Frequently Asked Questions


Q&A: Mathematics Placement Testing

Q: Why do I have to take the placement test? I know some people who don’t have to take it.
A: To ensure that new students are placed in the appropriate mathematics course, it is mandatory for all students to take up to two mathematics placement tests, unless they are exempt by transferring in a college-level credit mathematics coursework that satisfies both Core 3 and if necessary, any additional prerequisites for mathematics courses required by the student’s major at Towson.
Q: I think I’m exempt, but it still says I need to take the placement test. What’s wrong?
A: Until your transfer credit has been evaluated, or relevant AP/IB credit has been awarded, the to-do items on your online student account will include the placement test, and you may receive reminders to take it.  Whether or not the Math Placement Test appears in your “to-do” list, you can register for courses. However, if you are trying to register for a Mathematics course that expects a specific prerequisite course or minimum score on the placement test, you would be blocked from that course until your record shows that you satisfied one of those course-entrance requirements.

NOTE: If you are waiting for transcripts or AP/IB credit, you should take the placement test anyway to start your registration process. If the transfer credits or AP/IB scores allow you a higher placement than you get from the test, your file will be adjusted, allowing you to register in a higher course.
Q: Based on what I transferred in, I don’t need to take the placement test to get into the next mathematics course I need.  However, I am not sure my skills are sharp enough. Can I take the placement test anyway?
A: You may take the placement test, even if you don’t need to.  The score would be considered advisory for you, and you could choose to adhere to its recommendations or not. 
Q: What if I don't ever take the placement test, and I just register for the mathematics class I need for my major?
A: Your registration will be blocked until you have a placement test score or a recognized exemption.
Q: What if I missed the deadline to take the placement test?
A: You can still access the placement test the same way, and you should take it immediately! 
Q: I am exempt from the placement test, since I transferred in credit for      Math 105 (or Math 111 or Math 115). I need to take Calculus (Math 211 or Math 273).  Can I just register for the course I need?
A: If you didn’t transfer in the prerequisite course for Math 211 or Math 273, you will need to take the necessary course, OR take the placement test to try to place into the Calculus course you need. 
Q: I just got admitted to TU! When can I take the mathematics placement test?
A: You can take the placement test as soon as you have paid the enrollment deposit. To ensure timely enrollment in the appropriate math course for the Spring 2016 semester, you must complete the test by January 22, 2016. (However, if you missed the original deadline for the test, you still need to take it, so please do so immediately!) Even if you are waiting for transfer credit to come in, you should take the test; any change can be handled later.
Q: How do I take the practice test?
A: Follow the steps on the mathematics placement testing page. Once you login to the testing site, you will click on TU Mathematics Placement Exam. After clicking on that link, the practice test will be an option available to you. You must take the practice placement test before you may take the actual placement test. Make sure to finish the test by clicking on Grade.
Q: Once I complete the practice test, am I forced to take the actual test immediately?
A: No, you may log out and return later to take the actual test. In fact, it would be good for you to review any material that you found challenging before returning to take the test. You can take the practice test as many times as you want prior to each of the two attempts.
Q: I took the Basic Algebra Test (BAT), but how do I take the Calculus Readiness Test (CRT)?
A: Although the practice CRT is available to everyone, you gain access to the actual CRT only if your score on the BAT is high enough. If you don't see the CRT, then you are not eligible to take it. If you do see the CRT and want to take it, we strongly suggest you take the practice CRT first.
Q: Do I have to take the Calculus Readiness Test (CRT), if I see that as an option?
A: No, you are not required to take the CRT. If your major does not require a calculus course, the CRT is not necessary. 
Q: What if I complete the practice test but then still don't see the link for the actual test?
A: First try logging out and logging back in. If you still don't see the link, try switching to a different Internet browser.
Q: How do I login?
A: Once you follow the steps on the mathematics placement testing page, you will be directed to the testing website. From the Maplesoft TA Towson University page, use the username (NetID) and password that you use for accessing your Towson University online student account. Note that the NetID is not your seven-digit TU student ID number.
Q: How long is each test?
A: Each test is 30 minutes long, with 25 questions. You will only take the second test if you score high enough on the first test. You can take the second test at a different time.
Q: What happens if I stop taking the test?
A: You may not pause the test. Once you start a particular test, you must finish it in the given time period.
Q: What if the test software isn’t working?
A: 1. Check to make sure that your Towson University NetID (username) and password are working by logging in to you TU online student account. If you are not able to log in to your TU online student account, use the recommendations on online student account to reset or change your password. Once you have followed those steps, please contact the Academic Achievement Center at 410-704-2291.
     2. Check the list of supported browsers. If you are still having difficulty, try using a different computer.
Q: How do I know my results?
A: When you finish the test, and press Grade, you will immediately get a results page with your score. You will not have access to this page again, so print, take a screen shot, or otherwise record your score for your own information! 
Q: I took the test. How do I know what the score means?
A: Your score determines what mathematics courses you are eligible to register for. The relationship between scores and course eligibility is explained in the table at the bottom of the mathematics placement testing page.
Q: I’m unhappy with my score. Can I take the test again?
A: After taking a test once, you may retake the test one time. However, you must wait at least until the next day at the earliest to retake it.
Q: What happens if I score lower when I retake the test?
A: The higher score will determine your placement.