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Mathematics & Statistics | Math Placement

Mathematics Placement Test

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


When you are ready to take the test, please 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?
  2. Who has to take the mathematics placement test?
  3. Will taking the placement test get me out of taking a mathematics or statistics class?
  4. I am a non-degree student, who wants to take a single math or stat class, what should I do?
  5. How does the online placement test work?
  6. Is there a practice exam?
  7. What kind of computer can I use?
  8. How and when will I receive my score?
  9. I may need accommodations for a disability. What should I do?
  10. What happens if my computer crashes, I lose internet connection, or there’s some other technical glitch?
  11. What happens if I score poorly on the placement test?
  12. Whom do I contact if I have additional questions?

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

2) All incoming students to American University, either transfers or freshmen, must take the mathematics placement test, including special programs students (Washington Mentorship Program, UM in DC, International Gateway Program etc.) and non-degree students who want to take a math or stat class. 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) 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) If you intend to take a single math or stat class as a non-degree seeking student, please visit: http://www.american.edu/aucentral/nondegree.cfm

5) The test is 32 multiple choice questions and you are allowed up to 45 minutes. 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. 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. Make sure you click on GRADE when you finish answering all the questions and you are ready to submit your test. If you need additional time due to learning or medical disability, please see question 9 on accommodations.

6) 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. Download the Math Placement Test Sample

7) 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 unrestricted high-speed internet connection and up-to-date browser. Try to avoid computers at your school or in public places, since usually they have restrictions to access external websites and you may not be able to access the test from there. We will not grant extra time or attempts to retake the test due to difficulties with your computer or internet connection. Please see question 10 if your computer or internet connection completely fails. Follow this link for a list of minimal system requirements for your computer and internet browser: www.maplesoft.com/products/system_requirements.aspx#mapleta

8) You will receive your score via email on your AU email account in the next 24 hours after you take the test. Students who take the test during weekends receive their score on the following Monday.

9) If you would like to request accommodations on the placement test, please complete the following request form:


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.

10) Before you take the test please make sure you have a reliable computer and internet access, as it is mandatory that you finish the test once you start it. If a technical difficulty occurs, contact Mr. Michele Mazzocchetti at math_placement@american.edu. In this case, we offer an alternative written version of the exam during Eagle Summit which a portion of will be reserved to retakes. Alternatively, if you will not attend Eagle Summit, you can still retake the test during the first week of class. You are allowed to retake the test only if you experienced technical issues we can verify on our end. To avoid delay in registration, you are also allowed to register for classes except for math or stat classes, please contact your academic adviser for further assistance. If you have arranged for accommodations from the Academic Support and Access Center, please let Mr. Mazzocchetti know about that as well.

11) If you receive a score of 11 or below you will be placed in MATH-022 Basic Algebra, a not for credit course that does not fulfill the math requirement, but it is the prerequisite for classes that will fulfill the math requirement. However, you are allowed to request to retake the exam on paper to try to improve your score. You can retake the test during Eagle Summit (see question 10) or when you will be on campus. If you choose to retake the exam you must do so before the add/drop deadline for the current semester. Note that retaking the paper version of the test may delay your registration. Students who fail to retake the test before the add/drop deadline must register for MATH-022 Basic Algebra.

12) Please contact Mr. Mazzocchetti at 202-885-3124 or math_placement@american.edu in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics if you have 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