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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Taking Placement & Prerequisite Exams

How, Where and When


If you have met with your advisor and have previously fulfilled at least one of the prerequisites (ACT-MATH score, SAT-MATH score, AP Calculus, ACCUPLACER) for your desired course, then see registering for your math class.

Placement and Prerequisite Information for Students Wanting to Take MATH 1070, 1110 or 1401

Requirements must be met within 3 years of the start of the class.
 Course MATH 1070 MATH 1110 MATH 1401
ACT-Math 24 24 27
SAT-Math 560 560 620
AP Calculus (AB or BC) Test score of at least 3 Test score of at least 3 AP Calculus credit on your transcript
 MyMathTest Prep for Algebra: 17/25 Prep for Algebra: 17/25 Prep for Calculus: 17/25
Accuplacer* Elementary Algebra test: 85 Elementary Algebra test: 85 College Level Math test: 80

*Accuplacer tests are no longer offered at University of Colorado Denver.

MATH 1070 and 1110 prerequisite scores are for informational purposes only and are not required.
MATH 1401 Prerequisite requirements must be met before registering.

The MyMathTest/ALEKS Exams

If you have not met any of the prerequisites, you must pass the MyMathTest exam, which is free, or the ALEKS exam. These are online exams taken at the MERC (Math Education Resource Center) Lab:

  • The MERC Lab is located in Room 4015 of the North Classroom Building.
  • You can take the exams in the MERC Lab any time the lab is available for exams. MERC Lab hours are updated each semester, so please visit the MERC Lab Web site before making plans to sit for the exam. In any case, please call 303-556-8532 to check on availability.
  • No appointment is necessary to take these tests, but you must bring your valid student ID, proof of birth date (usually a driver's license), and a pencil. (Student IDs are available in the Tivoli Student Union.) If you are a new student, then bring your UC Denver acceptance letter, which has your 9-digit student ID number and 4-digit PIN in the bottom left-hand corner. You will still need a picture ID, preferably a driver's license.
  • Please be sure to leave enough time to finish the exam.
  • If you are registering for an online section of MATH 1070, MATH 1110 or MATH 1401, and you live more than 100 miles away from the Downtown Campus, then please call the MERC Lab at 303-556-8532.

Do not wait for the first week of class to qualify for your desired course! Testing resources become scarce once the semester begins and we are not responsible if you run out of registration time or if seats in the desired section of your course are unavailable.

We strongly encourage students to prepare for exams. Visit the MyMathTest online site and go through the review questions online before taking the exam. There are step-by-step solutions to all the review problems, and students who go through the review have a much higher pass rate.

Start by taking MyMathTest. If you need additional review, sign up for the ALEKS tutorial and allow yourself at least 20 hours to study before taking the ALEKS exam. We no longer offer the ACCUPLACER exam at UC Denver, but you can take it at another institution; you are responsible for having official documentation of your exam results faxed from the institution directly to the Department of Mathematical & Statistical Sciences at 303-556-8550. Students registering for MATH 1070 or MATH 1110 can meet the prerequisite by passing the "Prep for College Algebra" test. Students registering for MATH 1401 can meet the prerequisite by passing the "Prep for Calculus" test.

Please read the procedures below carefully:

You must take MyMathTest first.

  • The track associated with the Pearson Publishing Group is called "MyMathTest(MMT)" and is free of charge. Our prerequisite tests have 25 questions and the passing score is 68% (17 points out of 25). You must complete the test in 90 minutes. The review questions are online. The review engine offers step-by-step solutions to all the review problems. Click here for "MyMathTest(MMT)."
  • If you do not pass the first time, then you MUST complete the "Inventory" assessment in MMT, so that you may focus on your weaknesses. The inventory can have up to 40 questions, and, of course, you can complete this part at home. This will generate a study plan in MMT which you MUST complete before you can have a second attempt at the prerequisite test.

If you can't pass the MMT track, then you may attempt the ALEKS track.

  • The path associated with the McGraw-Hill Publishing Group is called "ALEKS." If you wish to use this product, you must buy the product directly from them for $30. It provides a much broader review of the material and TWO chances to pass the ALEKS version of the prerequisite test for your course. Click here for the ALEKS Web site.
  • ALEKS is aimed at students who need some basic practice in all of the supporting topics for the specific prerequisite test. ALEKS requires you to earn syllabus points ("fill up the pie") by completing various exercises which support the prerequiste syllabus for Business/College Algebra or Calculus I.
  • Do not underestimate the amount of work necessary to complete the work in ALEKS. You must earn at least 80% of the syllabus points so that we can order up your final assessment in ALEKS. The passing score on the final assessment is 70%. You may have two attempts at the final assessment in ALEKS. All work in ALEKS must be completed within six weeks of your initial registration into ALEKS. Do not start ALEKS unless you are serious about completing the work!

