Mathematics Placement Testing FAQ

Prior to taking any college level mathematics course at SPU, you must meet certain placement criteria. One way to meet the placement criteria is to take the Washington state General Math Placement Test (MPT-G).

The primary aim of the MPT-G is to help you determine whether you are ready for college level mathematics and to assist you in selecting the mathematics courses for which you are best prepared.

What is the Math Placement Test?

The primary aim of the Math Placement Test (MPT) is to help you determine whether you are ready for college-level mathematics and to assist you in selecting mathematics courses for which you are best prepared.

The MPT was originally developed in 1984 by five of Washington's public universities. In 2007, the Washington State legislature mandated that all public two-year and four-year colleges and universities in the Washington adopt the same placement criteria based on the use of the MPT. While the law does not mandate that private institutions use the MPT, we have voluntarily chosen to adopt the MPT-G for math placement at SPU.

There are three versions of the MPT: General, Intermediate, and Advanced. SPU uses the General Math Placement Test (MPT-G), which is composed of 35 multiple-choice questions to determine whether students are ready for first year college math courses.

Do I need to take the MPT?

Prior to taking any college level mathematics course at SPU, you must meet certain placement criteria. One way to meet these placement criteria is to take the Math Placement Test. In deciding whether or not you need to take the test, consider the following:

  • If you scored 580 or above on math portion of the SAT or scored 25 or above on the math portion of the ACT, you do NOT need to take the MPT.
  • If you transferred in a mathematics course such as Intermediate Algebra or College Algebra from another college or university, you may not need to take the MPT. You should check with your academic counselor in Student Academic Services to determine if the course you took meets this requirement.
  • If you have already completed the Mathematics requirement for SPU's Exploratory Curriculum, you probably do not need to take the MPT. However, if you intend to take any additional mathematics courses, you may need to take the MPT. Certain courses in other fields (such as some introductory courses in chemistry) might also require you to take the MPT.

If you are unsure whether or not you need to take the test, please discuss your situation with your academic counselor in Student Academic Services.

When/where can I take the MPT?

The Math Placement Test will be offered occasionally on campus at SPU, and it can also be taken daily at the University of Washington.

There will be five opportunities to take the test on campus at SPU during the 2015-16 academic year:

  • Thursday, October 29 at 11:10 a.m.
  • Wednesday, November 4 at 3:15 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 27 at 3:15 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 4 at 11:10 a.m.
  • Monday, April 25 at 3:15 p.m.

Registration information for the April test dates can be found below.

If you need to take the test sooner, the MPT can also be taken at the University of Washington's Testing Center, where it is typically offered twice each week. Check the UW Testing Center’s placement page for a testing schedule and additional information. If you do take the test at the UW, make sure that you request the the MPT-G (General). Once you have completed the test, you will need to obtain a score report and submit it to Laurie Mendes in OMH 104.

How do I register to take the MPT at SPU?

Registration and payment

Registration for the MPT is done online, and there is a $15 fee for the test that must be paid with a credit or debit card. Detailed instructions (PDF) on registering for the placement test. 

Registration deadlines 

April 25 test. Online registration and payment must be submitted by noon on Thursday, April 21. Seats are limited and will be reserved in the order that payment is received, so please register as soon as possible.  If the session reaches capacity, registration will close early. 

Test check-in 

Please arrive in the OMH lobby to check-in for the test no later than 3:15 PM on Monday, April 25, and bring a photo ID with you to the test.  Note that the doors will close promptly at 3:15, so plan to arrive early.  Students who arrive late or who do not have a photo ID will not be permitted to take the test.The test should be complete by 4:45.

Are calculators permitted on the MPT?

No, calculators are not permitted on the MPT. All computations must be done by hand.

Which version of the MPT do I need to take?

As noted above, there are three different versions of the MPT. SPU students should take the General Math Placement Test (MPT-G). SPU will also accept scores from the MPT-I (Intermediate) if you have already taken it, but we encourage all students to take the General test. We do NOT accept scores from the Advanced test for placement.

What can I do to prepare to take the MPT-G?

To prepare to take the MPT, please look at the MPT-G Sample Problems. Note that these sample problems are NOT intended to serve as a practice test but only to provide test takers with an idea of the content and difficulty of the MPT-G. The correct answers to the problems are shown on the last page of the booklet.

If I do poorly on the MPT, can I retake the test?

Yes, students can retake the test. However, you must wait at least two weeks before taking the test again, and the test can only be taken twice in any twelve-month period. Students retaking the test must take a different version of the test, so please when you take the retest, make sure that you inform the testing staff that you have taken the test previously. If you take the same version a second time, your new score will be invalidated. Also, students retaking the test will not be able to register using the online registration system.

For more information about registering to retake the test, contact math@spu.edu.

close(X)