Department of Mathematics
Initial Mathematics Placement
Our goal is that during your first year at GVSU, you enroll in the correct mathematics or statistics course that fits your academic plans and your background. As a first step, when you are admitted, an initial mathematics placement is determined based on your mathematics subscore on the ACT or SAT exam. There are four possible initial placements:
- MTH 097 (Elementary Algebra): You may directly enroll in MTH 097. Supplementary Learning Assistance (SLA) sections are available for fall semester.
- MTH 110 (Algebra): You may directly enroll in MTH 097 or MTH 110. You are strongly suggested to enroll into a mathematics course in your first semester. Supplementary Learning Assistance (SLA) sections are available fall and winter semesters. MTH 110 is the pre-requisite for all courses in the General Education – Mathematics category.
- Waiver of MTH 110: You may directly enroll into the following courses in the General Education Mathematical Sciences category: CIS 160, GPY 200, MTH 122, 125, 131, or 221, PHI 103, or STA 215. The choice of course depends on your major and your interests. If you are planning on taking MTH 122, 125, 131, or 221, you are strongly suggested to enroll into these courses as early as possible in your undergraduate studies.
- Advanced Waiver/Override: You may directly enroll into any of the courses in the General Education Mathematical Sciences category. The choice of course depends on your major and interests.
Please see the course catalog for the descriptions of these courses.
Mathematics Proficiency Testing
Mathematics proficiency testing is available to change your placement. There are proficiency tests for MTH 110 (Algebra), MTH 122 (College Algebra), and MTH 123 (Trigonometry). Practice tests may be found at www.gvsu.edu/testserv/math-placement-5.htm.
Testing is recommended for the following situations:
- If you believe that your placement is not appropriate for your math level because your ACT or SAT score does not correctly represent your mathematics preparation.
- Your major is engineering, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, physical therapy, or any health science, and you do not have the Advanced Waiver/Override.
- Your initial mathematics placement is “Waiver of MTH 110” and you believe that you are ready for MTH 201 (Calculus). In this case, you should attempt the MTH 122 and MTH 123 proficiency tests.
- Your initial placement is “MTH 097” and you believe your algebra skills are strong enough to either start in MTH 110 or waive MTH 110. You should attempt the MTH 110 test.
Some other notes about mathematics proficiency testing:
- Testing is available continuously through an online system. Incoming freshmen should complete any testing at least 48 hours before their orientation. For more information: www.gvsu.edu/admissions/math
- Testing is free and results are available immediately. Students are allowed to take two tests for each course (MTH 110, 122, 123).
- Passing the MTH 122 or 123 proficiency test does not replace the General Education mathematics requirement.
- For current GVSU students: If you wish to register to take one or more proficiency tests, please send an e-mail to MathTest@gvsu.edu with your name, G-number, e-mail address, and reason for taking a math test.
- For newly-admitted students: You will be automatically added to the testing system after you register for orientation.
Page last modified March 17, 2013