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  Math Placement-- Frequently Asked Questions



Who takes the placement exam?
  • Based on SAT scores and majors, some students will take the placement exam at summer orientation; others will be placed directly into the MATH020-090 sequence.
  • Students who are transferring their majors from Liberal Arts to the Sciences would need to take the test to see if they are ready for Pre-calculus or Calculus.

Who can I contact to answer my questions?


What is Math Placement?

          Every student must take a math course.  Math placement is based on: a student's major and on the score on the Accuplacer test and/or SAT/ACT.   A high enough score will place students into their required course.  Lower scores will place students into the remedial sequence MATH020/090.  Examples of required courses are:

  • Mathematics and Physics majors take MATH211 (Calculus).

  • Most other science majors take MATH105 (College Algebra) and MATH106 (Trigonometry), before possibly continuing to MATH211 (Calculus).  Some freshmen who score very well on the placement tests, take the accelerated MATH107 (Precalculus) instead of 105/106.

  • Most education majors (especially El Ed) take MATH110 (Math Reasoning)

  • Nursing majors take MATH260 (Elements of Statistics).

  • Business Administration students take MATH150 (Applied Mathematics for Business).

  • Most other students, and all General Studies students, take MATH104 (Finite Mathematics) (Students should consult their advisors.)

What changes have been made to remediation?

    Letter explaining the improvements we made to remediation in 2014



When are placements tests given?

  • Summer orientations-- group testing times are scheduled in the mornings, in Library lab 114
  • Individual tests:

                 Main campus -- 2nd floor of the library  -- contact Fai Howard at success@edinboro.edu

                  Porreco campus -- Janet Bowker (bowker@edinboro.edu) or Bruce Skolnick (skolnick@edinboro.edu).

When should I take my required math course?

        Every student will need to take at least one math course. Please follow the timetable below:

  • Take the Math Placement  exam at Freshmen Orientation in June or July.  
  • Sign up for math your first semester -- especially if you place in a developmental course. 
  • If you place in MATH020, then take MATH020 your first semester, then MATH090, and then your required math your third semester. (Please note that the MATH020 /MATH090 sequence is flexibly-paced. Finishing it can take anywhere from one to three semesters, depending on your need).



Where is the test given? Can I take it at home?

  • The test is proctored and must be taken at one of our campuses (main campus in Edinboro or Erie)

  • It is given in the Library lab 114 during summer orientation, or contact Fai Howard's office for an individual appointment (email success@edinboro.edu or call 814-732-2218) at the Academic Success Center

  • No, as it must be proctored, the test can not be taken at home, only on campus.


Can I study for the placement exam?




Can I make-up the exam if I didn't take it at orientation? If so, when?

Can I retake the test if I don't like my placement?

  •   Students generally take the test only once. So please take it seriously.  It will determine if you are required to take extra math courses.

  •   If you can prove that the test doesn't accurately reflect your abilities (for example, by providing a transcript that shows excellent mastery of algebra), then you may be allowed a second try.  Email success@edinboro.edu or call the Academic Success Center 814-732-2218. (Please bring your transcript with you as we do not have them on file in our department.)

  •   BEFORE YOU BEGIN CLASSES HERE: If you want to appeal and retest, you can do this once -- provided you show us transcripts of past math success that indicate you should be placed higher. 

  •   ONCE YOU'VE BEGUN MATH020-090 AT EDINBORO:  It is now too late to retest.  The  MATH020-090 sequence is self paced, and you can finish the course as quickly as you can show mastery for each unit.

  •   ONCE YOU'VE BEGUN MATH104:  If you placed into a freshmen class, such as MATH104, and wish to change your major to Science, you will want to retake the test to see if you can place into Precalculus or Calculus.  For an individual retest, email success@edinboro.edu or call the Academic Success Center 814-732-2218.

  •   We don't allow third attempts on the placement exam, and we do not override the results of the placement exam.




How do I know my placement?

  •  Placement is made at the end of the test.  You will get a printout.  Please keep this and/or record the result for future reference.

  •  If you get a “prereq” error when trying to schedule, you were not placed to take this class. You were probably placed for  MATH020 (Remedial Algebra I). For further information on your placement, call the Math Department or Academic Success Center 814-732-2218.

If my major calls for MATH104, Finite Mathematics, but I wish to take a harder class, can I do so?

  • Your score and your major may automatically place you for MATH104.  However, with the permission of your advisor and of the Placement Director Dr Sylvester (msylvester@edinboro.edu) , you may be allowed to schedule for a more advanced course.

Can I test out of MATH104?

  • As with any college course, you may pass a course by exam.  Forms and procedures are available at Records and Registration or in the Mathematics Department.

Is algebra required for MATH104?

  • Yes, algebra is required for most of the topics in Finite.  Students are expected to be proficient with formulas and deductive reasoning at the beginning of the course.

  • Based on placement testing, some students who have never mastered high school algebra (or who do not remember it) will be required to take either the self-paced remedial algebra sequence ( MATH020 /MATH090) in order to prepare for their first college math course (usually MATH104, 105, 107, 110, or 150).  

Where can I find a tutor?

  •  We have free tutoring about 20 hours a week every semester, staffed by our majors.  Tutoring is held in the Library Lab 114 and in Ross 128 and Ross 130 (Math Resource Center).  The schedule is listed on the door, and it always includes many afternoon and evening hours.



Last updated
  • Mar. 24,  2015