Online Placement Testing

Every undergraduate student who enters Salem College is required to complete the Mathematics Placement Examination process at least one month prior to registering for a mathematics course, regardless of whether she has transferred in credits or has obtained AP or IB credit for mathematics courses. Each student’s results are used, in conjunction with other information, to determine the most appropriate mathematics course for her to enroll in so that she can progress towards her intended major. Our placement testing process is online and can be completed at any time. Salem College has adopted the Maple TA®-MAA Mathematics Placement Testing Suite® so that each student will be assured of being placed in the right mathematics course for her preparation level and intended major. Students will be able to take placement tests from almost any computer with almost any web browser, at any time.

All new first-year students and transfer students are asked to complete the online placement testing process at least two weeks prior to their first semester at Salem College.This will give the mathematics faculty enough time to inform students and their academic advisors about appropriate courses prior to the registration process. 

All undergraduate students who intend to register for a mathematics course must complete the placement process prior to registering for that course.

Once you have completed the placement testing process, the mathematics faculty will use the results along with other information to determine your placement in a mathematics course. We will contact your academic advisor with appropriate information, along with any additional feedback that we believe may be of benefit to you as you complete not only your mathematics requirement for the Salem Signature, but also the Quantitative Interpretation/Evidence-based Thinking component of the Salem Signature and any quantitatively-oriented courses that may be required for your intended major. All questions regarding the mathematics placement testing process should be directed to Specific information about mathematics courses is available here.

What Course(s) Will be Recommended for Me?

Based upon your SAT/ACT scores, AP or IB scores for Calculus (if you have them), your results on both placement examinations, and your intended major, we will recommend a course or courses that we believe are best for you. You might be placed into MATH 020: College Algebra or MATH 025: Elementary Functions and Graphs in order to prepare you for additional courses you need for your major, or you might be placed into MATH 060: Finite Mathematics, MATH 070: Essential Calculus, or MATH 100: Calculus I. If you are transferring in courses or have received AP or IB credit, we will recommend for you the next course(s) for which you are eligible, which could be MATH 101: Calculus II, or even a higher course, when appropriate.

We know that every student is different in terms of preparation, needs, and future academic and career goals. We pay close attention to the types of courses which will be most beneficial to your goals. For instance, you may plan to pursue medical school, so you will eventually need to take two semesters of Physics; we will place you in a course or a sequence of courses, depending upon your experience, that will help you progress towards that requirement and your goal of becoming an MD. Or you may intend to major in a discipline with no specific mathematics requirements, so we will recommend a course, based on your background, that we believe will give you a well-rounded quantitative literacy component to your Salem education.

During the registration process, you and your academic advisor will review our recommendations and develop a plan so that you can complete the necessary courses in a timely manner and allow you to progress through your intended major. If at anytime during the registration process, you or your advisor have questions about your recommended placement, you can always contact a member of the mathematics faculty for clarification.

Technical Information

Before beginning, you must make sure that you are using the most up-to-date version of your Internet browser (Internet Explorer®, Firefox®, Chrome® or Safari®), that your browser supports at least Java 1.6®, and that you have a stable and fast Internet connection (no dial-up). It is best not to use a wireless connection, as these connections are often unstable; interruptions in the testing process often occur when attempting to use a wireless device.

If you are unsure about the status of your browser, Java or your Internet connection’s speed and stability, then you may wish to visit your local public library to use one of its public computers; if you have a Salem College e-mail address, you may complete the placement process on any computer in any of our computer laboratories. Technical difficulties associated with the examination are usually resolved by updating Java® or your web browser or by clearing your Internet cache and history folders.

Placement Examination Descriptions (current as of 01/29/2013)

For your convenience, a printable PDF file is available here with all of the instructions you need to access the placement testing site and to complete the placement process. The registration steps are also shown below.


First-Time Registration for Mathematics Placement Testing

  • Go to You should see the following login window.
    Math Placement Registration
  • The first time you go to this page, click Register.
  • You will be taken to another screen (see below) for registration.

    Here, enter your legal first name and your legal last name in the first two fields. The Display Name will fill in automatically for you when you have entered the appropriate information in the the first two fields. In the Student ID field, enter your six-digit Salem College student ID. In the User Login field, type in your legal first name (all lower case), a period, and your legal last name (all lower case). For example, if your name is Jan Marie Jones, you would enter jan.jones as your User Login. (If you have not been issued a Salem College student ID at this time, use the User Login described above as your Student ID.)

  • In the Email field, please enter your Salem College e-mail address if you have been assigned one. If you have not yet been assigned a Salem College e-mail address, enter the e-mail address you currently use most often.
  • Choose a password that you can remember and enter it in the Password field and the Confirm Password field. Choose something that you will remember. Sharing your login, user name or password with anyone is a breach of the Salem College Honor Code.
  • Click Submit. Once your registration has been accepted, you will be taken back to the original login screen, where you must now log in with your new user name and password. Click Log in.
  • The first time you enter the system, you will see the following screen.
    Continue Registration Process
  • Click Find classes open for registration and you should see only one option at this time. You must check the box to the left of Mathematics Placement Examinations: *Traditional-aged Students. You may also check the box to the left of Skills Required for General Education Courses in Mathematics. The skill option will allow you to review the mathematical concepts you will need in order to be successful in those mathematics courses that satisfy the Salem Signature General Education Requirements in Liberal Arts Disciplinary Dimensions in Mathematics. Check the box to the left of the appropriate set of tests for you, then click Register.
  • A new window will appear, asking you to confirm that you wish to register for the placement testing process. Click Confirm. You are now ready to begin the process, or you may log out and return later. You may practice the problems int he skills section as often as you like, even after your are enrolled in a mathematics course at Salem. The two placement examinations, however, should be completed at least one month prior to registering for any Salem College mathematics course.

Important Additional Information

The results of the placement test are not the only information we use to determine the appropriate mathematics course for you to take at Salem. We include other information, such as your intended major, SAT or ACT scores, AP/IB test scores, if available. We will inform your academic advisor, the Registrar, and the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies of your placement and any advice that the mathematics faculty may have to help you succeed in your quantitatively-oriented courses.

If you have documentation from a licensed professional indicating that you are eligible for special testing conditions, please contact the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, who will then help us to make arrangements for an alternate testing process.

Certain conditions may occur after which you may request to retake one or both placement examinations. For instance, if you lose your Internet connecting while completing the placement process, you must request permission by sending an e-mail message to Please understand that messages sent during the Summer or Winter breaks, or during the first week or two of class may not receive a response for one to two weeks. Note that requests for retaking the exams will be reviewed by the mathematics faculty in conjunction with the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies and are not automatically granted.