Office of Academic Assessment

USM Math Placement Test: Questions and Answers


The Accuplacer Arithmetic and Elementary Algebra Tests are required for students who have new SAT-M scores below 570 or old SAT-M scores below 550 (or ACT scores below 22). The two scores will be used to determine your first math course as you begin your academic program at USM.  You are required to take the appropriate math course that is based upon your test scores. 

FALL 2018 only:  Students with new SAT-Math Scores between 460-560 (or ACT scores between 18-21) are able to enroll in MAT 101 without taking the Math Placement Test (i.e. Accuplacer Arithmetic and Algebra tests).  Students with these scores who want to enroll in a higher-level Math course (MAT 105, MAT 108, or MAT 120) must take the Accuplacer Tests and obtain the appropriate cut-off scores (see Placement Score Rubric).  

 Prepare for Math Placement Test:

If you have not previously completed an intermediate algebra course, you may not be familiar with all the items on the exam.  The best way to prepare for the Math Placement Test is to familarize yourself with the types of questions that will be on the actual test administration.  You may want to review the items on a sample practice test (see link below) for the Arithmetic and Elementary Algebra tests, and review your weak skill areas by reviewing a high school mathematics textbook.  You will not be allowed to use a calculator during the test.

* Click here for Sample Questions

How is the Math Placement Test scored:

Your scores are automatically calculated by the Accuplacer Testing Program.  You will recieve a test score for your Arithmetic skill level and a test score for your Elementary Algebra skills.  Both scores will be used for placement into an introductory math course.

* Click here for the Math Placement Scoring Rubric

 When and Where can I take the Math Placement Test:

The Math Placement Test is offered during the summer months and through the academic year.  You are required to take the test prior to enrolling in your first math course.  See test dates, times, and locations listed below:

What if I took the ACCUPLACER Arithmetic and Elementary Algebra Tests at another institution?

If you took the Accuplacer Math tests recently at another school (within 3 years), you may have your test scores faxed to the USM Academic Assessment testing office.  Your scores will be re-interpreted to fit USM's proficiency policy (see Math Placement Scoring Rubric).  Accuplacer math scores that are over 3 years old will not be accepted, and you will be required to retake the Accuplacer Arithmetic and Elementary Algebra Tests.

Accuplacer Math Test Scores (only official score reports can be mailed to):

USM Academic Assessment
Vicki Meserve 
240 Luther Bonney Hall
P.O. Box 9300  
Portland, ME 04104


Is there a fee to take a Placement Exam?

The cost of the exam is included in USM's enrollment fee. Therefore there is no additional charge to take the Accuplacer Math Placement Exam.

Can I retake the Math Placement Test?

If you are unhappy with your test scores on the Math Placement Test, you may retake the test.  Students are allowed to take the test twice during one academic year...we will use the highest score for your required math placement.  Students who have taken the Math Placement Test (Accuplacer Arithmetic and Elementary Algebra Tests) over one year ago, and retested...we will use the most recent score for the required math placement.

What do I bring to the test session?

You must bring a photo ID (i.e. drivers license) with you to the test session.  No examination aids are permitted in the testing room (i.e. calculators).  All cell phones, Ipads, or other electronic devices must be turned off during the test session.  You will be given scratch paper and a pencil to use during the exam.

Who do I contact about accomodations for disabilities?

Students who require accommodations because of a disability must contact the Disability Services Center, Room 242 Luther Bonney Hall on the Portland Campus.  Please contact this office before registering for an exam.  Documentation may be required.  Please call (207) 780-4706 or TTY (207) 780-4395.

Where to park on the USM campus?

On the Portland Campus, you may use the Parking Garage during the week, which is located on Bedford Street.  Visitors may park in the garage for FREE.   

What if the weather is bad on the day I'm scheduled to test?

If USM cancels classes because of weather, exams are automatically cancelled.  Please call the USM Storm Hotline at 1-800-800-4876 or 207-780-4800 to verify if events will be held as scheduled.

Is there an English Placement Exam?

There is No English Placement Exam at USM.  Please see your advisor for enrolling in an English course.