Proper placement in critical core courses helps ensure your success and allows you to advance more quickly toward your degree goals. University of Maryland University College offers free placement testing to help determine the most appropriate course in math, writing, and select foreign languages for your academic success.

It is strongly recommended that you take placement tests in your first term at UMUC. Your test results, in conjunction with your academic background, goals, and interests, will be used by academic advisors to recommend a course that is most appropriate for your academic success.

Math Placement Test

To assess your skill level in math, UMUC uses the nationally recognized ACCUPLACER assessment exam.

If you choose to sign up for MATH 009 directly, you are not required to take the math placement test. An appropriate on the placement test or successful completion of a course prerequisite is necessary to register for any of the following courses:

  • MATH 012
  • MATH 106
  • MATH 107
  • MATH 115
  • STAT 200

It is strongly recommended that you take the math placement test at least four business days before the last day of term registration to ensure that results will be posted in time to register for courses.

Note: MATH 009 and MATH 012 are three-credit courses that apply toward your GPA, but not toward your degree requirements.

How to Take a Math Placement Test

There are several options for taking your ACCUPLACER exam:

On-Site Proctored Exam

Students who live in Maryland, D.C., and Virginia can sit for math placement tests at the Academic Center at Largo. There are other placement testing sites in Maryland—browse locations to see if a site near you offers testing. The Academic Center at Largo accepts both walk-ins and reservations. Placement tests at other local testing centers are by appointment only. Contact the location directly by phone for a schedule and to make reservations. Students who live outside of the local area can use a UMUC-approved alternate site.

Online Proctored Exam

This option requires that you have a webcam, speakers, and a microphone on your computer. You must be in a quiet uninterrupted location free from any resources that may help you on the exam. Follow these steps to ensure your exam process goes smoothly:

  1. Register to use the online proctoring option by accessing the Placement Exam Registration page after logging into MyUMUC.
  2. You will receive an e-mail with instructions for taking the placement test. The e-mail will contain instructions for registering for the online proctored exam and an ACCUPLACER test voucher that is valid for 90 days from the date it is sent to you. If you do not take your exam within 90 days, you will be required to register again.
  3. Contact testingcenter@umuc.edu if you have any issues with this process.

Approved Alternate Site Proctored Exam

If you plan to take a placement test at an alternate site, you must submit the site information at least five to seven working days in advance of the date you'd like to take the test(s). Follow these steps to ensure your site selection process goes smoothly:

  1. Log into MyUMUC to access the Placement Exam Registration page and follow the prompts to register your alternate site information.
  2. Upon alternate site approval, you will be sent an e-mail confirmation with a "take by" date. At the same time, your proctor will be e-mailed all necessary information, including your "take by" date. The site you choose must have Internet access. Please follow any additional rules and policies specific to your alternate testing site.

Note: If taking the test at an approved alternate site, you may incur a cost for the proctor and/or the site.

Preparing for the Math Placement Test

There is no passing or failing a math placement test, but you may wish to refresh knowledge of your math skills before taking the test. UMUC's practice math placement test questions will assist you in your preparation. Plan to discuss your placement test results with an advisor if you are unsure about which course is the best fit for you based on your score. You can also sign up for the ACCUPLACER study app, which provides sample test questions and feedback on your answers to help you improve your math skills.

Many students find that GED, CLEP, or SAT review books (available at most bookstores and public libraries) are helpful in reviewing for placement tests. Some helpful practice tests are also available online through CollegeBoard, Math.com, or Purplemath.

Test Content

The math placement test covers elementary algebra concepts and focuses on performing algebraic operations and solving problems that involve algebraic concepts. There are 12 to 14 questions on the math placement test. Questions are presented in a multiple-choice format and appear one at a time on the computer screen. The test is adaptive, which means the computer will determine the sequence in which questions are asked based on your responses to previous questions.

Test Timing and Results

The average length of time to complete the math placement ranges between 30 to 60 minutes. Your placement test results will be posted in MyUMUC approximately 48 hours after you complete the test. Your advisor should be able to view your results by then as well.

Test Information for Students with Disabilities

If you have a disability or temporary disabling condition that will prevent you from taking a placement test under standard test conditions, please e-mail Accessibility Services for information on testing accommodations.

Tips for Taking Placement Tests

  • A valid form of picture identification (state-issued driver's license or ID card, passport, or military ID) is required for all placement testing, regardless of the location.
  • Use of calculators, other electronic devices, and study aids are not permitted while taking a placement test.
  • Make sure you understand all directions. Ask your proctors (when applicable) to repeat instructions you may not have understood.
  • When prompted for your student ID number, enter your EMPLID number. You can locate this number in MyUMUC by visiting the MyInfo section to view your ID card.
  • Remember—there is no failing grade. Just answer each question to the best of your ability.

Writing Placement Test

You are not required to take a writing placement before you register for a writing course at UMUC. However, you may take advantage of the placement test for writing if you would like, but only before registering for a writing course. Even if you choose to take EDCP 103 to review basic writing and grammar skills before enrolling in the introductory writing course, you will still be required to take WRTG 101.

The writing placement test covers two areas: sentence skills, measuring your understanding of sentence structure, and reading comprehension, or how well you understand what you have just read. There is no essay requirement.

For more information on the writing placement test, please e-mail testingcenter@umuc.edu.

Foreign Language Placement Test

Please e-mail languages@umuc.edu to determine if you need to take a placement exam in any of the foreign languages offered by UMUC.

You must take a placement test before registering for a language course if you have prior experience with the language or if you are a native speaker of the language. Native speakers are not allowed into most UMUC language courses, with the exception of SPAN 314, SPAN 418, and SPAN 419.

If you transferred from another institution where you took language courses, and your credits transferred to your UMUC transcript, you will be able to register for the next language course in your series and do not need to take the placement test.

The 111 level of language classes are designed for students with no prior experience in the language. If you have already taken a language course at UMUC, you can enroll for the next course in the series without taking the exam.

Please note: Foreign language placement exams cannot be used to satisfy any degree program requirements, earn credits, or substitute for a Course Challenge.