Math Placement Exam

A group of students sitting around a table talking to an academic advisor

The Math Placement Exam (MPE) identifies which math courses you're likely to succeed in. Students in certain majors must take the MPE, regardless of previous math experience. If you have incoming credit for college-level math courses, your MPE results do not affect how that credit applies. You can take the exam online up to three times (once per 24 hours), and we encourage you to utilize the sample exam. MPE-required students are not able to schedule an advising appointment until the MPE is complete.

Take the Math Placement Exam

Math Placement Exam Requirements

Students Required To Take the MPE

Students in the following colleges/majors are required to take the MPE:

All Majors/Programs In:

  • College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
  • College of Architecture
  • College of Business
  • College of Education and Human Sciences
  • College of Engineering
  • Explore Center
  • College of Public Affairs and Community Service

Additional Required Majors:

  • Actuarial Science
  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Data Science
  • Economics
  • Environmental Studies
  • Geology
  • Mathematics
  • Meteorology-Climatology
  • Microbiology
  • Physics
  • Pre-health
  • Pre-law
  • Pre-engineering
  • Psychology
  • Undecided
Students Not Required To Take the MPE

Students in the following colleges/majors are not required to take the MPE:

All Majors In:

  • College of Fine and Performing Arts
  • College of Journalism and Mass Communications

Additional Not Required Majors:

  • Anthropology
  • Classics and Religious Studies
  • Communication Studies
  • English
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Film Studies
  • French
  • Geography
  • German
  • Global Studies
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Russian
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Women’s and Gender Studies

Preparing for the MPE

You can take the MPE up to three times online (once per 24 hours). If you are not satisfied with your results from your first attempt, we recommend further preparation for future attempts.

Follow these steps to review for the MPE:

Step 1:
Take the Sample MPE

The math department has a sample exam you can take to determine which areas you may need to review. After completion, you receive recommended study guides.

Step 2:
Score Your Sample MPE

Each problem is worth 3 points per correct answer, 1 point per blank answer and 0 points for wrong answers. If you're uncertain how to solve a problem, we recommend leaving it blank.

Step 3:
Review Additional Resources

  • If your score was 19 or less, the Math department recommends purchasing a Schaum's Outline Series Study Guide (available on Amazon, Follet or at a bookstore).
  • Review for Part BA: Schaum’s Outline Elementary Algebra.
  • Review for Part AA: Schaum’s Intermediate Algebra.
  • Review for Parts PC and TR: Schaum’s Outline Precalculus.

Taking the MPE


  • You can have blank scratch paper and extra writing utensils (no notes or books) during the exam.
  • You cannot receive assistance from anyone, so schedule uninterrupted time for at least an hour.
  • Shut down and restart your computer. The test works best with a cleared cache or rebooted system.
  • Log in to the MPE with your NUID number and password (this is the same login used to access your MyRED account).
  • When you're satisfied with your answers for a specific part of the exam, select the "Grade this Part" button at the top left of the frame and proceed to the next section.

Reminder: Do not use the back and forward buttons of your web browser to move between questions. Please use the "Previous Question" and "Next Question" buttons provided at the top left of the frame.


  • Graphic and non-graphic calculators (TI-85 or TI-86) are permitted.
  • Calculators with symbolic mathematical manipulation abilities (TI-89) are not permitted.

Services for Students with Disabilities

  • All students who wish to request accommodations during the MPE must contact and register with the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities prior to the exam.
  • After registering, students take the MPE using the system common to all students with added accommodations.
  • Students with accommodations have three exam attempts, one attempt per day (24 hours).

Technical Problems with the MPE

Some browsers may limit the number of graphics displayed on a page by replacing them with a red "x." If this happens, right click on that "x" and choose the menu option "Show Picture." If this doesn't resolve the issue, please contact with a screenshot of your issue.

To avoid any complications, the MPE must be taken on a computer, and we recommend using Google Chrome or Firefox browsers.