Math Placement Test

The 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.

Testing procedures are different for students that have not started classes at OSU compared to current students. Please reference the section corresponding to your current status.

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.

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:

  • Math Placement B Test
    • Students with an ACT math score of 24 or lower (SAT math score of 580 or lower)
  • Math Placement D Test
    • Students with an ACT math score of 25 or higher (SAT math score of 590 of higher), take Test D.
  • Note: All domestic transfer students must start by taking the B test. All international students will take the D test.

Students that score high enough on B Test will automatically receive a computerized invitation to take D Test at orientation, which may result in a higher placement level.  If students have unreported ACT/SAT scores that qualify them for D Test please contact the Testing Center prior to taking the Math Placement Test by calling 614-292-2241.

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Math Placement Test - Students Before Starting Classes at OSU


Since students may only take the Math Placement Test once they should review the study materials.  Plan to test in a distraction-free environment that will be uninterrupted for 75 minutes.  Once students are ready to complete the test, they should:

  • Students need to login to the Math Placement Test using their assigned OSU username (lastname.#) and password.
  • Thoroughly read the instructions.  Note the following:
    • 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.  Please 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.
  • Upon completing the test, press "submit".  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 with disabilities should contact a disability counselor at the Ohio State Office for Disability Services at 614-292-3307 to make alternate arrangements for taking the math exam. This includes students with disabilities who may need extended time, as well as students who need a scribe, a reader or other support services. Documentation must be provided to determine eligibility before authorization can be given for accommodations. 

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Math Placement Test - Students After Starting Classes at OSU


Students currently taking classes at OSU who have not taken the Math Placement Test must take the test in person in order to begin taking math classes. Students must obtain a referral from the Math Advising Office in order to take the Math Placement Test.

  • Receiving a Math Placement Test Referral
  • When taking the Math Placement Test:
    • 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.
    • The test is multiple choice with only one correct answer per question.  Partial credit is not given.
  • Upon completing the test, press "submit".  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 with disabilities should contact a disability counselor at the Ohio State Office for Disability Services at 614-292-3307 to make alternate arrangements for taking the math exam. This includes students with disabilities who may need extended time, as well as students who need a scribe, a reader or other support services. Documentation must be provided to determine eligibility before authorization can be given for accommodations.

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Who is exempt from the Math Placement Test?


All entering students are required to take the Math Placement Test unless one of the follow is true:

  • Students received transfer credit for a specific Ohio State math course (for example, the class shows as Math 1148 on their transfer credit report)
    • Students receiving general or deferred math credit, G000.xx or D000.xx, must have this credit evaluated by a math advisor in order to be exempt from the Math Placement Test.
  • Students that have 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.
    •  
  • Students that have 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.

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