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Mathematics Placement Exam

General Information

How do I know if I am required to take a placement test?


Placement exam requirements are based on the student's choice of major and or program and ACT and SAT scores. Placementt exam results do not bear credit. The score determines the level of the course for which the student may register.

Mathematics Placement Examination - MPE (for registration into MTH 1320 Precalculus or MTH 1321 Calculus I)

If you choose a major or program which requires calculus (for example, biology, chemistry, engineering, computer science, prehealthcare), you may be required to take the Mathematics Placement Exam (MPE) to determine whether you may register for Calculus I (MTH 1321) or its prerequisite, Precalculus (MTH 1320). No credit will be given for this placement exam. The placement exam may, in some instances, suggest that a student is not ready for either MTH 1320 or MTH 1321. Indeed, some students may need to take a College Algebra course elsewhere before taking our MTH 1320 course (Baylor University does not offer College Algebra). Alternatively, a student in this situation could take MTH 1308, pre-calculus for business, which is, esentially, college algebra but with a business slant; this course will help prepare a student to take MTH 1320. Students who take MTH 1308 should realize that this course only counts as an elective unless pursuing a business degree, but with a "C" or better in the course, it will allow them to register for MTH 1320.

The following chart gives specific information, based on either SAT or ACT scores, on MPE requirements and exemptions:


STUDENT'S SAT or ACT SCORE
MATH DEPARTMENT REQUIREMENT OR RECOMMENDATION
SAT < 550 or ACT < 24
Student is required to take the MPE
550 ≤ SAT < 600 or 24 ≤ ACT < 28
Student may enroll in MTH 1320 Precalculus without taking the MPE or may take the MPE to see if she/he qualifies to skip MTH 1320 and begin with MTH 1321 Calculus I
600 ≤ SAT < 650 or 28 ≤ ACT < 31
Student may enroll in MTH 1320 Precalculus without taking the MPE but is strongly advised to take the MPE to see if she/he qualifies to skip MTH 1320 and begin with MTH 1321 Calculus I
SAT ≥ 650 or ACT ≥ 31
Student need not take the MPE and is strongly advised to enroll in MATH 1321, Calculus I instead of MTH 1320 Precalculus.
SAT ≥ 690 or ACT ≥ 33
Student may enroll in MATH 1321-H1 (Honors Calculus 1)

Students planning to take Precalculus for Business (MTH 1308) or Calculus for Business (MTH 1309) do not have to take this placement examination.

For further information (for example, dates/time/location for the math placement exam), please call 710-3562 or email Margaret Salinas at Margaret_Salinas@baylor.edu. DO NOT bring pencils or paper to take this exam; this material will be provided for you. Calculators are not allowed during this test.

Preparing for the MPE

We strongly suggest that students review their math skills at least one month prior to taking Baylor's mathematics placement exam. This examination, which is one hour in length, is over basic college algebra, geometry, and trigonometry skills. There are 31 questions on our placement examination. Students are allowed to take our MPE only one time.

We advise that students search the web for various internet math placement exam sites and to practice online mathematics exams that involve college algebra, geometry, and trigonometry problems. One site that we recommend for college algebra and geometry (however, it has very little trigonometry) is California's On-line Mathematical Analysis Readiness Test. This test is free of charge and students can try this exam as many times as they wish to help in their preparation for our examination. A very good site, also free to students, for a practice trigonometry test is the University of Texas at Tyler's Trigonometry Practice Exam. Since internet content is constantly changing, we encourage students to enlist a search engine (for example, Google or Yahoo) to find other practice placement examinations on the topics of college algebra, geometry, and trigonometry.

Honor Code Information

We have a zero tolerance policy in place against cheating on the MPE. Baylor has an Honor Code in place and any students caught cheating will be immediately excused from the exam and their names will be given to Baylor´┐Żs Office of Academic Integrity.