Mathematics and Statistics

The Mathematics Placement Examination

Automated Mathematics Placement

Incoming first year students who have an ACT/SAT math score and a high school GPA on record at BGSU will be given an automated mathematics placement and will be notified by email to their official BGSU email address.  Transfer students and students without these data will be informed separately about their mathematics placement.  Please see http://math-placement.bgsu.wikispaces.net/ if you have questions about the automated mathematics placement.

Mathematics placement tests

Students may take a mathematics placement test on campus to try to improve their mathematics placement.  The test can be taken at the Learning Commons without making an appointment.  See their web page http://www.bgsu.edu/offices/learningcommons/ for hours and contact information.  It is a good idea to brush up on your mathematics skills before taking the math placement test.  See this page for suggestions on how to prepare.  http://www.bgsu.edu/offices/learningcommons/page99788.html

Three Placement Tests

At the beginning of the placement process, students are asked some background questions about what courses they had in high school. If they report having had trigonometry, they take Placement Test C. Based on the score on that test, their ACT Math score and subscores (or their SAT Math score), the other mathematics courses they report having had in high school, and their declared major, if any, they may be placed into Math 1310H, 1310 or 1340, 1300, 1260, or 1280. If they perform very poorly on the Placement Test, they are advised to take Placement Test B, described below, or take Math 1150 or Math 1210.

Students who report having had two years of high school algebra with a grade of C or better, but no trigonometry, take Placement Test B. Based on the same criteria as listed above, they may place into Math 1300, 1260, 1280, 1220, 1210 or 1150, or 95.  It is not easy to describe the specifics of the decision tree or the cutoffs, but they take into account the factors listed above and a few subscores relating to intermediate and college algebra material.

Students whose high school mathematics is insufficient to place them into the categories above take Placement Test A. They may place into Math 1210 or 1150, 95, or 90.

Enforcement of the mathematics placement

Students are not allowed to take a course above their mathematics placement. This policy is strictly enforced for the benefit of the individual student and for the benefit of other students with higher placements. Historically, students who have taken a course above their mathematics placement have done worse than students who placed into the course. Students are encouraged to re-take the placement test if they believe their placement is inappropriately low. Students are allowed to take any course below their placement. This means that a student can choose any course which comes later in this list than the course they placed into:  1310H, 1310 or 1340, 1300, 1260, 1280, 1220, 1210, 1150, 95, or 90.