Mathematics Placement Information

To ensure that new students admitted for the upcoming term are placed in the appropriate mathematics course, Towson University requires students to take up to two placement tests as soon as possible after returning their enrollment contracts.  For first-time students (not transfer students), the Academic Advising Center will use the student's placement test score(s) and major interest to build his/her first semester schedule.  A delay in taking the placement test(s) will delay the student's registration. Students cannot use these tests to get credit or a waiver for any course.  The mathematics placement test results will not affect the status of a student’s admission to Towson University.

Do I Have to Take the Test?

Students with college level mathematics course credit (AP or transfer coursework) may be exempt from taking the mathematics placement test:

  • If a chosen major has no specific mathematics requirement and the AP/transferred college level mathematics coursework satisfies Core 3 of Towson University's Core Curriculum, the student is exempt from taking the placement test.
  • If transferred coursework either satisfies the specific mathematics course required of the major, or it satisfies the prerequisite course for mathematics requirements, the student is exempt from the placement test.
  • Otherwise, the student must take the test.
  • Even if exempt from the placement test, the student may choose to take the test for their own advisement and at no risk.

Go to the Frequently Asked Questions page for many other questions and answers.

What Is on the Tests?

The first test—a basic algebra test—takes 30 minutes to complete and covers Algebra I, some Algebra II, and some other mathematics material.

Students who score high enough on the first test are eligible to take a second test—a calculus readiness test. That test also takes 30 minutes to complete and assesses a student’s knowledge of Pre-calculus material.

Steps for Taking the Tests

  1. Prepare by reviewing Algebra I and Algebra II topics.
  2. Check the computer you are using to make sure that you have the supported browser configuration. (Note: the latest versions of Mozilla Firefox avoid problems that are plaguing Internet Explorer.)
  3. Make sure you read the Frequently Asked Questions.
  4. Go to the Mathematics Placement Test Website. Steps 5-8 below are for the first time you enter the system. If you get to Step 9 the first time, that’s where you’ll start in subsequent logins.
  5. Log in using your Towson University NetID as your user login and the password you have chosen for you campus e-mail as your password.
  6. You should see a message that you are not enrolled in any classes. Click where it says “Enroll in a class.”
  7. The next screen should list Available classes, classes with open registration. Click on the checkbox next to TU Mathematics Placement Exam and click on Register.
  8. Click on Confirm.
  9. Click on TU Mathematics Placement Exam.
  10. You will see 5 items listed under Assignments. You must first complete Important Information to get Started.
  11. When you are sent back to the Assignments page, complete the practice test for the Basic Algebra Test. 
  12. After you have taken the practice test at least one time, you may access the “TU Basic Algebra Test.”
  13. Take the mathematics placement exam.
  14. Print and review your results. Do not send your results to Towson University—your score(s) will be transmitted automatically. Check the table under Placement Scores below to see how your score determines course placement.

Information Regarding Procedures

  • Students must complete a practice test prior to taking the placement test. The practice test can be taken multiple times before each of the two official attempts.
  • You have two chances to take the actual placement test—you must wait at least a day to retake it. It is advised that you take more time to do further studying.
  • Once you start a test you must finish it in the given time period.
  • You may use a four-function calculator (graphing calculators are not permitted).
  • You may not have someone take the test for you and you may not take the test for someone else.
  • If you want to request a testing accommodation due to a disability, you will need to contact Disability Support Services (DSS) at 410-704-2638. You will need to present documentation supporting your request. Please allow four weeks for your request to be evaluated.
  • If you have an error on your test page, that is not Java related, try closing the test and immediately opening it back up to refresh.

Academic Integrity

Dishonesty while taking this exam, as well as failure to follow all instructions, may result in students being placed in courses in which they are unlikely to succeed. Additionally, dishonesty is a violation of the Towson University Student Academic Integrity Policy (PDF).

Placement Scores and Courses to Take

Which mathematics course you should enroll in depends upon your chosen major and your placement test score.  If your placement test score does not qualify you for the course you need, you must enroll in the prerequisite for that course.

If you are entering Towson as a first-time, freshman student, your initial enrollment in a MATH course will be executed by the Academic Advising Center once you have completed and submitted your Academic Interest Form and taken your placement test(s).

Beginning in the Fall 2016 term, the Department of Mathematics will offer MATH 100 – Foundations of Mathematical Reasoning – which will serve as a prerequisite for the following courses: MATH 105, MATH 111, MATH 204, MATH 231 and MATH 237.

DVMT 101 and/or MATH 102 will continue to serve as the prerequisite(s) for MATH 115 and MATH 119.

Your scores on the Basic Algebra Test and on the Calculus Readiness Test determine your eligibility to register for various mathematics courses based on the following tables.

Basic Algebra Test

Your Score Qualifies You For
0 – 7 DVMT 101 or MATH 100.
– 9 MATH 100 or MATH 102.
10 – 11 MATH 100, MATH 102, MATH 105 or MATH 109.
12 – 13 MATH 100, MATH 102, MATH 105 or MATH 109.

If you plan to major in education other than the middle/secondary program, you may register for MATH 204.
14 – 19 MATH 102, MATH 105, MATH 111, MATH 115, MATH 231 or MATH 237.

If you plan to major in education other than the middle/secondary program, you may register for MATH 204.
20 – 25 MATH 105, MATH 111, MATH 115, MATH 119, MATH 231 or MATH 237.

If you plan to major in education other than the middle/secondary program, you may register for MATH 204.

If your Basic Algebra placement score is 17 or above, and you are interested in taking a calculus course—either MATH 211 or MATH 273, then you must take the Calculus Readiness Test (see below).

Calculus Readiness Test

Your Score Qualifies You For
0 – 10 MATH 115, if your major requires MATH 211;
MATH 119, if your major requires MATH 273 and your BAT score was 20 or higher;
MATH 102, if your major requires MATH 273 and your BAT score was lower than 20.

11 – 14 MATH 211;
MATH 119, if your major requires MATH 273 and your BAT score was 20 or higher;
MATH 102, if your major requires MATH 273 and your BAT score was lower than 20.
15 – 25 MATH 211 or MATH 273.
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