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Placement Policy

Contact Mathematics  


Room 101
25 University Avenue
West Chester, PA 19383

Phone: 610-436-2440 
Fax: 610-738-0578 
Email: Department Chair

Mathematics Placement Examination

Information For New Students

What is the math placement exam?
The Mathematics Placement Examination (not high school coursework or SAT / ACT scores) is used to determine the most appropriate initial mathematics course for you based on your mastery of prerequisite knowledge.  As a student you are not well served if you take a mathematics course for which you are unprepared or are required to take a course for which you already know the material.  Our goal is to place you in the course where you can succeed if you work.

Your placement exam score is only used to appropriately place you in your first mathematics course at West Chester University.  The exam has no further uses or ramifications. 

For students entering WCU in Fall 2018, placement exams should be completed NO LATER THAN Monday, May 14, 2018.

Once I have taken the placement exam, how do I choose a mathematics course?
If you are a first-year student, your academic advisor will select a course for you based on your placement exam score and major. Your advisor will also consider other information (AP scores, dual-enrollment or transfer credits), as appropriate.

If you are a continuing or transfer student, consult your academic advisor if you have any questions about specific course requirements for your degree plan.

How can I take the math placement exam?

New students can access the math placement exam through their new student portal. Continuing students can access the exam as a course on D2L. Use a desktop or laptop computer rather than a phone or tablet so images and graphs display correctly. Mozilla Firefox is the recommended browser.

Do I need to take the math placement exam even though I have AP or dual enrollment credits?
Yes. All first-year students need to complete the mathematics placement exam as part of the new student portal. Advisors will also consider AP scores, dual-enrollment or transfer credits, etc. to make appropriate placements for first semester mathematics courses.

I am a transfer student; do I need to take the math placement exam?

If you have already completed the math courses needed for your major, the math placement exam is not necessary. Otherwise, you do need to take the placement exam.

How long does the exam take?
Most students complete the exam in about an hour, but there is no time limit.

Should I study for the exam?
Most students coming directly from high school mathematics courses should not need to do specific study. However, if you would like to review, you can download a list of potential topics and review links below.

What am I allowed and not allowed to do while completing the exam? 

You may: Use scratch paper and pencil / pen. There is no time limit. It is OK to take a break between quizzes, but you should finish all parts in one day to avoid score reporting problems.
You may NOT: Use any other sources (calculators, notes, books, Internet, other people, etc.) when completing the exam.  We have found that students who cheat on the Placement Examination in order to place into a higher-level course usually fail that course.

How will I get my results?
Your results will be emailed to your WCU student account within a week of completing the exam.

What if I don’t like my score on the math placement exam?
This can often be a shock to students, especially for those who have done very well in mathematics in high school. If this happens, you may retake the exam once after completing some targeted review. Contact Susan Turner at the mathematics department (

) for more information.

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