Discussion in 'Other Tests' started by Math, Feb 18, 2014.
Feb 18, 2014
Does anyone know of a good website to prepare for the Math? Are these tests extremely difficult?
Um. The point of a placement test is to help a student and the university place the student in the correct level of math, whether it's remedial or advanced. It never hurts to bone up on basics - but if a student's grasp of more advanced math is shaky, it's better to find that out through the placement test and get placed in a lower math class from which one will derive maximum benefit than it is to get placed in a higher class and spend the term floundering.
So I shouldn't really study?
I certainly wouldn't. My university didn't really make that possible anyway....no materials or info. about content on the test. The questions I remember were pretty basic---math was naturally easy for me, but even with foreign language, I somehow managed to place out of spanish so I wouldn't have to take a language in college.
You want the placement test to reflect what you really know---it should reflect permanent knowledge and skills as opposed to transient ones that you have memorized or crammed.
Study up on math that you were comfortable with, last time you took it, but that may have faded in the meantime. Sharpen up your basic skills - most of the math majors I've known sheepishly admit that they're not very good at balancing their checkbooks and may not be so fast with the times tables any more. Go ahead and look at concepts at the cutting edge of your knowledge: you might luck into an "Aha!" moment, where something makes sense to you that didn't before. But please don't try to fake stuff you don't know.
As for prep:
There's almost always a test description and prep sheet, or a link to a test description and a prep sheet, on (a) the university's Web site about the test, (b) the math department's Web page, or (c) both. In many universities, the math department devises the test so it reflects the sequence of remedial/developmental, entry-level, and advanced courses the department offers; in others, the test is one that's offered or even required by the state, and those tests are likelier to be products of ETS or Pearson.
I might give different advice to a math-averse English major, by the way.
Have you taken or are you taking AP Calc? My experience with university math placement is that as long as you have credit for Calc 1 (and/or Calc 2, depending on the school), you don't have to take the exam.
It usually goes something like this:
1 - Fundamental deficiencies
2 - Deficiency in college readiness
3 - GE Math readiness
4 - Precalculus
5 - Calculus 1 (and/or 2)
6 - Completion of basic calculus
No I have not taken Calc or any AP course. I am currently just in honors trig/precalc.
Feb 19, 2014
My university makes you take the test based on your ACT/SAT scores. It wasn't hard and I didn't study and math is not my subject.
What do you mean by, "But please don't try to fake stuff you don't know."
I'm a good enough test taker that a slightly sloppy placement test, especially if multiple choice, can make me look like I know more math than I do. This is handy for SAT, but it's not in my long-term interest in learning math, because it would be likely to land me in a course in which I'd be out of my depth. That's all.
Oh, even if a test is multiple choice I don't use answers to try and guide myself. This came into handy when the teacher gave a test that was multiple choice and the answer happened to not be one of the multiple choice answers. I simply drew my own letter and circled it and got five points extra credit!
Plus, I remember Alice telling me to make sure I understand the material.
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