Mathematics and Statistics
Math Placement Exam
The math placement exam is comprised of an adaptive elementary algebra (EA) test. All examinees begin testing in the elementary algebra section, and will then branch out into different EA questions based upon their performance. Each test is adaptive (interactive), which means that as you complete an item, the computer evaluates your skill level and gives you another problem of either increasing or decreasing difficulty. Questions are automatically chosen to yield the most information about your skill level based upon your answers.
Each section will offer you a description of the skills to be tested, accompanied by practice problems and answers. Feel free to scroll down to the section you would like to practice, and see how your skills measure up!
The elementary algebra version of the placement test will determine your placement into either MATH 009, MATH 012 or MATH 106/107.
The first set of problems, comprised of twelve questions and equal to about 8–17 percent of your grade, will quiz you on:
- Operations with integers and rational numbers
- Computations with absolute value
The second group of problems, adding up to around 42–67 percent of your grade, will cover:
- Operations with algebraic expressions
- Evaluation of simple formulas and expressions
- Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of monomials and polynomials
- Evaluation of positive rational roots and exponents
- Simplifying algebraic fractions and factoring
The third segment amounts to around 17–50 percent of the test and will cover these topics:
- Solutions of equations, inequalities and word problems
- Solving of equations by factoring
- Solving word problems presented in an algebraic context, including geometric reasoning and graphing
- Translation of written phrases into algebraic expressions
We encourage you to review the Practice Math Placement Test to help you better prepare for the elementary algebra section of the math placement exam. Some of these examples may or may not be similar to the problems on the actual exam. We recommend that if you have difficulty completing these problems, you should probably review the skills generally covered in a first-year high school algebra class.
For more information on placement tests at UMUC—including where and when to take them—please visit the Placement Testing page from Exams and Testing Services.