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Undergraduate Admissions - Mathematics Placement Testing

What is the purpose of the Mathematics Placement Exam?
The Mathematics Placement system at Lindenwood University is designed to assess students’ skills before they enroll in their first math course. This ensures the student has the skills required for that particular course. The goal is to screen potential failure rather than predict success. The student’s major determines which one of the four exams that individual is to take: General Education, College Algebra, Precalculus, or Calculus. The math placement exams can place students in courses up to Calculus I (MTH 27100).

Who takes the Mathematics Placement Exam?
The exam should be taken by the majority of new students. Exceptions are made for students who have transferred college-level math credit that: a) completes the math requirement for their major; or b) satisfies the prerequisite for the first math course required for their major. Students who achieved a score of 3 or higher on an AP Calculus exam will also be excused from the math placement exam. In addition, students who earned a score above 24 on the mathematics portion of the ACT exam could possibly be excused from the exam, as well.

When do I take the Mathematics Placement Exam?
Placement exams will be administered to all students attending the Admissions Department’s open enrollment sessions. Students who cannot attend an enrollment session will complete the Mathematics Placement Exam after arriving on campus. Examination appointments should be made at least 24 hours in advance through the WCOnline Scheduling System. (Note: In the “Choose a schedule” drop down menu, students must select “St. Charles Mathematics Placement”). Please refer to the scheduling tutorial document for detailed instructions on how to reserve an appointment.

Student pursing a degree through one of Lindenwood’s online programs, please refer to the ProctorU tutorial document or visit ProctorU’s Lindenwood portal for detailed instructions on how to reserve an appointment. Students must reserve an appointment with ProctorU before they are allowed to attempt the exam. Please note that the online placement exam is only available for online students.

Which Mathematics Placement Exam should I take?
The specific placement exam taken by each student is determined by his/her anticipated area of study. Students who plan to major in a field requiring MTH 14800 or above, including Biology, Chemistry, Computer Information Systems, Computer Science, Economics, Education, Exercise Science, Mathematics, Pre-Engineering, Pre-Medicine, or Pre-Nursing, should prepare to take one of the Algebra-Calculus placement exams. Students majoring in any other area, and those students who have not yet decided on a major, should prepare to take the General Education placement exam.

What is the exam format?
The General Education placement exam consists of twenty-six multiple-choice questions. The College Algebra placement exam consists of twenty-five multiple-choice questions. The Precalculus and Calculus placement exams each contain twelve multiple-choice questions. Students will not be allowed to attempt either the Precalculus or Calculus exams without first proving through transcripts that the prerequisite has been met. If the prerequisite has not been met for the Precalculus exam, the College Algebra exam must be completed with a score of 90 percent or higher before being allowed to attempt that exam.

Students are allotted 40 minutes to complete the exam. Once the student completes the exam, the exam will be graded and that student will be given a placement form. This form will outline the suggested mathematics course based upon the student’s results. Calculators are NOT allowed on any mathematics placement exam--these questions are designed to test knowledge and understanding of algebra, as well as calculation skills.

How can I prepare for the Mathematics Placement Exam?
Students should prepare for the mathematics placement exam by studying the review material available at
Can I retake the Mathematics Placement Exam?
Students may retake the mathematics placement exam once per semester. Students must wait at least thirty (30) days, following the first attempt, to retake any math placement exam. Students are welcome to use the WCOnline Scheduling System if interested in signing up for a retake of any math placement exam (Note: In the “Choose a schedule” drop down menu, students must select “St. Charles Mathematics Placement”). Please indicate in the notes that a retake is desired and the math placement administrator will contact you with available times.

Can the Mathematics Placement score be used to show proficiency in a particular math course?
No. The math placement exams are for placement purposes only. These tests will NOT be used to show proficiency. Students who wish to validate math proficiency via examination should contact the Lindenwood University Mathematics Department for more information regarding this process.
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