» Mathematics Placement Tests



NOTE: Please read carefully all the information below, as it has been updated according to the Chapman University policy for the academic year 2017-2018. 

The purpose of the Mathematics Placement Tests is to make sure that incoming freshman 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 Precalculus Placement Test to waive MATH 104 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.

Mathematics Placement and Placement Testing are determined as follows:

Students who score:

  • 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

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.

Students who score:

  • 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

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 Precalculus Placement Test to determine if MATH 104 can be waived.

Students who score:

  • 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

are REQUIRED to take the Algebra Placement Test.  A HOLD will be placed on your record and you will not be able to register for classes until you have taken the appropriate Placement Test.

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.

Note:  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 Dr. Andrew Moshier, moshier@chapman.edu, Head of the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Computation.  If you believe you should be placed directly in a higher level Math/Computer Science course, please provide Dr. Moshier with a brief description of your mathematics background.

Links to the MATH PLACEMENT EXAMS (ALGEBRA AND PRECALCULUS) are below. New students will be able to access the exams beginning December 8, 2017. Be sure to review each of the areas below BEFORE taking the exam.


+ - Before taking the test

The Math Placement Tests are given online using the WeBWorK system. WeBWorK is an online system for delivering individualized mathematics problems over the web. For more on the WeBWorK Project, read the WeBWorK Home Page. It is mandatory that you click on the Orientation link before attempting any Practice or actual Placement Tests. You will have the opportunity to solve practice problems in WeBWorK to become familiar with this system before taking the actual Placement Test. For example, to type "the square root of 2" you would type "sqrt(2)" and so on.

You are encouraged to review the appropriate material (from your high school/college books and notes) at least a couple 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.
  • Pre-Calculus: 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.

You are strongly encouraged to solve the exercises in the "Practice Set" set before taking the test. The "Practice Set" is not timed and has unlimited number of tries for each problem. Become familiar with WeBWorK and how answers are to be typed. To access a Practice Set you must click on the following link, and login as follows: use your Chapman e-mail user name (e.g. smith100) and password. If that does not work, use your Chapman e-mail user name as your login name and the last 7 digits of your student ID number (e.g. 1234567) as your password.

At any time, if you have any WeBWorK related question or technical error please send an email to (or stop by in person and visit) Dr. Adrian Vajiac, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science and Mathematics, (avajiac@chapman.edu).

+ - Taking the test

There are 30 problems on each placement test (individualized versions). 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 3 hours since the moment you start it. Watch the time left on the upper right corner of the test page. If this automatic "Remaining time" gadget does not show up on your computer, please manage the time by yourself, using, for example, your computer's clock.

You must click on the "Grade Test" button ONLY AFTER you are sure you are done with the test, but before the 3 hours 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. You can click the "preview problems" button at any time during the test, to see that what you typed in is what you intended to type.

If your internet connection is lost, or any other possible computer errors or accidents happen, you might have to input again the answers to 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.

To take the test, please read all instructions first, and then click on the links at the bottom of this page.

+ - After you take the test

After you are finished and you have clicked on the "Grade Test" button, you will see your score and you will be able to see what answers were correct. You will not be given the correct answers. You may also click on the "Grades" button on the left of the test page. Your score will be inputted into my.chapman.edu. 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:

    • A score of 24 points or more fulfills the Mathematics Preparatory Skills requirement, and the student is able to enroll in any GE Quantitative Inquiry Course that lists "MATH 099" as a prerequisite

    • A score between 16 and 23 places you in MATH 099: Intermediate Algebra.

    • If you have a score less or equal than 15, you must take MATH 098: Elementary Algebra.

  • Precalculus Placement Test Cut Off Scores:

    • A score of 23 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. Once you start the test, you cannot stop and continue later on. If you are ready to spend the next 3 hours doing mathematics, click the appropriate link below.