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Math Placement

All students, regardless of major, are required to complete at least one math course for the Area A math requirement by the time they earn 30 semester hours (or sophomore standing). Your readiness for specific college-level math coursework is determined by your SAT or ACT math score and your high school grade point average in college preparatory curriculum (CPC) courses. The readiness score helps to ensure that you are appropriately prepared for the math course in which you enroll. If your readiness scores place you at different levels, your placement will default to the highest level at which you scored. The scores are calculated as follows:

SAT Math Readiness Score = SATM score + (200 X high school GPA in college preparatory courses)

ACT Math Readiness Score = ACTM score + (9 X high school GPA in college preparatory courses)

If you change your major, you may have to take additional math requirements depending on the new major you select. You should contact your academic advisor for more details.

Math Placement Exam

You may wish to take the Math Placement exam if one or more of the following conditions apply:

· your math readiness score indicates that you are not eligible to take the math course required by your major;

· you do not feel that the score you earned on the mathematics portion of the SAT or ACT is indicative of your true

mathematical ability; or

· you wish to enroll in MATH 1131: Calculus with Analytic Geometry 1.

Should you choose to take the Math Placement test, it is highly recommended that you utilize the links below to prepare for the test and that you arrange a time to take the test prior to your scheduled Orientation date.

· http://www.act.org/compass/sample/math.html

· fye.columbusstate.edu (click on link to “Preparation for Compass Skills” or “Math Placement Testing”)


The Math Placement test is administered by appointment at the CSU Testing Center. Appointments are scheduled by phone at 706-507-8020. A government-issued photo ID with signature (such as a valid driver's license) is required. There is a $25 fee for the test beginning July 1, 2013.

If you have taken an Advanced Placement (AP) test and have earned credit for a mathematics course, you should have an official score report sent from College Board directly to the CSU Office of the Registrar. Upon receipt of the official transcript, your score(s) will be evaluated and, if appropriate, credit awarded. The AP exams that would apply to the Area A requirement are listed below.

AP Test Score Earned CSU Credit Awarded CSU Credit Hours
Calculus AB 3, 4, or 5 MATH 1131 4
Calculus BC 3, 4, or 5 MATH 1131 and MATH 1132 8

The staff of the Academic Center for Excellence will be happy to answer any questions you have about your math requirement and can be contacted at 706-507-8780. We are delighted to have you at CSU and wish you a successful and rewarding academic experience.

Frequently asked questions about the Math Placement Exam

Q: Do I have to pay for the test?
A: Beginning July 1, 2013, there will be a $25 fee for the test.

Q: What is the test like?
A: It is multiple-choice and taken on a computer. There is no time limit, but you cannot return to a question after you have answered it. The test begins asking algebra questions and adjusts subsequent questions according to the correctness of your responses. If you do well enough in algebra, it will start asking college algebra questions. If you also do well enough on college algebra, it will ask you some trigonometry questions.

Q: May I use a calculator during the math placement test?
A: Yes. You may bring your own calculator if it satisfies COMPASS calculator guidelines. You also may use the Windows calculator on the computer.

Q: What will be covered on the test?
A: The test is adaptive, so what you eventually see will depend on the correctness of your responses as you go along. Students who respond correctly to questions on algebra will see problems from college algebra; students who do well enough with college algebra will see problems from trigonometry. Sample questions can be found at http://www.act.org/compass/sample/ under the links for Algebra, College Algebra, and Trigonometry.

Q: Should I study for the test?
A: We do recommend your preparing for the test, especially if it has been a while since you took a math course (more than a year or two). It's in your best interest to study to insure that your placement scores represent your true capability. Look at the sample questions on the web at http://www.act.org/compass/sample/ to get an idea what to study or pick up a study guide, such as Chart Your Success on the COMPASS Test by Nanette Commander, Walter Cotter, and Carol Callahan (Contemporary Publishing Company, ISBN 0-89892-302-6).

Q: How long will it take to complete the test?
A: The test is un-timed, but most students finish in 45 minutes or less.

Q: How soon will I get my results?
A: Immediately

Q: Whom do I call to schedule the test?
A: The CSU Testing Center can be reached by telephone at 706-507-8020.

Q: Will the placement test score become a part of my academic transcript?
A: No.