Following are Frequently Asked Questions about the University
of Michigan Mathematics Placement Testing.
Questions:
Questions with Answers:
- What is the most common
error when taking the test?
Clicking "Grade" at the end of the first page. Only click the
"Grade Test" button when you've gotten to the last page of the
test! Grading the test grades all pages at once, so
you want to do that only once you're all the way through the test.
- Why do I need to take a placement
test?
Your placement test score is used to determine the mathematics
course in which you will be most successful. Therefore, by
taking the test you are ensuring that you will enroll in a
mathematics course which matches your background. To determine
your placement, your placement test score is combined with your
admissions data (e.g., SAT Math, high school GPA) to generate an
overall math placement recommendation.
- Will I get my placement
as soon as I finish the on-line test?
You will immediately get confirmation that you have successfully
completed the test, but you will not see your actual placement
recommendation. This is because your overall placement is
generated by looking at more than just your result on the
placement test. Your registration advisor will have your
mathematics course placement recommendation, and you will be
able to discuss it with your advisor and a mathematics advisor
before registering.
- What math is tested on the placement
test?
The placement test consists of questions about basic algebra and
precalculus skills, and determines placement between our course
before calculus and calculus (or beyond).
- Who must take the placement
test?
All newly admitted students to the University must take
the mathematics placement test, including students with
transfer credit for a college mathematics course and students who have
completed an AP calculus course.
- Why do I have to take
the test if I have taken calculus (even AP calculus) or have
transfer college credit for a math course?
The placement test is still important. It gives a benchmark score that
your advisor will use when evaluating your previous experience
and recommended placement.
- What if I'm a transfer
student and was previously enrolled at another college or
university? Do I still have to take the placement test?
Whether you have to take the placement test will depend on the
college or school you're transferring from, and what mathematics
course or courses you took there. Most transfer
students are required to take the placement test.
- What information do I need to take
the test?
You need your University of Michigan uniqname and
Kerberos password. See the next
question for where to find these.
- How do I get my
uniqname and Kerberos password?
You should have received your uniqname and one-time identifier after you
paid your enrollment deposit. With your one-time identifier you
can set your Kerberos password. If you need help with your uniqname
or password, go to
<https://its.umich.edu/accounts-access/getting-access/uniqnames-accounts/students>
and follow the instructions to create a uniqname and Kerberos
password before proceeding with the mathematics placement exam.
- What do I do if I
can't log in to the placement test?
Contact the Office of New Student Programs (734-764-6413, or
<onsp(at)umich(dot)edu
>) to make sure that
your uniqname is properly set up, and that you're entered in the
placement testing roster.
- What equipment do I need to take the
test?
You need some clean scratch paper to work on and a pencil or
pen. In particular, note that calculators are not
permitted on the mathematics placement test. You may
not use other resources (e.g., books or the Internet).
- What if I use a calculator or some other
resource (say, Wolfram|Alpha)?
This is a bad idea. The test is constructed so that
someone who spends time looking up answers or working with their
calculator won't do as well as someone who knows the material.
In addition, placing into a course for which you are not
prepared will only hurt you—and your GPA.
- Why can't I use a
calculator on the test?
The placement test is designed to measure your facility with
basic mathematical skills that are needed for different
math courses the department offers. Because of this, using a
calculator will generally not help you: you'll score
better by knowing the material and working it all out by hand.
- Do I need to study for the
test?
Generally speaking, no. If it's been a year since you've had
math you will probably be better off reviewing, but if you have
just completed a math course this shouldn't be necessary. See
also the question about what math is
included on the placement test.
- What is the time limit on the
test?
You must complete the test in fifty minutes or less.
- What if something goes wrong while I'm
taking the test?
In general this won't happen. If your browser crashes or you
have a similar problem, immediately go to take the
test again: it will let you resume where you left off. If a
technical problem prevents you from completing the placement
test, see below.
- Can I retake the test if something
goes wrong, or if I don't do well on the test?
If you are unable to complete enough of the test to generate a
meaningful placement because of a system error such as losing
your Internet connection, contact the Office of New Student
Programs at <onsp@umich.edu
> or 734-764-6413.
They will be able to advise you as to whether you can retake the
test or if it is possible to generate a placement from your test
given the information available in your application materials. Note,
however, that the test cannot be retaken multiple times just to get a
better placement. If you aren't sure if your placement is
correct, talk with a math advisor when you are registering for
courses.
- Whom do I contact with questions
about transfer credit or registration?
For this and similar questions, contact
the Office of Undergraduate
Admissions, 734-764-7433.
- What's the web address of the
test?
See the instructions page.