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Math Placement Test

Beginning with the 2007 academic year, all students intending to take mathematics courses at LHU (including transfer students) are required to take the Mathematics Placement Test designed and implemented by the Department of Mathematics. You will not be able to register for mathematics courses without appropriate placement test scores. The placement test is administered online and you can take it from home, in a computer lab, or in the Mathematics Department. Follow the links below for more information about the placement test, suggestions on how to prepare for the test, and instructions for logging onto and taking the test.

Notes on the placement test:

1. The placement test must requires a WINDOWS-BASED COMPUTER. The placement test should be taken using either Internet Explorer or Firefox web browser. The test was created and optimized for these browsers.

2. There is a slight delay between the time that you take the test and when the results are recorded in your account in the CARS registration database. You may have to wait one or two days between taking the test and being able to register for the courses into which your test results place you.

General Information

The mathematics placement test is designed to determine which mathematics course you should sign up for in the fall semester in order to have the greatest chance of succeeding in your mathematics and science classes. You are not expected to know all of the answers to the questions on the placement test, so if during the test you are asked something that is not familiar or that you do not know how to answer, DO NOT PANIC! Answer the question to the best of your ability and move on to the next question. DO NOT guess if you don’t know the answer, simply leave the question blank and move on.

Test Sections


Section 1:

Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of real numbers; fractions, decimals, ratios and percentages

Section 2:

Basic properties of algebra involving variables; exponents and radicals; solving basic equations; adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, and factoring polynomials; basic inequalities

Section 3:

Properties of algebraic expressions; exponents and radicals; absolute values; solving equations and systems of equations; linear equations (slopes, intercepts, equations of lines); solving inequalities and systems of inequalities; graphing equations

Section 4:

Functions (graphing, domain and range, evaluation); trigonometry (both radian and degree measure); logarithms

Math Placement Test Review Material

The following is a list of resources you may want to use to prepare for the mathematics placement test. The first three sections of the test are algebraic in nature; the fourth section deals with topics most commonly covered in a precalculus course. Any algebra text and/or precalculus text should contain the appropriate topics and provide enough review material for the placement test, so it is NOT necessary for you to study these particular texts. These are simply suggestions.

Sections 1 and 2:

Developmental Mathematics by Bittinger & Beecher, 6th Edition, ISBN: 0321143183, Publisher: Pearson/Addison Wesley.

Section 3:

Algebra for College Students by Kaufmann & Schwitters, 8th Edition, ISBN:  0495105104, Publisher:  Pearson/Addison Wesley.

Section 4:

Precalculus by Larson & Hostetler, 6th Edition, ISBN:  0618314342, Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin.


Math Placement Test – Online Instructions (Subpage of Math Placement Test)

You must take this test from a Windows-based PC, not a Mac, since the placement test will not run properly on a Mac. Please use the Internet Explorer web browser for which the test was created and optimized. You should also use the mouse to click on the appropriate answers and to navigate the test, not the keyboard. No calculators are allowed on this test; the questions are designed to test your math ability without a calculator. Remember, this test is to determine which math class you should begin with in order to succeed in college; cheating or using a calculator on this exam will only hurt your college career and possibly keep you from graduating in a timely manner.

Once you are at a PC and are ready to take the test, do the following:

  1. Open Internet Explorer. You should have activated your email account at Lock Haven and changed your password before you attempt to take the test. (Go to the Computing Center web site for additional information.)
  2. Type in the URL web address: and hit enter to open the login window. Make certain you are ready to begin before continuing!
  3. Enter your Lock Haven email address and password and hit enter. If the login is successful you will be provided with a link to enter the math placement test web page. Click on the link.
  4. Enter your three initials to verify that you agree to abide by all instructions and conditions. Hit the Submit button. Read the directions for taking the test written on the website. Hit Click here to continue. When you hit Click here to begin the test, the placement test will begin.
  5. Answer the questions in the four sections of the test to the best of your ability. There are 60 questions total on the placement test. Remember that we do NOT expect you to be able to answer all questions; if you do not know what the question is asking, DO NOT PANIC! Simply leave the question blank and proceed to the next question.
  6. At the end of the test, you will be asked to enter your Student ID number, as well as your First Name and Last Name. Do so and hit the Submit button.
  7. You will then need to re-enter your Student ID number and click the Retrieve Test Results button to see your score. If you want, you can print out the results of the test for your records; however, this is not necessary. The results are recorded in a database at the university.
  8. Finally, after completing the test and viewing and/or printing your results, please close all open windows.