SMC logo Summer 2012 Mathematics Placement Exam Information SMC logo
Welcome Incoming SMC Students!

When are the Placement Exams?

We will be offering a number of testing dates in June and August:
Testing Dates for Summer 2012

Who takes the Placement Exam?

All students at Saint Mary’s College of California are required to take an appropriate mathematics or computer science class as part of their liberal arts experience. In order for you to be successful in your mathematics and science classes you need to be in a college level mathematics class for which you are prepared.

All incoming freshmen are required to take a mathematics placement exam. Transfer students should also take a placement exam if they have yet to complete their mathematics studies. This assists us in advising you and allows us to help you be successful in your mathematics studies. Using the results of your exam as well as your high school background and your SAT mathematics score, we will determine your mathematics placement depending on your plans for study.

Note: Students are strongly advised to review their mathematics for the placement exam, which may only be taken one time for the academic year 2012-2013. Students who do not demonstrate sufficient proficiency in mathematics may be required (depending on their planned course of study) to take a Mathematics Readiness course before beginning their college mathematics studies.

Which Placement Exam should I take?

There are two different mathematics placement exams.

One exam (the CALCULUS READINESS EXAM) is for students planning to pursue a Calculus class. The majors/programs which require students to complete at least Calculus I are: mathematics, mathematics with computer science concentration, physics, engineering, chemistry, environmental science, biology, pre-medical, health sciences, and B.S. in economics. Business Administration and B.A. economics majors are advised to take either Calculus I or Finite Mathematics, but those majors who might go on to graduate school should consider taking calculus.

The other exam (the ALGEBRA READINESS EXAM) is for students who will not be taking Calculus I.

Note: Students who took the Advanced Placement AB or BC Calculus Exam should take the Calculus Readiness Exam.

THE CALCULUS READINESS EXAM

The Calculus Readiness Exam is a 50-question multiple-choice exam. You will have 55 minutes to complete the exam. The exam covers Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, and Trigonometry (exponents, polynomials, rational expressions, linear equations and inequalities, functions, trigonometry, and geometry, etc.). If you wish to prepare for the Exam, there are several self-help books available such as Cliffs Quick Review - Algebra I, and Cliffs Quick Review - Geometry, or one of the SAT Prep books. Each of these books contains explanations and practice exercises that cover most of the topics on which you will be tested.

THE ALGEBRA READINESS EXAM

The Algebra Readiness Exam is a 45-question multiple-choice exam. You will have 45 minutes to complete the exam. The exam covers Algebra I and Geometry (exponents, polynomials, rational expressions, linear equations and inequalities, geometry, etc.). If you wish to prepare for the Exam, there are several self-help books available such as Cliffs Quick Review - Algebra I, and Cliffs Quick Review - Geometry, or one of the SAT Prep books. Each of these books contains explanations and practice exercises that cover most of the topics on which you will be tested.

Some Sample Questions: These questions should be done without the use of a calculator. The answers appear at the end of the set of questions.

What happens at the Exam?

On the day of the Placement Exam:
  • arrive in Galileo 201 no later than ten minutes before the start time.
  • bring pencils
  • bring a photo ID. Note that you will not be given the exam without a photo ID.
  • note that calculators are not allowed on the exam
If you have more questions about the Placement Exams, please contact:

Dr. Kathryn Porter
Director of Mathematics Placement
Professor of Mathematicst
kporter@stmarys-ca.edu

Note: Students with disabilities should register to take their Mathematics Placement Exam through Student Disability Services by calling the Coordinator of Student Disability Services at (925)-631-4164.



Last modified: December 2, 2010