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Mathematics Placement Test Information

students working in math class

All incoming first-year students will take two math placement tests. First, everyone will take the Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra & Statistics (QAS) test. The second test you take depends on your performance on the first. If you earn a score of 200-267 on QAS, you will then take the Arithmetic test; if you earn a score of 268-300 on QAS, you will instead take the Advanced Algebra and Functions test. Incoming transfer students may need to one or two of these tests, depending on your academic history at your previous institution(s).

Each test is multiple choice and computer-based; questions are untimed so that you can give each question as much thought as you wish.

In order to help you to prepare for your math placement test, the Academic Achievement Center and Department of Mathematics recommends using the free Accuplacer study app, giving you access to practice anytime, anywhere. Go to to access the app. This review is not mandatory; our goal is to help every student be as prepared as possible to succeed not just in placement testing, but in their college-level mathematics coursework. We recommend that all students review these skills prior to testing, especially if you have not taken a math course within the past year.

The QAS test, comprised of 20 questions, measures your ability to perform a range of topics including computing with rational numbers, applying ratios and proportional reasoning, creating and graphing linear expressions and equations, and understanding probability and interpreting graphs. The following knowledge and skill categories are assessed: 

  • Rational numbers
  • Ratio and proportional relationships
  • Exponents
  • Algebraic expressions
  • Linear equations
  • Linear applications
  • Probability and sets
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Geometry concepts 

The AAF test, comprised of 20 questions, measures your ability to perform on a range of topics including linear, quadratic, rational, radical, polynomial, and exponential equations and functions. The following knowledge and skill categories are assessed:

  • Linear equations
  • Linear applications
  • Factoring
  • Quadratics
  • Functions
  • Radical and rational equations
  • Polynomial equations
  • Exponential equations
  • Geometry concepts
  • Trigonometry

The Arithmetic test, comprised of 20 questions, measures your ability to perform on topics including computation, order of operations, estimation and rounding, comparing and ordering values in different formats, and recognizing equivalent values across formats. The following knowledge and skill categories are assessed:

  • Whole number operations
  • Fraction operations
  • Decimal operations
  • Percent 
  • Number comparisons and equivalents

During your time as a BSU student, you may take the math placement test a total of three times. Your first attempt is free; subsequent attempts cost $10, payable on test day by Visa, Mastercard, or personal check. We recommend that you refer to our "Resources and Test Preparation" section and spend some time reviewing before attempting a retest.

Retests are held in our office during our office hours. To schedule a retest, give us a call at 508-531-1780.

In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), students who wish to transfer their placement test results to another institution, or obtain a copy of their placement test score report(s), must fill out and submit an official placement test score transcript request form.

Click here for the placement test score transcript request form. +