UW System Placement Test

All new freshmen who are admitted to a UW System school are required to take placement tests in English and mathematics, and an optional foreign language. The results of these tests play a significant role in determining the number of English and mathematics courses you will be required to complete. If you score low on either of these placement tests, you may be required to successfully complete non-credit, remedial courses in English or mathematics, such as Communication Skills, Mathematical Problem Solving, or Intermediate Algebra, before you are allowed to register for credit-level English and mathematics courses. Therefore, it is very important that you actively prepare for the placement tests.

The contents of the placement tests include English, mathematics and foreign language. It is recommended that you review the contents of the mathematics placement test for background information about the mathematics placement test, a blueprint for the test, and sample problems for each section of the test. You can also review additional information about the high school preparation that is necessary for college-level mathematics.

Below are some things to keep in mind while preparing for the mathematics placement test:

  1. Review the test format and sample questions under the "contents of the mathematics placement test" link above.
  2. Review your Elementary Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry skills before the test.
  3. You are only allowed a scientific calculator during the test. You should be able to do algebra and trigonometry problems without the aid of a graphing calculator.
  4. If you are a high school student, you should take a mathematics class that includes some algebra, in your senior year of high school, regardless of your intended major.
  5. The placement test measures your current mathematical knowledge. Having taken a class is not the same as knowing the material now. You should review past mathematical concepts that were covered in freshman or sophomore year of high school as a refresher.