Academic Placement Testing Program (APTP)
The Academic Placement Testing Program (APTP) is a cooperative program of Washington State public colleges and universities. Faculty from participating institutions have created the Mathematics Placement Test (MPT) to help students, with the assistance of their academic advisers, select first-year mathematics courses for which they are best prepared. The program is managed by the Office of Educational Assessment on behalf of participating institutions.
Math Placement Tests
Two test types enable accurate placement of students with varying levels of academic preparation. Specific placement cutoffs reflect the content and difficulty level of each course. Students should choose between 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 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.
Sample problems have been developed to assist students in preparing for the test.
APTP coordinates a large number of test dates throughout Washington during the months of May and June each year. Testing sessions are two hours long, including the seventy-five minute (1 hr 15 min) time limit for the test itself. Calculators are not needed or allowed. Online Registration opens in early February each year. Students who participate in Statewide testing can take advantage of the $15 test fee.
Math Placement Tests are also offered On-Campus at participating institutions throughout the year. Testing sessions are two hours long, including the sixty minute (1 hr) time limit for the test itself. Calculators are not needed or allowed. The number and capacity of On-Campus test sessions may be limited, and test fees are higher than during Statewide testing.
Questions regarding exemption from testing should be directed to the mathematics department of the university the student plans to attend.
For more specific information about On-Campus testing at participating institutions, select an institution from the drop-down list.
Statewide testing sessions are for first-time test takers ONLY. Attempts to test more than once during Statewide sessions will not be honored and fees will not be refunded or transferred.
Students who wish to take the Math Placement Test a second time may do so On-Campus after a minimum wait of two weeks. Students who wish to test a third time must wait a minimum of one year.
Math Placement Test (MPT) scores are reported as scale scores rather than raw scores. Raw scores are simply the total number of questions answered correctly, whereas scale scores are created by "standardizing" the distribution of raw scores for each test so that it has a particular mean and standard deviation. The scale used for MPT tests runs from approximately 120 to 180, and has a mean of 150 (standard deviation=6).
Scale scores correct for minor differences in test difficulty and variability as new test versions are developed, allowing colleges and universities to use the same placement and college readiness cut scores for different versions of the same test. Without scale scores, variations in test difficulty would require institutions to set different cut scores each time a test version is introduced. Scaled scores also enable direct comparison of test scores across versions. For example, a scale score of 155 on the MPT-G, version 10 will reflect the same level of performance as a scale score of 155 on the MPT-G, version 9. The statewide college readiness cut score on the General Math Placement Test (MPT-G) has been set to 150, regardless of version.