Frequently Asked Questions

The following are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) about the Mathematics Placement Tests. If your question is not addressed, please contact the APTP Office for further assistance.


Should I take the Advanced or General Math Placement Test?
Students should choose among the tests based on the course in which they wish to enroll, their level of academic preparation, and the requirements of their institution.

The General Math Placement Test (MPT-G) is directed toward students who have less than three or four years of high school math and who will be entering pre-calculus or general college-level math classes. Test content is aligned with the Washington State College Readiness Mathematics Standards, and a single college readiness cutoff is accepted at all Washington public post-secondary institutions. The test also covers Elementary Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, and Pre-Calculus I.

The Advanced Math Placement Test (MPT-A) is directed toward students who have taken at least three or four years of high school math and who wish to enroll in Calculus. It covers Intermediate Algebra and Pre-Calculus I and II.

How long is the math placement test?
The Statewide Math Placement Test offered in May and June is a one-hour and fifteen-minute test. The On-Campus Math Placement Test offered throughout the year is a one-hour test. For both test session types, allow approximately two hours for your testing session, for registration, and instructions prior to the test.

How much does the math placement test cost?
If you pre-register online to take the Math Placement Test during Statewide sessions, the cost for placement testing is $15. On-Campus testing fees range from $25 to $45.

How do I register and pay to take the math placement test?
You may register online for a Statewide APTP test date and pay with a credit card. Registering online is a multi-step process that requires you to create an account with APTP.

To find out about On-Campus testing schedules and fees, please visit the website of a participating Testing Center. Some Testing Centers do not accept credit cards.

What do I need to bring to the test?
On the day of the test, arrive at the testing center at your appointed time with your admission confirmation (if you are taking a Statewide test), picture identification, and #2 pencils. You do not need to bring calculators or other aids. Scratch paper will be provided for you.

When will I get my scores?
For Statewide tests, your score will be available online approximately two weeks after you take the Math Placement Test. Score reporting from On-Campus testing depends on the institution at which the test is taken.

When are my placement scores reported to my university?
If you take the Math Placement Test prior to your orientation, your university will receive your placement score prior to your orientation session.

If you take the Math Placement Test during your orientation, you will have to pay a higher test fee and your scores may not be available for your advising appointment. Institutions work to make the results available by your registration appointment. Contact your advising counselor if you need additional assistance with your Math Placement Test score.

How do I know if I pass the placement test?
These tests are not pass-or-fail exams. These placement tests determine your current level of abilities and place you into the appropriate math course for which you are most prepared to successfully complete. You will be placed into either one particular course or a range of courses most appropriate for your ability level.

May I retake the Math Placement Test if I am unhappy with my score or placement?
Yes, you may retake the Math Placement Test. However, you must wait two weeks before retaking the same Math Placement Test (General or Advanced). You may switch from the Advanced to General test or from the General to Advanced test without waiting two weeks. For example, if you take the Advanced Math Placement Test on June 10, you may either take the General Math Placement Test immediately or retake the Advanced Math Placement Test on or after June 25. You may only take each Math Placement Test (General or Advanced) twice in a one-year period.

Why are we not allowed to use a calculator on the Mathematics Placement Test?
The use of calculators has been discussed by the Math Placement Testing Committee, which consists of math faculty and testing experts from the various campuses. There is a definite awareness of the extensive use of calculators in high school courses. The argument against the use of calculators is three-fold:

  1. It is the committee's judgement that the problems on the test can be answered without the aid of calculators if the underlying principles are understood.
  2. Some problems can be solved with calculators without understanding of the underlying principles (i.e., enter the numbers and push a button, to oversimplify).
  3. Fairness -- not all students would have the same calculator and we do not know how to equate for differences.

Who should I contact if I qualify for special testing accommodations?
To request disability accommodations for the Mathematics Placement Test, contact the APTP office at least three weeks in advance of your placement test date. APTP will evaluate test-specific accommodation requests based on the paperwork you submit regarding your documented disability. For questions about disability accommodations at your specific college/university, contact them directly.

What should I do if I cannot make my scheduled test date?
You may be able to reschedule your Statewide test to a different test date by logging back into your APTP account and selecting a new test date. Up until 5 days prior to your original test date, you will not be charged an additional fee for testing. Your payment for the original test date will transfer to your new test date. Once you have rescheduled, you may print a new admission ticket from your account.

If it is less than 5 days priorto your original test date, you will have to pay the $15 Statewide test fee again when you reschedule your test.

If you cannot make your scheduled test date and you are not available to attend another Statewide APTP session, you may choose to test at your orientation or when you arrive on your university campus. However, Statewide test fees do not apply toward On-Campus testing. Participating Testing Centers charge between $25 and $45 for testing, and you will have to pay the full amount.

Can I get a refund if I do not take a placement test?
Up until 5 days prior to your scheduled Statewide test date, you may log into your APTP account and request a partial refund of your test fee. If it is less than 5 days before your original test date, refunds are not available.

I tested as a walk-in at an off-site testing center and have not received my score and placement yet. Why?
Most likely, you have not created an account with APTP. If you did not pre-register online, you should have received an email from APTP approximately one week after the test date containing a Registration Number and instructions for creating an account. After you create your account, you will be able to see your score, print your score report, and designate institutions to which you want your score reported.

I missed the spring testing dates and still need to take the Math Placement Test. What should I do?
Contact the university you plan to attend and ask if you can take the Math Placement Test during your orientation sessions or at a scheduled time in their Testing Center. The fee for testing at your orientation session or at your university campus is between $25 and $45, depending on the institution.

If you have any other questions regarding the Academic Placement Testing Program, please contact the APTP Office:

Manager: Alaina Giesbrecht
Telephone: (206) 543-8499
Email: aptp@u.washington.edu

Mailing address: Academic Placement Testing Program
Box 355837
Seattle, Washington 98195-5837

Location: University of Washington
Academic Placement Testing Program
440 Schmitz Hall
1410 NE Campus Parkway
Seattle, Washington 98195-5837