» Mathematics Placement Tests

New incoming students: Please read all of the below, including information on SAT/ACT scores, before beginning any Math Placement exam. 

The information below has been updated according to the Chapman University policy for the academic year 2019-2020.

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 required Mathematics Preparatory Skills requirement as outlined in the Course Catalog. 

We offer two online tests:

  • The Algebra Placement Test to place into MATH 098: Elementary Algebra, MATH 099: Intermediate Algebra, or directly into a GE Quantitative Inquiry course with MATH 099 as a prerequisite, and
  • The Calculus Readiness exam (formerly known as Precalculus Placement Test) to waive MATH 104: Precalculus for some Mathematics and Computer Science courses.

Our Math/Computer Science advisors will consider your previous mathematics courses in helping you choose the right course.

If you have already attended but did not pass an Elementary Algebra or Intermediate Algebra (MATH 098 or 099) or a Pre-Calculus (MATH 104) 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:

Students who score the following meet the Mathematics Preparatory Skills requirement (no Algebra Placement Exam required) and may enroll directly in any GE Quantitative Inquiry Math or Computer Science course that lists "MATH 099 or equivalent" or "MATH 104 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

Students who score the following meet the Mathematics Preparatory Skills requirement (no Algebra Placement Exam required) and may enroll in any GE Quantitative Inquiry course that lists "MATH 099 or equivalent" as a prerequisite. Students within this score range who wish to take any Mathematics or Computer Science course with MATH 104 Precalculus as a prerequisite are encouraged to take the Calculus Readiness Exam (Precalculus Placement Test) to determine if MATH 104 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
  • who score at least 23 on the Mathematics portion of the ACT

Students who score the following are required to take the Algebra Placement 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 on the Placement Test places them into MATH 098 or MATH 099 are required to enroll in the corresponding 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 MATH098/099. 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 Placement Exam 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 Placement Exam.

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 Math/Computer Science 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 call the Academic Advising Center at (714) 744-7959.

  • Algebra Placement Test Cut Off Scores:

o A score of 21 points or more fulfills the Mathematics Preparatory Skills requirement, and you are able to enroll in any GE Quantitative Inquiry Course that lists "MATH 099" as a prerequisite

o A score between 12 and 20 places you in MATH 099: Intermediate Algebra.

o If you have a score less or equal than 11, you must take MATH 098: Elementary Algebra.

  • Calculus Readiness Placement Test Cut Off Scores:

o A score of 21 points or more waives MATH 104: Precalculus.

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.