Mathematics

Mathematics Placement Exam (MPE)

The Mathematics Placement Exam (MPE) is a computer-based test designed to assess your current mathematical knowledge to ensure you begin in the appropriate mathematics course. Below you will find FAQs, and if you have further questions or need help, please reach out to mathplacement@winthrop.edu. We can’t wait to see you in class!

Accessing the MPE

The MPE is accessed through Blackboard thus you can only take the MPE if you have a Winthrop Blackboard account. 

If you are a current student, you have a Blackboard account.  To take the MPE, please follow the instructions found here: Access the MPE in Blackboard

If you are an incoming freshman or transfer student and have not yet registered for classes, you will need to complete the following in order to take the MPE:

  1. If you have not created your Winthrop e-mail account yet, request a new student account. 

  2. Register for an appropriate orientation session using your Winthrop email address.

Once you are registered for an orientation session, a Blackboard account will be created for you usually within 24 hours.  This is an automated process that runs once per day.  You will know a Blackboard account has been created because you will be able to access the MPE by following the instruction found here:  Access the MPE in Blackboard.

FAQs 

Do I need to take the MPE?

If your intended major is included in the table below, then you should complete the MPE prior to attending Summer Orientation. Completing the MPE and earning placement into the correct MATH course required for your intended major is an important step in achieving academic success in your first semester at Winthrop.

If you are unsure of your intended major (undeclared) but are considering one of the majors below, you may want to take the MPE now so that all options are open for you as you begin your freshman year.

If your intended major in not in the list below, then you should enroll in either MATH 111, MATH 112, or MATH 150.  You should ask your advisor for advice on which of these three courses to take particularly during your first semester at Winthrop.  We find that students are most successful in their mathematics course when they enroll in one of these courses during their first semester at Winthrop.

Intended Major

MATH Requirement for Intended Major

Prerequisite for MATH Requirement

Applied Software Development

MATH 105

MATH 151

Biology (all concentrations)

The Biology Department recommends all Biology Majors take the MPE since they must complete two math classes to satisfy the major’s math requirement. Which math classes students complete is dependent on their goals for after graduation (e.g. graduate school, professional program, employment, etc.). Students should consult their primary advisors concerning the choice of an appropriate math course.

Business Administration (all concentrations)

MATH 151 or MATH 105

MPE score of at least 2 or MATH 151

Chemistry (all concentrations)

MATH 201

MPE score of at least 3 or MATH 101

Computer Science

MATH 201

MPE score of at least 3 or MATH 101

Cyber Security

MATH 105 or MATH 201

MATH 151 or MATH 101

Data Science

MATH 201

MATH 101

Digital Information Design

MATH 151, MATH 105, or MATH 201

MPE score of at least 2 or MATH 151 or MATH 101

Economics

MATH 105 or MATH 201

MATH 151 or MATH 101

Environmental Sciences

MATH 151

MPE score of at least 2

Integrated Marketing Communication

MATH 151

MPE score of at least 2

Mathematics (all programs)

MATH 201

MPE score of at least 3 or MATH 101

Middle Level Mathematics Track
This degree program does require additional MATH courses but completing the MPE is not needed for enrollment in those courses

MATH 201

MPE score of at least 3 or MATH 101

Pre-Engineering

MATH 201

MPE score of at least 3 or MATH 101

When should the Mathematics Placement Exam be taken?  

Students should take the MPE prior to arriving at Summer Orientation. If your intended major requires MATH 151, MATH 101, MATH 105, and/or MATH 201, you’ll need to take the MPE prior to registering for these courses.

What should I do to prepare?

The Mathematics Placement Exam is made up of questions that cover pre-algebra, algebra, college algebra, and trigonometry topics. Please visit the Review and Retesting page to read more about how to use the online materials available in MyMathTest to prepare for the exam.

How will I know my placement level?  

You will receive an automated e-mail from mathplacement@winthrop.edu stating your placement level and course recommendations upon completion of the exam. This e-mail will come to your Winthrop e-mail account.

How well do I need to do on the Mathematics Placement Exam to place into a class?  

The content on the Mathematics Placement Exam is prerequisite material for a precalculus course. Students need to answer at least 70% of the questions correctly in order to be eligible to enroll in MATH 151 or MATH 101.

Similarly, the Mathematics Placement Exam - For Placement Into Calculus is made up of precalculus and trigonometry questions. Students need to answer at least 90% of the questions correctly from the Mathematics Placement Exam and 70% of the precalculus questions correctly to place into a calculus course, and students must answer at least 90% of the precalculus questions correctly in order to avoid having to take a trigonometry course.

Is there an advantage to testing early?

Yes. The Department of Mathematics may recommend that completing the study plan and practice tests that are built into the computer assessment can prepare you to retest to attempt to place into a higher level course.

If I do not place into the course required by my major, what can I do?  

The first step is to take the Mathematics Placement Exam and have your exam evaluated. If you do not place into the course you need, you can work through your personalized study plan and take the practice exams in order to prepare to take the exam again. You also have the option of taking MATH 111, 112, or 150; earning a C- or better in these courses will serve as a prerequisite that will allow you to enroll in MATH 151. Talk to your advisor about which option will best serve you in your intended major.

Where do I go to take the Mathematics Placement Exam?  

The Mathematics Placement Exam is accessed via Blackboard and can be taken online from any computer with an internet connection. Using a computer with a high speed connection is encouraged.

How long will it take to complete the Mathematics Placement Exam?

The Mathematics Placement Exam is made up of thirty questions that cover pre-algebra and algebra topics. Typically this test takes between 1 and 2 hours to complete. The exam needs to be completed in a single sitting, so please make sure you have a few hours of time available before beginning the exam.

If a student does well on the Mathematics Placement Exam, the student can then take the Mathematics Placement Exam - For Placement Into Calculus. This exam is also made up of thirty questions, and these thirty questions cover college algebra and trigonometry topics. This test typically takes between 1 and 2 hours to complete and needs to be completed in a single sitting.

Students who do well on the Mathematics Placement Exam can move directly to the Mathematics Placement Exam - For Placement Into Calculus in order to complete both tests in a single sitting, but that is not required.

Can I use a calculator to complete the Mathematics Placement Exam?  

Yes, we recommend that you use a scientific calculator.

If I have transfer credit, do I need to take the exam?

If you will receive transfer credit for College Algebra (MATH 151), Precalculus (MATH 101), Trigonometry (MATH 104), or Calculus (MATH 105 or MATH 201), you will most likely not need to take the Mathematics Placement Exam. If you are unsure, you can e-mail mathplacement@winthrop.edu with the coursework you have and your intended major, and the Department of Mathematics will advise you on whether to complete the placement test.

What should I do if something happens to my computer while I'm taking the exam and I'm unable to finish it?  

Send an e-mail with a detailed description of the problem to mathplacement@winthrop.edu.  You will receive an e-mail response within 48 hours.

I heard that in the summer the Mathematics Placement Exam is not required to enroll in MATH classes.  Is this true?  

The structure of summer sessions is different from regular terms. Therefore the department does not require the Mathematics Placement Exam for MATH 151 registration during summer sessions. Note: MATH 105 and MATH 201 will continue to either require a Mathematics Placement Exam score or successful completion of prerequisites with a grade of C- or better.

I don't see my question here. Who can help me?  

If you do not see your question above, please send an e-mail to mathplacement@winthrop.edu