Math Placement Test

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ATTENTION! If you have been admitted for the Spring 2022 term, the test is now available. Please find the link to your test directly through Buckeyelink. If the placement test is on your to-do list, you must complete the online test before orientation. If an academic advisor in your program has stated that you no longer require the test, please ignore the prompt and it will automatically fall off your to-do list when the semester begins. No further contact with math advising is necessary to remove the prompt.

The online Math Placement Test is an important tool that determines a student's beginning placement level in math and science courses. No course credit is given for the test, but it can fulfill the basic math skills requirement for the General Education requirements. During the orientation academic advising session, advisors use the placement level to determine which mathematics course sequence students should begin during their first semester at Ohio State. Placement tests from other institutions are not used in lieu of the OSU math placement test.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please read carefully - the answer to your questions may be found here.

I lost the link to the test. Can I request the link?

When you are ready to take the test, log in with your Ohio State Username and password here.

I scored a U. What does that mean and how do I retest? 

This means that the scoring algorithm did not have enough consistent information to assess your placement level. When you are ready to take the second test, log in with your Ohio State Username and password here. The second test will result in a placement level.

Can the testing prompt be removed from my to-do list?

No. Do not contact math advising because we do not control the Buckeyelink prompts. If an academic advisor in your program has determined that you no longer need the test, the prompt will remain until it automatically falls off when the semester begins.

Can I retake the math placement test?

The Math Placement Test is a one-time test with scores valid for 5 years. Requests to retake the test are likely to be denied. Lack of preparation for the test is not cause for retaking the test.  Please thoroughly review for the test and take the test in a quiet space with good internet connection. If you are past 5 years from the last attempted test, please email mathadvisors@math.osu.edu for a reset.

Which Math Placement Test?

There are two versions of the 75-minute web-based test: B Test (arithmetic, algebra, and geometry) and the D Test (pre-calculus). When students log in to the placement test, the computer will automatically select the correct test for students based upon their highest qualifying ACT/SAT score, or the B Test by default if you did not submit a standardized test score. If you are an incoming freshman or transfer student, your math placement test level has already been set in the database through the Office of Admissions. Please take the test you have been assigned.

PLEASE NOTE: Students who score high enough on the B Test will automatically receive a message at the end of the test to take the Math D Test which may result in a higher placement level. Please follow all instructions about additional testing after you complete the test as you will not receive any more communication about continuing. If you do not receive a prompt to keep testing, you have not qualified for the D Test.  Your testing is concluded. 

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Math Placement B Test

  • New domestic freshmen with an ACT math score of 24 or lower or SAT math score of 580 or lower
  • New domestic freshmen who did not submit ACT/SAT scores to the university for admission
  • All domestic transfer students
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Math Placement D Test

  • New domestic freshmen with an ACT math score of 25 or higher officially reported to the university
  • New domestic freshmen with an SAT math score of 590 or higher officially reported to the university
  • All new international students

Self-report of standardized test scores are insufficient to qualify for the D Test. High school grades are not considered for placement in the D Test.

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Do I have to take the Math Placement Test?

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YES. All incoming College of Engineering first-year and transfer students are not exempt and are required to complete Ohio State’s Math Placement Test, regardless of prior math, no exceptions. We ask that engineering students complete the Math Placement Test at least one week in advance of their orientation program.

PLEASE NOTE: No further email with math advising is necessary, as this is a requirement of the College of Engineering, not the Department of Mathematics.

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All other non-Engineering entering students are required to take the Math Placement Test unless one of the following is true: 

Please note: if you recently took an AP/IB Exam, you must take the math placement test before your orientation as AP/IB scores will not yet be reported.

  1. Any student who has already received AP Calculus test score prior to their orientation session and received a 3, 4, or 5 on the AB or BC exam. Official results must be sent to Ohio State.
  2. Any student who has received IB scores prior to their orientation session and received a 4 or higher on the higher level math exam. Official results must be sent to Ohio State.
  3. Transfer students who have received transfer credit for a specific Ohio State math course (for example, the class shows as Math 1148 on their transfer credit report). Please note that statistics courses do not exempt the student from the math placement test.
    • Students receiving general math credit, G000.xx, must have this credit evaluated by a math advisor in order to be exempt from the Math Placement Test. After Summer 2020, we will no longer evaluate deferred credit.

****If you are not in engineering and clearly fall into one of the categories of 1, 2 or 3 above, simply ignore the testing prompt. The item will fall off your to-do list in Buckeyelink when the semester begins. Math advisors have no ability to remove the prompt.  No further confirmation from math advising is necessary.****

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How to take the Math Placement Test?

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Before Starting Classes at Ohio State

Students eligible to take the Math Placement Test and have not started classes at Ohio State can complete the assessment online as soon as possible. Plan to test in a distraction-free environment that will be uninterrupted for 75 minutes. 

Students need to login to the Math Placement Test using their assigned Ohio State username (lastname.#) and password.

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After Starting Classes at Ohio State

Due to COVID-19, all placement testing is online. Students must obtain a referral from the Math Advising Office in order to take the Math Placement Test. When in-person testing returns, students currently taking classes at Ohio State who have not taken the Math Placement Test must take the test in person in order to begin taking math classes.

Students may email the Math Advising Office to obtain the testing referral.

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Interpreting Placement Score

Make certain to note the placement level code (L, M, N, R, S, T, or U) awarded at the end of the exam. To interpret placement test results and determine the best course of enrollment, please review the outline of Math Placement Test scores and their corresponding math course options.

Students who feel that their performance on the Mathematics Placement Test does not accurately reflect their mathematical skills, and those students who wish to qualify for more advanced courses, have an opportunity to take a Math Proficiency Exam.

Disability Accommodations

If you would like to request placement exam accommodations, you will need to submit an application and documentation to Student Life Disability Services (SLDS) prior to taking the exam. You can use this link to complete your application: New Student Application. Please allow 2-3 business days for processing. Typical accommodations may include extended time, alternative formats, and Reader/scribe. If you are interested in utilizing academic accommodations as an Ohio State student, you will need to complete the registration process. Please contact Michelle Salomone (salomone.6@osu.edu), for more information.

Testing Format

Students may use scratch paper, a pencil, and a scientific graphing calculator. Calculators with computer symbolic algebra or QWERTY keyboards, such as the TI-89 or TI-92, are not permitted.

The test has a time limit of 75 minutes. The time remaining will be updated after each question. For online test takers, note that time continues to run even if students close the browser window, log off their computer, or experience computer problems.

The test is multiple choice with only one correct answer per question. Partial credit is not given. Prior to testing, students can familiarize themselves with the types of problems on the test.