Online Math Placement Exam F.A.Q.

This is a collection of Answers to Frequently Asked Questions for the Math Placement Exam.

General Questions

Online/Computer Problems

Scheduling the Test


General Questions


Is there a fee for taking the placement exam?

There is no fee for taking the placement exam.


Can I use a calculator or books on the exam?

Calculators are not needed and may not be used on this exam. You may not use books, the Internet, or other materials, or consult with anyone while taking this exam. Using calculators or other materials will make it harder to complete the exam on time, and may result in your being advised to take a class inappropriate for you.


Do I need to take the math placement exam?

The math placement exam is required to enroll in any introductory level courses in math (MAT 12, 16A, 17A, 21A, 21AH or 36). The Department of Mathematics will administratively drop students who do not qualify for a course in which they enroll. Not all majors or colleges require math courses. We recommend that you check the requirements for your courses, major, college, and career goals, or seek advising during Orientation (or at the beginning of the quarter) before taking the math placement exam.

Please refer to Office of the University Registrar, General Catalog for more information.


Do I still need to take the Math Placement Exam if I did well on SATs or the AP test?

As of Fall 2010, ALL students who register in MAT 12, 16A, 17A, 21A, 21AH, or 36 will be required to take the online math placement exam, regardless of your SAT or AP test scores.

The Department of Mathematics will administratively drop students who do not qualify for a course in which they enroll. Not all majors or colleges require math courses. We recommend that you check the requirements for your courses, major, college, and career goals, or seek advising during Orientation (or at the beginning of the quarter) before taking the pertinent placement exam.

Please refer to Office of the University Registrar, General Catalog for more information.


Do I still need to take the Math Placement Exam if I took college courses?

If you are enrolling in MAT 12, 16A, 17A, 21A, 21AH or 36, you are required to take the exam, regardless of college credit.


Is the precalculus exam the same as the Math Placement Exam?

The Math Placement Exam is also sometimes referred to as the Precalculus Diagnostic Exam or the Precalculus Placement Exam. Regardless of name, it is the exam which fulfills the Math Placement Requirement as described in the UC Davis Catalog.


What do I need to take the test online?

You will need to know your username for the test. Your exam username is the first part of the email address on file with the University as your primary contact address for admissions and campus correspondence. For most, this will be the first part of your UC Davis email address. For example, if your email address is jsmith@ucdavis.edu, then your username would be jsmith . Your password is your student ID number, with no spaces or symbols between the numbers.

Your computer will need access to the internet, and a web browser. Because the test is timed, and that timer continues without pause once you start the exam, it's best to take the test from a computer with a reliable internet connection. You will also need scratch paper and a pen or pencil to work the problems on the exam.


What if I require accommodations for my disability to take the exam?

Students with disabilities will need to contact the UC Davis Student Disabilities Center. They will work with the Department of Mathematics to provide you with accommodations to take the exam.


Will the exam be available during Summer Advising/Orientation?

No, the exam is not available during Summer Advising/Orientation. Incoming freshmen are to take the exam during their College's designated testing session.


You can find more information on what will be covered in the exam under "Preparation Tips" on the Math Placement Requirement web page.

What will the exam include?

You can find more information on what will be covered in the exam under "Preparation Tips" on the Math Placement Requirement web page.


When do I get my test results?

Your score will be emailed to you within 2-3 business days of taking the exam.


When will my score be available on SISWEB?

Scores will be available on SISWEB a few days after the end of the testing session.


What if you do not place into MAT 12 or the math class you need for your major (MAT 16A, 17A, or 21A)?

  • Take the math placement exam again: The exam is offered twice per quarter during the academic year and once per summer session. If you did not place into the class you need during the first session, you are eligible to take again during the second session.
  • Enroll in MAT B - Elementary Algebra: Basic concepts of algebra, including polynomials, factoring, equations, graphs, and inequalities.Math B carries 3 workload units that do not count toward graduation, but do count toward minimum progress and full-time status.
  • Enroll in MAT C - Trigonometry: Basic concepts of trigonometry, including trigonometric functions, identities, inverse functions, and applications. Math C carries 2 workload units that do not count toward graduation, but do count toward minimum progress and full-time status.
  • Enroll in MAT D - Intermediate Algebra: Basic concepts of algebra, prepares student for college work in mathematics, such as course 16A, 17A or 21A. Functions, equations, graphs, and systems of equations. Math D carries 3 workload units that do not count toward graduation, but do count toward minimum progress and full-time status. To enroll in Math D, you must contact the Student Academic Success Center.
  • Enroll in WLD 55M- Algebra Review: Offered through Sacramento City College on the UC Davis Campus. Comprehensive review of algebra (no trigonometry is covered in this course). Carries 3 workload units that do not count toward gradation but do count toward minimum progress and full-times status.

In all cases, contact your major adviser to determine which of the above options is best for your situation.


Online/Computer Problems


I've forgotten my Math Placement Exam username! How can I find it to take the test?

Your exam username is the first part of the email address on file with the University as your primary contact address for admissions and campus correspondence. For most, this will be the first part of your UC Davis email address. For example, if your email address is jsmith@ucdavis.edu, then your username would be jsmith .

If you have forgotten your contact address, you can email placementexam@math.ucdavis.edu with your full name and student id, requesting this information.


My web browser crashed or my computer turned off, what do I do?

If your web browser crashes, immediately reopen the test. It will let you continue working where you left off until the timer counts down to zero. However, the timer will keep counting down even if your computer is not on.


What if I am having issues with completing the exam online?

For computer/technical questions or advising questions regarding the online math placement exam, please contact our staff at placementexam@math.ucdavis.edu


Scheduling the Test


Do I have to complete the whole online exam at one time?

Yes. You have 90 minutes to take the exam, and you cannot save your progress and finish at another time. The timer continues to count down as soon as you choose to begin the test.


What if I am unable to take the exam during my time frame?

If you are unable to complete the online math placement exam during your designated time frame or need to re-take the exam, you are able to do so at scheduled times during the academic year. For more information about upcoming times, please refer to: http://www.math.ucdavis.edu/undergrad/math_placement.

Do note that you are only allowed two attempts per quarter.


What if I miss my College's Orientation Exam time?

If you miss your designated testing session for your college's orientation, you will have to wait until the Fall testing sessions open later in the summer. For those dates, please reference our website.

Does this mean you will not be able register for classes during your orientation? No, the class registration system will still allow you to do this. We suggest that you contact your major/college adviser to review your incoming study plan. This way, he/she has a chance to comment and ensure that you are initially registered for the correct set of classes in Fall.

If you are enrolled in a math course which requires the exam when we import rosters for the testing session, you will be automatically registered for the exam and notified via email. If you do not receive an email from us by the time the testing session starts, you can also manually register at the site below.

http://www.math.ucdavis.edu/undergrad/math_placement.

As for finding your major advisor, you should be able to find this information by either going to your admitting college's website or to your major department's website. You should be able to do a search for either one from the UC Davis main page.


When can I complete the online math placement exam?

Beginning Fall 2010, all students registered in either MAT 12, 16A, 17A, 21A, 21AH or 36 must take the math placement exam to ensure their enrollment in these classes. Failure to meet the placement requirements will result in being administratively dropped from the class. Please reference the Math Placement Requirement web page for information about the minimum cut-off scores needed to place into these classes.

The Math Placement Exam is ONLY AVAILABLE ONLINE.

Students will be notified via email of when they will be able to take the exam. Instructions and links to the exam will be provided. For more information about the online exam, please check the Online Math Placement Exam web page.

Note: As with any exam, if you need special accommodations due to a disability, please contact the UC Davis Student Disabilities Center.