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 SPU Mathematics Placement Test.


What is the SPU Mathematics Placement Test?

The primary aim of the Mathematics Placement Test is to help you determine whether you are ready for college-level mathematics and to assist you in selecting the mathematics or statistics courses for which you are best prepared. It is an online test administered through Canvas.

Do I need to take the Math Placement Test?

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 SPU Math Placement Test. In deciding whether or not you need to take the test, consider the following:

  • If you currently have a Mathematics Placement Level of "B", you do NOT need to take the Math Placement Test. If your Mathematics Placement Level is "0" or "A", you may need to take the placement test. You can check your Mathematics Placement Level in your Degree Check in Banner. It can be found under "Test Scores" near the bottom of the page.
  • If you scored 600 or above on the Math portion of the SAT or scored 25 or above on the Math portion of the ACT, you do NOT need to take the Math Placement Test.
  • 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 Math Placement Test. 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 Math Placement Test. However, if you intend to take any additional mathematics courses, you may need to take the test. Certain courses in other fields (such as some introductory courses in Chemistry) might also require you to take the Math Placement Test.

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 Math Placement Test?

The Mathematics Placement Test is offered online through Canvas in a course named "SPU General Math Placement". It can be taken at any time. 

If the course does not appear among your courses in Canvas, begin by double-checking your Mathematics Placement Level in Banner. It can be found near the bottom of the Degree Check page under "Your Test Scores." If your placement level is B, you do NOT need to take the placement test. If your placement level is 0 or A and you do not have access to the course "SPU General Math Placement" in Canvas, send an email to math@spu.edu to request access.

How do I register to take the test?

No registration is required. Simply access the course in Canvas when you are ready to take the test.

Do I need a calculator for the SPU Math Placement Test?

Yes, you will need a calculator. Some questions will be very difficult to answer without a calculator, so please make sure that you have one before starting the test. Any standard hand calculator should suffice.

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

Yes, students can retake the test. However, you must wait a minimum of one day before taking the test again, and a maximum of three attempts are allowed.