What Are Some Key Things to Study When Preparing for a College Math Placement Test?


Quick Answer

To prepare for college math placement tests, review concepts and work problems corresponding with the highest level of math previously studied. Check out study guides and practice tests provided by the school. Practice basic functions, review key concepts and prepare to apply them to solve simple to complex problems.

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Full Answer

Refreshing prior knowledge is the most effective test preparation because placement tests only measure experience, not intelligence or ability, to ensure the test-taker is assigned to the correct course. No one passes or fails. It's important to take the test seriously, but cramming or pushing beyond one's skill level to prepare for a placement test is counter-productive, raises anxiety and possibly results in an incorrect placement. Students placed correctly, based on experience, are more likely to be successful and don't waste time or money taking classes that are either too advanced or too basic.

Math placement tests usually begin with arithmetic or basic numerical skills for those with little math background, while others begin with elementary algebra. As correct answers are given, the test-taker moves to higher level questions within the same exam or is even scheduled for the next level of exam. Prior college coursework may substitute for the exam.

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