North Central College - Naperville, IL

Mathematics Placement Test

The Mathematics Department gives two different placement tests depending on your high school background. Students who have not taken the AP Calculus Exam must take a placement test. Students who have taken the AP Calculus Exam do not take a placement test.

  • Students who have taken a high school course in trigonometry, precalculus, or calculus will take the “Graphing-Calculator-Based Calculus Readiness Test”. Please have a graphing calculator ready for the placement test.
  • Students who have not taken a high school course in trigonometry, precalculus, or calculus will take the regular North Central Math Department Placement Test; calculators are not allowed.

If you have any questions, contact Dr. Rich Wilders at 630-637-5234

What's On The Math Placement Tests?

The correct mathematics course for you depends on your intended major(s) as well as your high school background and general aptitude for mathematics. Use the information below to decide what math course seems right for you. Then try the indicated placement test questions to see if you are ready for that course. Placement testing will be offered during summer orientation sessions -- the online testing option is recommended to save you time and worry that day. If you are unable to take the online testing, you will take the placement exam once you arrive for summer orientation.

  • If you're interested in mathematics or the sciences, you want to take calculus as soon as you are ready to do so. If you are not currently prepared for calculus (MTH 151, 152, 153 or 254), you may need to review advanced algebra, trigonometry and elementary functions by taking MTH 140 and MTH 141: Integrated Calculus I (Calculus of Limits) and II (Calculus of Derivatives), a two-course sequence which blend these precalculus concepts with a first course in calculus.  If you are not reasonably comfortable with at least some of these precalculus concepts, you may want to take MTH 121: College Algebra and MTH 122: College Trigonometry. These two courses cover these same concepts and prepare the student for MTH 151.
  • If you're interested in business or accounting, you will need to complete ECB 241: Statistics. That course requires a knowledge of advanced algebra (MTH 121) If you have had 2.5 years or more of high school algebra, you may be able to enroll in ECB 241 without taking MTH 121. Try the advanced algebra test to see if this is the case.
  • If you're interested in the social sciences, you can fulfill your mathematics requirement by completing MTH 111: Quantitative Reasoning or MTH 130: Calculus for Business and Social Science.  For MTH 111, you need a good grounding in elementary algebra. For MTH 130, you need advanced algebra.
  • If you're planning teaching in an elementary school you will need to complete MTH 107 and MTH 108, Math for Elementary Teachers I and II. MTH 107 is a prerequisite for 108 and requires a good background in algebra.

The Department has two placement tests. The first is designed for all students who either don't want to take MTH 151 or whose background indicates that they need to do some preparation before enrolling in MTH 151. The second is used to determine if you are ready to enroll in MTH 151.

These tests can be taken on-line. If you provide an email address, you will receive a placement recommendation via email after completing the test.

View Sample Questions

Go directly to the Placement Tests