Math Placement

photo of students in a computer lab

Every program/major at Wright State University requires some level of competence in college mathematics, and the requirement varies from major to major. Before taking your first math or statistics course at WSU, you need to know the math requirements for your major and which math or statistics course is the best for you to begin to fulfill these requirements. If you need assistance on understanding your program requirement, you should see an advisor from your college or check out the University Catalog.
 
The purpose of the Math Placement Policy is to help you determine the most appropriate place to start that will give you the best chance to reach your goal. This means that we want you in a class that you are ready for, but is not just a review of material that you already know well. Being placed in a right class will also help you in making a smooth transition from high school to college, and this is especially true in mathematics. In some cases, it may seem at first that you place into a course that looks like a course you took in high school; however, at the college level, this course is at a faster pace, with more emphasis on learning the concepts and processes than on just getting the right answers. Furthermore, unlike in high school where the teachers keep you on track in the classroom, in college you are expected to take up your own responsibility for keeping on track both in and out of the classroom. Being in the right class can definitely make your transition easier.
 
Your placement level is determined by your ACT/SAT math score or ALEX Placement Assessment score (from a test taken within two years), according to the following table:
 
MathPlacementLevel.jpg

* To find out which particular course you place in for your intended major, enter your valid ACT or SAT math score in the corresponding row in this spreadsheet

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: My ACT/SAT or ALEKS Assessment score puts me at the level I need for the class I want to take, do I need to take a placement test?

Answer: No. The WSU ALEKS Placement Assessment is only to increase your level, if you need it.

Question: I believe I should place higher than what my ACT/SAT score indicates, what can I do to improve my placement level?

Answer: You can take the WSU ALEKS Placement Assessment to improve your placement level. ALEKS is a great online tool for you to brush up and review the material, and the test is designed to assess your math background thoroughly to determine your proper placement level. You are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this available tool, either to improve your placement level or to simply prepare you better for your first college math course. See Math Placement Testing for more information about the ALEKS Placement Assessment.

Question: If I choose to take the ALEKS Placement Assessment but don’t do well, will the ALEKS result place me lower than what my ACT/SAT score puts me?

Answer: No, your placement level is the highest determined by either your ACT score, SAT score or ALEKS result, so taking the ALEKS Placement Assessment will only improve your level. Even if the ALEKS result doesn’t improve your placement level, you will gain a great review on the basic math skills by going through the remediation process provided by ALEKS, and you will definitely be better prepared for your first college math course.  

Question: I place at Level 20, but my major does not require MTH 1450 or MTH 1440, do I take MTH 1440?

Answer: No. You should take DEV 0970 instead. MTH 1440 or 1450 is required by many liberal arts programs, and it does not serve as prerequisite for any other MTH or STT course. Alternatively, you are strongly encouraged to sign up for the ALEKS Placement Assessment and use the online tool to review or re-learn the necessary math skills before school starts. If you do well enough to be assessed at a higher level, you can place into a college level math class that will lead to fulfilling your program requirements sooner. See math-placement-testing for more information about the ALEKS Placement Assessment.

Question: I place at Level 50 by my ACT/SAT score, but I did not study trigonometry or I am not comfortable with my knowledge of it. Should I enroll in Calculus I (MTH 2300) as required by my major?

Answer: Trigonometry is essential preparation for calculus, and for various fields such as engineering, physics, and mathematics itself. The further you go in these fields, the more trigonometry you will encounter. Without a good background in trigonometry, you will not be as successful in calculus and might not pass. You are strongly recommended to enroll in MTH 1350 (Trigonometry) first, or at the least you should take the ALEKS test to re-assess your preparation. Please consult with your program advisor.

Question: My ACT/SAT or ALEKS Placemetn Assessment score is more than two years old, can it be still used to determine my placement level?

Answer: No. Scores that are from test taken more than two years ago are not valid for placement purpose, and you place in DEV 0970. Alternatively, you are strongly encouraged to sign up for the ALEKS Placement Assessment and use the online tool to review or re-learn the necessary math skills before school starts. If you do well enough to be assessed at a higher level, you can place into a college level math class that will lead to fulfilling your program requirements sooner. See math placement testing for more information about the ALEKS Placement Assessment.

Question: My ACT/SAT score doesn’t place me at any level, or, I have never taken the ACT or SAT, which course should I start?

Answer: You should enroll in DEV 0970 first. Alternatively, you are strongly encouraged to sign up for the ALEKS Placement Assessment and use the online tool to review and re-learn the necessary math skills before school starts. If you do well enough to be assessed at a higher level, you can place into a college level math class that will lead to fulfilling your program requirements sooner. See math placement testing for more information about the ALEKS Placement Assessment.

Question: I took a math course for college credit elsewhere, do I still follow this policy to determine my placement level at WSU?

Answer: You can if you have a valid ACT/SAT math score or if you take the ALEKS Placement Assessment. However, you should check with your advisor to see which course at WSU it is equivalent to the course you have taken and how that affects your placement level or what your next math course should be. Make sure to provide your advisor a detailed description/syllabus of the course and to send an official transcript to WSU.

Question: I took the AP Calculus AB or BC exam, what level am I at?

Answer: If you scored a 3 or higher, you will receive credit for Calculus I or II or both (see AP Credit/Credit by Examination), and you can continue onto the next required math course. Make sure to consult with your advisor and to have your scores sent to WSU officially. But if your score is lower than 3, you should either use a valid ACT/SAT score or take the ALEKS Placement Assessment to determine your placement level.