Why are there two tracks?

  • MyMathTest is aimed at students who do not need very much review. If you wish to register for MATH 1401, you should have recently completed MATH 1130, Precalculus, or MATH 1120, College Trigonometry. If you wish to register for MATH 1070 or MATH 1110, you should have recently completed MATH 099, Intermediate Algebra, at a community college or a full-year course covering Algebra 2 in high school. MyMathTest focuses on specific skills. The problems seem more difficult because the required depth of knowledge of these specific skills is greater than in ALEKS. Most students who have passed MyMathTest say that it is very important to understand all of the review questions!
  • Students who have passed ALEKS say that the extended practice is great! However, the main complaint is that the BREADTH of knowledge necessary to pass is much greater than in MyMathTest. Thus, if you choose the ALEKS path, you must dedicate a good chunk of time in order for your study to be effective!

We strongly suggest that you first review all of the questions for your test on the Pearson website before taking the MyMathTest track. Based on the result and the amount of time you have remaining to register, we can easily suggest a further course of action.

    Questions? Call the MERC Lab at 303-556-8532.


    What is the deadline for taking the exam?

    The exam must be taken and passed before registering for classes.

    How long do the exams take?

    You have up to 90 minutes to complete the exam.

    How long do my exam scores stay valid?

    All exam score are valid if they were obtained within three years of the starting date of the course. An appropriate prerequisite score must be achieved before enrolling in the class.

    I took the ACCUPLACER exam at another institution. Do I have to take it again?

    If you took the appropriate ACCUPLACER Exam (Math 1401 students need the College-Level Math exam and MATH 1070 and 1110 students need the Elementary Algebra Exam or College-Level Math exam), then you are responsible for having official documentation of you exam results faxed from the institution directly to the Dept. of Mathematical & Statistical Sicences: 303-556-8550.

    I took calculus at another institution. What if I want to retake this course at UCD? Do I still need to take the exam?

    If you have completed a college-level calculus course at another school and received a grade of C- or better, you will not be required to take a prerequisite exam. The calculus course must be on your UC Denver transcript, so high school calculus classes do not fall under this category, unless you received full credit for Calculus I by way of an AP exam or if you took it as a CU-Succeed course. If you took calculus more than three years ago it is required that you take a prerequisite exam to determine whether you should take a different course as a refresher, though this will not affect whether you can take calculus here. It should also be noted that you cannot receive credit for calculus twice; retaking calculus will not help you get the credit needed to graduate, but the course grade will affect your GPA. Another option is to take the class for No Credit (so you would not receive a grade, but you would get feedback from the instructor through homeworks and exam grades).

    I took a different prerequisite exam (e.g., ELM) at another institution. Will it transfer?

    The short answer is "no." Until we can document the equivalence between exams, we are not allowing these scores to transfer.

    How often can I take the exam?

    You have at the maximum two attempts to pass MyMathTest and two attempts to pass ALEKS each semester.

    I took the MyMathTest exam twice and still did not pass. Is there any way I can take it a third time?

    No, but you can study for and take the ALEKS test. For more information visit the ALEKS site.

    If I just want to audit the course, do I still have to take the exam?

    Everyone who is registered for the course must take the exam.

    I would like to take a Metro pooled math course. Do I need to meet UC Denver's or Metro's prerequisite requirements?

    Before enrolling in a UC Denver pooled math course, all UC Denver students must meet UC Denver's prerequisite requirements, just as Metro students must meet Metro's prerequisite requirements. The registration process for enrolling in a Metro pooled course is the same as for enrolling in an on-campus course: a Schedule Adjustment Form must be filled out and an authorized signature from the Deptartment of Mathematical & Statistical Sciences must be obtained.

    I did not place into MATH 1110, College Algebra, or MATH 1070, Algebra for Social Sciences and Business. What should I do?

    It is your responsibility to learn the appropriate material. You can do this by:

    • Registering for ALEKS, a web-based tutorial that will help you prepare for the exam ($30 for six weeks). You should earn at least 80% of the syllabus points before taking the ALEKS assessment. Click here for more information.
    • Taking a class/classes at a community college: MATH 099, Intermediate Algebra (requires an Elementary Algebra ACCUPLACER score of 61-84) or MATH 090, Introductory Algebra (EA ACCUPLACER score of 45-60).
    • Hiring a tutor and meeting with the tutor on a regular basis.
    • Getting an appropriate intermediate algebra (or survey of algebra) textbook and working through the material on your own.
    I am unable to come to the Department of Mathematical & Statistical Sciences; how can I get my form signed?

    You can always fax your schedule adjustment form to the department (303-556-8550). When it is signed the form will be faxed back to you. It is your responsibility, not the department's, to make sure that the form goes to the Registrar's Office.