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Mathematics & Statistics | Math Placement

Mathematics Placement Test

This is the homepage for the Mathematics Placement test. Please carefully read the answers to some important questions below.

NOTE: If you have not received an email from the Math Department prompting you to take the Placement test, you can still prepare for the test, but you won’t be able to access it at this time. You will be eligible to take the test after receiving the invitation to do so from the Math Department.

If you are a non-degree student (except Washington Mentorship Program students) please email math_placement@american.edu with your first name, last name, and personal seven-digit AU ID number (e.g., 4321567) to request instructions to take the test. Please specify you are a non-degree student.


When you are ready to take the test, follow the link at the bottom of this page.

  1. What is the University Mathematics Requirement? Do I have to take a mathematics or statistics class?

    All American University students are expected to demonstrate mathematical or statistical proficiency before completing 30 credits at AU. Most students do this by taking a course. Other ways to satisfy the University Mathematics Requirement include appropriate AP Calculus and Statistics scores, IB exam scores, or transfer credits for Calculus from another college. For details please see:

    http://www.american.edu/provost/undergrad/undergrad-rules-and-regulations.cfm#8.3

  2. Who has to take the mathematics placement test?

    All incoming students to American University, either transfers or freshmen, must take the mathematics placement test. Even if you have AP, IB, or transfer credit for a mathematics class from another university, you still must take the placement test. Any student who has not taken the mathematics placement test will not be eligible to register for classes.

  3. Will taking the placement test get me out of taking a mathematics or statistics class?

    No. This test simply places you in an appropriate class. Cheating on this test is an academic code violation and could lead to being placed into a class beyond your capabilities. Intentionally doing poorly on this test could lead to having to take additional mathematics classes.

  4. How does the online placement test work?

    The test is 32 multiple choice questions and you are allowed up to 45 minutes. You are allowed to use any calculator during the test. You must be the person who is taking the test. Once the test has started, you must finish it. You cannot stop and come back to it later. Do not sign in unless you are ready to take and complete the test. If you need additional time due to a learning or medical disability, please see the section below on accommodations.

  5. Can I use a calculator or computer program to help me?

    Any calculator which works with numbers or graphs is acceptable to use during the test. This includes four function calculators, scientific calculators, and graphing calculators, such as the TI-83. Calculators and computer programs which do symbolic manipulation (algebra) are not allowed.

  6. Is there a practice exam?

    Yes. We have a list of topics that are covered and some questions that can be asked. We don’t provide answers for the sample questions. They can be downloaded here:
    nw08.american.edu/~keynes/SampleMathPlacement.pdf

  7. What kind of computer can I use?

    This test is intended to be taken on a computer and not an ipad, an android tablet, or a smartphone. You should take the test on a computer which is operating normally and has a reliable high-speed internet connection. We will not grant extra time or attempts to retake the test due to difficulties with your computer or internet connection. Please see below if you computer or internet connection completely fails. Follow this link for a list of minimal system requirements for your computer and internet browser:
    http://www.maplesoft.com/products/system_requirements.aspx#mapleta

  8. I may need accommodations for a disability. What should I do?

    If you would like to request accommodations on the placement test, e.g., extended time, please complete the request form at

    www.american.edu/ocl/forms/Online-Math-Placement-Test-Accommodations-Form.cfm

    The online test can only be taken once so you will want to arrange for your accommodations before taking it. In order to approve accommodations, we will need to review your disability documentation in advance. Please forward your documentation as soon as possible to the Academic Support and Access Center by fax to 202-885-1042 or e-mail to asac@american.edu.

  9. What happens if my computer crashes, I lose internet connection, or there’s some other technical glitch?

    Before you take the test please make sure you have a reliable computer and internet access as it is best that you finish the test once you start it. However, if a technical difficulty occurs, contact Mr. Michele Mazzocchetti at math_placement@american.edu. In this case, we will set up a time during your orientation program on campus when you can take an alternative written version of the exam. If you have arranged for accommodations from the Academic Support and Access Center, please let Mr. Mazzocchetti know about that as well.

  10. Whom do I contact if I have additional questions?
    Please contact Mr. Mazzocchetti at 202-885-3124 or math_placement@american.edu in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics if there are additional questions about this test.

Please visit the following link at myau when ready to receive final instructions to take the test:

https://myau.american.edu/schools/CAS/mathstat/SitePages/Math%20Placement%20Instructions.aspx