Math Placement Testing at Shippensburg University

First-Year Student Testing Requirements

  • Testing is required in math if your math SAT is below 525.

Computerized Placement Testing
Shippensburg University offers computerized placement testing in math via ACCUPLACER, a test created by the College Board. We conduct computerized testing on numerous occasions during the late winter and spring. No special computer skills are necessary to take these tests. If you feel uncomfortable with computerized testing, a computer tutorial is available via

Test Preparation
Students taking the math placement test are strongly encouraged to review appropriate materials prior to testing.

Helpful Hint: Students who review tend to do well on the placement tests. Even five hours of review can have a positive impact. We offer a variety of resources to aid in review, so please take advantage!

Reasons to Consider Optional Math Placement Testing

Students with a math SAT of 530 to 580 may elect to take the math test. Please see the optional placement testing page for full details.

  • If they wish to begin a sequence of math courses at a higher level
  • If they wish to "test out" of the mathematics requirement for graduation
  • The ability to "test out" of math depends upon the requirements of your major

Transfer students without a college level math course may be required to complete placement testing in the respective area(s).

Understanding the Math Placement Test

Your test results will determine your eligibility to enroll in college-level math courses. Test scores can fall within 6 levels. Students who test in the developmental range (level 1 or 2) may be required to take a developmental course before they can take a college level math course. All Level 1 students are required to take MAT 050: Developmental Math. Level 2 students in certain mathematics intensive majors will also be required to complete MAT050. This class does not count toward graduation. Students who test at Level 3 or higher may begin taking college level mathematics courses as directed by their major departments.

The test consists of a variety of items ranging from solving problems in context to algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. The majority of test items include content normally encountered by students in the typical high school college-preparatory mathematics curriculum. We strongly recommend that you review the following information to prepare yourself for the test (Practice questions and algebra prep website are available via the FAQ page): Please do not expect your knowledge of Algebra to simply return. Poor performance on this test can put you significantly behind.

Elementary Algebra includes:

  1. Operations with integers and rational numbers including computation with integers and negative rationals, use of absolute values, and ordering.
  2. Operations with algebraic expressions which test your skills in the evaluation of simple formulas and expressions and in adding and subtracting monomials and polynomials. Both of these categories include questions about multiplying and dividing monomials and polynomials, the evaluation of positive rational roots and exponents, simplifying algebraic fractions, and factoring.
  3. Equation solving, inequalities, and word problems include solving systems of linear equations, the solution of quadratic equations by factoring, solving verbal problems presented in algebraic context, geometric reasoning, the translation of phrases into algebraic expressions, and graphing.

College-Level Mathematics includes:

  1. Simplifying rational algebraic expressions, factoring and expanding polynomials, and manipulating roots and exponents.
  2. Solutions of equations and inequalities include solving quadratic and linear equations and inequalities, equation systems, and other algebraic equations.
  3. Coordinate geometry includes questions about plane geometry, the coordinate plane, straight lines, conics, sets of points in the plane, and graphs of algebraic functions.
  4. Applications and other algebra topics include questions about complex numbers in a series and sequences, determinants, permutations and combinations, fractions, and word problems.
  5. Functions & trigonometry concern polynomial, algebraic, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions.