1PM on June 16 and ends at 1pm on June 22
Summer Session II - Testing Session
Begins at 1PM on July 28 and ends at 1pm on August 3

If you are not currently enrolled in one of these courses but would like to register to take this exam, fill out our manual registration form.

MANUAL REGISTRATION
Summer Session I Submit manual registration request from June 16, 2016 at 1PM until June 21, 2016 at 1PM
Summer Session II Submit manual registration request from July 28, 2016 at 1PM until August 2, 2016 at 1PM

Fall Quarter 2016

Math Placement Exam sessions for Fall Quarter 2016 are open to all students. If you are registered in MAT 12, 16A, 17A, 21A, or 21M and have not taken the placement exam, or did not received a qualifying score for the course you are registered in, you will be automatically registered in the testing session listed below:

Fall Quarter Testing Session 1
Begins at 1PM on September 7 and ends at 1pm on September 13
Fall Quarter Testing Session 2
Begins at 1PM on September 21 and ends at 1pm on September 27

If you are not currently enrolled in one of these courses but would like to register to take this exam, fill out our manual registration form.

MANUAL REGISTRATION
Fall Quarter Testing Session 1 Submit manual registration request from September 7, 2016 at 1PM until September 12, 2016 at 1PM
Fall Quarter Testing Session 2 Submit manual registration request from September 21, 2016 at 1PM until September 26, 2016 at 1PM

For more information about the online math placement exam, please refer to our Math Placement Exam FAQ webpage.

Staff assistance during the testing sessions is only available during regular business hours, Monday-Friday from 9:00a-4:00p. Should you require help, please contact us at placementhelp@math.ucdavis.edu.

Current Requirements

You must satisfy the MPR if you wish to enroll in MAT 12, 16A, 17A, 21A or 21M as outlined in the following table:

Course
Math Placement Exam
Total Score
withTrigonometry
Sub-Score
MAT 12
25 or more   -------------
MAT 16A
30 or more with 2 or more
MAT 17A
30 or more with 2 or more
MAT 21A
35 or more with 3 or more
MAT 21M
40 or more with 3 or more

Students enrolled in one of the above classes without satisfying the MPR will be administratively dropped from the course no matter what anyone else, including an adviser or an instructor, may have told them. No exceptions to this policy are permitted.

Note that the above cut-off points are MINIMUM TOTAL SCORES. If you fail to earn a score that places you into MAT 16A, 17A, 21A, or 21M , you should seriously consider enrolling in MAT 12 to strengthen your algebraic and trigonometric skills prior to taking calculus. This is particularly important if you feel that you are weak in these areas and not merely "a bit rusty" with your basic math skills.

The effects of improper placement in a mathematics class can be difficult to reverse. If you score below 25, you should consult with your major adviser to discuss your options, including the possibility of registering in a Workload course (WLD 055M) or other college-level mathematics course such as MAT B (Elementary Algebra) or MAT C (Trigonometry).

What if my score does not qualify me for my course?

Please refer to our FAQ item if you did not obtain a qualifying score for your course. https://www.math.ucdavis.edu/undergrad/math_placement/exam_faq/#next_steps

Preparation Tips

Study guides are provided by the Student Academic Success Center and can be viewed here:

And lastly, the following contains explanations and practice exercises that cover most of the topics that you will be tested on, including Rational Expressions, Polynomials, Functions, Word Problems, Trigonometry, and Linear Equations and Inequalities: