2017 Math Placement Exam

An important component of the educational mission at University of the Sciences is to help students develop good analytical and problem solving skills.  Mathematics is essential in the development of these skills.

As a University of the Sciences student, you will have to solve problems, manipulate equations, work with functions, and, in some cases, understand trigonometry and calculus topics.  These skills will be necessary in many of your science courses.  A solid foundation in mathematics will help you be successful in your coursework at the university.

Placement in the correct mathematics course is extremely important for your success.  If you take a math course that you are under-prepared for, you may have a negative experience in your first semester of college.  If you take a math course that you are over-prepared for, you may be bored and not perform as well as you should.

Therefore, University of the Sciences requires all incoming freshmen (even if you expect to receive AP credit) and transfer students (who do not receive credit for mathematics) to take a math placement exam.  This exam, which is taken online, will allow you to be placed into the most appropriate math course for your needs and abilities. 

Courses that you could place into

MA104 College Algebra (3 credits)

This is a 3-credit course that satisfies the general education mathematics discipline.  This course is for students who are not required to take a calculus or a physics course.

MA107 Precalculus (3 credits)

This is a 3-credit course that satisfies the general education mathematics discipline.  This course is for students who are required to take a calculus or a physics course.

We recognize that some students may need help in mathematics.  Therefore, we have a special section of MA107, Precalculus, that includes one additional recitation hour per week.  The recitation is designed to help students develop their mathematics skills to be successful in their major.

MA110 General Calculus (3 credits)

This is a 3-credit calculus course recommended for students who are not required to take Calculus II.   This course satisfies the general education mathematics discipline.

MA122 Calculus I (4 credits)

This is a 4-credit calculus course recommended for students who are required to take Calculus II.  This course covers the same topics as MA110, but in more depth.  This course satisfies the general education mathematics discipline.

Note:  Your placement in either MA110 or MA122 will depend on your program requirements.  If you are placed in MA110, and then later decide to take Calculus II, you will be able to do so.

All USciences students must complete six credits of mathematics for their general education discipline requirement.  These six credits are satisfied by taking any MA (except MA100) or ST (Statistics) course.  So if you are placed into MA110 or MA122, you will still be able to satisfy the general education mathematics discipline by taking a higher level MA course or an ST course.

Instructions for the Exam

Assistance during the test is not allowed and is in violation of USciences’ Academic Integrity Policy.  The university also has the following honor code:

“I pledge, as a USciences student, that I have neither given nor received any unauthorized assistance on this test.”

By taking this test, you are agreeing to the honor code statement.

Please read all instructions before clicking on the link.  You may use any type of calculator that you are comfortable with and you will need paper and a pen or pencil handy to work out problems.  The Algebra Test is 50 minutes and you cannot save your work, so you must complete the test in one sitting. You must complete the questions in order. Do not skip a question because you cannot go back to a skipped question. You also cannot go back to a question to change an answer.

Make sure to allot yourself enough time to check your computer compatibility, review the policies for the test, and take the test.

IMPORTANT:  Once you begin, do not click ‘quit and save’ or ‘grade’. Click ‘next’ to get to the next question. When you have completed the test you can click ‘grade’.

  1. Go to http://place32.placementtester.com:8080/usciences/login/login.do when you are ready to begin the test.
  2. Make sure the computer you are using is compatible with the system by clicking “see the list of supported browsers”.
  3. Login.  Your user name and password are the email address that this email was sent to (all user names and passwords are lower case).  For example:  Margie Smith has a Gmail account and her email was sent to msmith@gmail.com.  Her login would be
    User login:  msmith@gmail.com
    Password:  msmith@gmail.com
  4.  Click on “Math Placement Test”.
  5. There are two assignments listed: Calculator-Based Algebra and Calculator-Based Calculus Readiness.  All students must take the Calculator-Based Algebra Test.  Please read the policies for the test by clicking on “policies” before you begin the test.  This test is 50 minutes and you cannot save your work.  Once you begin the test, you must complete it within the 50-minute time period. Remember, you cannot go back to a skipped question or change an answer.
  6. When you are finished, you will receive your score and will be notified regarding which mathematics course you will be placed into.
  7. Placement:
    1. If your grade is 15 or below, you will be placed into the MA107 course with a recitation unless your program requires you to take MA104, in which case you will be placed into MA104. 
    2. If your grade is 16 to 27, you will be placed into MA104 or MA107 (based on the requirements of your program). 
    3. If your grade is 28 or above, you can take the Calculator-Based Calculus Readiness Test if you would like to be placed into MA110 or MA122 (based on the requirements of your program).  You can take this immediately after completing the Calculator-Based Algebra test or at another time before June 30, 2017.
  8. If you qualify to take the Calculator-Based Calculus Readiness Test, you need to score 19 or above on this test to be placed into a Calculus course.  Otherwise, you will be placed into MA104 or MA107.

Math Placement FAQ

I qualified for MA107 with the recitation.  How does this impact my curriculum?

Being placed into MA 107 with the recitation does not impact your curriculum. You will have one extra hour of classes per week (which is the recitation). However, we have designed this course to assist students who need some extra time and/or help with mathematics. Remember that good math skills are needed to be successful in all areas of science.

I qualified for MA107 with the recitation. Should I consider taking MA107 without the recitation?

It is in your best interest to be prepared for college coursework. MA107 with the recitation is an opportunity for you to master algebra skills that are critical for the successful completion of required courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and many others.

I qualified for MA107 without the recitation, but my placement test scores are not that high. Should I consider taking MA107 with the recitation?

If you feel that you should boost your algebra skills, critical for the successful completion of required courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and many others, you should consider taking MA 107 with the recitation.

I am receiving AP credit.  Why do I still need to take the math placement exam?

You need to take it to be placed into the appropriate mathematics course. If you accept your mathematics AP credit you will be able to withdraw from the course during the drop/add period.  If you do not accept your AP credit you should remain in the course you were placed into.

I qualified for a calculus course. Why should I begin in Calculus when I can take Precalculus as a G.P.A. booster?

You should take advantage of the opportunity to advance through your math sequence in a more meaningful way. This will also make three credits available that you can use to take a course that interests you that you may not be able to take if you take Precalculus.

Questions

If you have questions or concerns, please contact:

Amy Kimchuk
Senior Lecturer – Mathematics
Coordinator of First-Year Mathematics Courses
215-596-8705
a.kimchu@usciences.edu

Contact:

Amy Kimchuk, Senior Lecturer, Mathematics
Coordinator of First-Year Mathematics Courses

Phone:

215-596-8705

Email:

a.kimchu@usciences.edu