» Mathematics Placement Tests

The information below has been updated according to the Chapman University policy for the academic year 2020-2021.

The purpose of the Mathematics Placement Tests is to make sure that incoming first years and transfer students are prepared to take a GE Quantitative Inquiry course at Chapman University and meet the Math Pathways: Introductory Mathematics Requirement as outlined in the Course Catalog. 

We offer two online tests:

  • The Algebra Test to place into either MATH 100: Learning and Studying Mathematics for Understanding I, or directly into a GE Quantitative Inquiry course with MATH 100 as a prerequisite.
  • The Calculus Readiness Test to place into either MATH 101: Learning and Studying Mathematics for Understanding II, or directly into a course with MATH 101 as a prerequisite.

Our Mathematics advisors will consider your previous mathematics courses in helping you choose the right course.

If you have already attended but did not pass a MATH 100 or MATH 101 course at Chapman University, you are not permitted to take these Placement Tests to pass the course.

Placement Determination

Mathematics Placement and Placement Testing are determined as follows:

  1. Students who score the following meet the Introductory Mathematics Requirement (neither the Algebra Test not the Calculus Readiness Test are required) and may enroll directly in any GE Quantitative Inquiry course that lists "MATH 100 or equivalent" or "MATH 101 or equivalent" as a prerequisite.
  • At least 660 (or at least 640 for tests taken prior to March 2016) on the Quantitative portion of the SAT, or
  • At least 28 on the Mathematics portion of the ACT, or
  • A 3 on the Advanced Placement Calculus AB exam
  1. Students who score the following meet the Introductory Mathematics Requirement (no Algebra Test is required) and may enroll in any GE Quantitative Inquiry course that lists "MATH 100 or equivalent" as a prerequisite. Students within this score range who wish to take any course with MATH 101 as a prerequisite are encouraged to take the Calculus Readiness Test to determine if MATH 101 can be waived.
  • At least 570 (or at least 540 for tests taken prior to March 2016) on the Quantitative portion of the SAT, or
  • At least 23 on the Mathematics portion of the ACT
  1. Students who score the following are required to take the Algebra Test.
  • Below a 570 (or below a 540 for tests taken prior to March 2016) on the Quantitative portion of the SAT, or
  • Below a 23 on the Mathematics portion of the ACT

General Notes

Students whose score fewer than 20 points on the Algebra Test are placed into MATH 100 and are required to enroll in the course in their first semester

Students who receive a satisfactory transfer grade on a transferable college-level math course prior to matriculating at Chapman will be waived from MATH 100. The waiver will not be applied to the student's account until the final transcript is both received and processed. Students with pending transfer courses in Math are encouraged to take the Algebra Test to expedite the student's class registration process. If you want to register on time and your transfer credit has not yet been processed, you are then required to take the Algebra Test.

For any questions about your placement after taking the test, please contact mathadvising@chapman.edu. If you believe you should be placed directly in a higher level Mathematics course, please provide a brief description of your mathematics background. 

Instructions on how to access the math placement exams are below. Be sure to review each of the areas below before taking the exam.

Do not begin the test until you are ready to take it. Once you begin the exam, that is your only chance. You are not able to retake the exam.


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Before Taking the Test

You are encouraged to review the appropriate material (from your high school/college books and notes) at least a few of days before attempting the test. Topics include, but not restricted to the following:

  • Algebra: numeric and symbolic computations, quadratic equations, properties of logarithms and exponentials, interval notation, operations with polynomials and rational expressions, radicals, linear systems, completions of the square, inequalities, graphs of lines and parabolas, etc.
  • Precalculus: functions, equations and inequalities, interval notation, roots of polynomials, rational expressions, long division, domain and range of functions, graphing functions, equation of circles, linear and quadratic functions, composition of functions, linear systems, logarithmic and exponential functions, trigonometry, etc.

It is mandatory to solve the exercises in the "Practice Test" set before taking the actual test. The "Practice Test" is not timed and has unlimited number of tries for each problem. Become familiar with the online system and how answers are to be input. At any time, if you have any questions or technical error please send an email to mathadvising@chapman.edu.

Taking The Test

There are 25 problems on each Placement Test. Solve the problems by yourself. Do not risk failing your first mathematics course at Chapman by attempting to use this test to place into a higher course than you are ready for. The Placement Test is timed for 45 minutes since the moment you start it. Watch the time left on the test page.

You must click on the "Submit" button ONLY AFTER you are sure you are done with the test, but before the 45 minutes limit. You are not allowed to save the test and return to it later. Once you start it, you must finish it in the allotted time.

If your internet connection is lost, or any other possible computer errors or accidents happen, you might have to input again the answers to some or all problems. We strongly recommend you write down on paper your computations and answers while you are solving the test problems.

Continue solving the problems in the order you prefer. Each problem weights 1 point. Again, we recommend that you solve the problems on paper before entering your solutions online.

After you Take the Test

After you are finished and you have clicked on the "Submit" button, you will see your score and you will be able to see what answers were correct. Your score will be input into my.chapman.edu within three business days. If you have questions about your score being reflected in my.chapman.edu, please email the Academic Advising Center at placementexams@chapman.edu or advising@chapman.edu.

  • Algebra Test Cut Off Scores:

o A score of 20 points or more fulfills the Introductory Mathematics Requirement, and you are able to enroll in any GE Quantitative Inquiry Course that lists "MATH 100" as a prerequisite

o A score less or equal than 19, you must take MATH 100: Learning and Studying Mathematics for Understanding I.

  • Calculus Readiness Test Cut Off Scores:

o A score of 20 points or more waives MATH 101: Learning and Studying Mathematics for Understanding II, and you are able to enroll in any GE Quantitative Inquiry Course that lists "MATH 101" as a prerequisite

The Placement Tests

One last time, please make sure that you read and understand all of the instructions above before attempting to login into the Placement Test system.

To access the Placement Tests and their Practice Sets, use your Chapman username and password to log in to BLACKBOARD.

Once you are logged in, click on the Community link across the top.  Community is where you will find the Organizations you are enrolled in. You should see an Organization called Math Placement Testing 2018. Click on the organization to enter it.

In the Organization, you will see a list of links to each Placement Exam. Do not click on the links until you are ready to begin, as these exams (except for the Practice versions) have timers that begin as soon as you click, and will not be reset if you do not complete the exam in that time.

Note that there are practice versions available. These tests are provided to help prepare you for the formal versions of the placement exams, and your performance on these practice tests is not recorded in your student record.

When you are ready to progress to the formal Algebra or Calculus Readiness placement exams, click on the appropriate link in the Blackboard organization. You can only take these tests one time each, and neither test will be reset for you if you are unable to complete it once you have clicked on it. When you have finished with the formal Algebra or Calculus Readiness placement exams, the final screen will show your score. Please read above the information about the cut-off scores.

The Placement Exams sometimes qualify you to take higher math classes through our class registration system. However, it may take one or three business days for this qualification to be updated in your student account.

Only incoming students are eligible to take the Placement Exams, and may only do so prior to their first semester of classes. If you do not see the Math Placement Exams organization in the Community area of Blackboard and you meet the above qualification, please email placementexams@chapman.edu.

When you are ready to access the tests, log into BLACKBOARD.