Math Placement Exam

Math Placement Exam

Required for all new students (Freshmen & Transfer)

The Math Placement Exam has less than 40 questions and will take approximately 60 minutes to complete (20 minute time limit per part). You will be asked to score each part at the end. This test is used to determine math placement and it will help academic advisors recommend courses.

We recommend that you review and take advantage of the sample exams before taking the Math Placement Exam.

How to Review

  • 1 Take the sample exam.
  • 2 Score the sample exam to determine your need to review.
  • 3 If your score was 19 or less in any part, review your math skills using a Schaums Outline Series Study Guide purchased through Amazon, Follet, or at a bookstore.
    Review for Part 1: Schaum's Outline Elementary Algebra
    Review for Part 2: Schaum's Outline Intermediate Algebra
    Review for Part 3: Schaum's Outline Precalculus
  • *Each exam on the MPE is 1 pt. per blank answer, 3 pts. per correct answer and 0 pts. for wrong answers. If you are not certain how to do a problem, it should be left blank as wrong answers are penalized.

Not following these directions could result in a score which could place you in the wrong math course.

This could result in a $1700 mistake by the time you withdraw from a course, take the course you should have taken, then repeat the first course again.

All new students (Freshmen and Transfer) are required to take the exam.

Preparing for the MPE

Have blank scratch paper available (no notes or books.)

You cannot get help from anyone else so plan to take the exam by yourself.

Schedule a time where you can be uninterrupted for an hour.

Call New Student Enrollment at 402-472-4646 for any questions.

The Services for Students with Disabilities office will assist a student with the MPE. All students who wish to have an accommodation when taking the Math Placement Exam must contact and register with the the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (232 Canfield Administration Building, 402-472-3787, After registering with the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities, students will be allowed to take the Math Placement Exam using the system common to all students with any accommodations allowed. Students with accommodations will still be limited to 3 exam attempts across their time at The University of Nebraska–Lincoln and limited to 1 attempt each day (24 hours) as would any student attending the university.

Sample exam

There is a sample exam on the website. It is strongly recommended you take the sample exam to review your knowledge in order to determine if you should review before taking the MPE. Many students need to brush up on what they have covered in math classes. Study guides are recommended based upon how well you do on the sample exam. A sample math placement test is available: Sample Math Placement Exam

How the MPE is organized

There are three parts to the exam, 10 questions per exam part with a 20 minute time limit per part. At the end of each part you will be asked to score that particular part.

How the MPE is scored

Wrong answers are penalized. If you are not fairly certain of how to do a problem, the problem should be left blank. The actual scoring scheme on each exam part is 1 point per blank, 3 points per correct answer but 0 points per wrong answer.

Problems with viewing the MPE

Internet Explorer sometimes limits the number of graphics it displays on a page at first, with a small box red "x" replacing the graphics. If this happens, right clicking on that box gives a menu which includes "Show Picture". By choosing that option, it generally works to display the missing expression.