Information for Students

Math Placement and Quantitative Literacy Exam

All entering students must take the combined Math Placement and Quantitative Literacy Exam regardless of any math courses you are transferring into Ithaca College.  Incoming freshman and transfer students can access the online test at  

For students who did not take the exam prior to orientation or those who want to retake the Math Placement exam: The exam is typically administered twice each semester, once at the beginning at the semester and once during the advance registration period mid-way through the semester. Students can register for the Math Placement portion of the exam by contacting Arlene Dende at (607) 274-3107 or via e-mail at  The next Math Placement Exam (does not include the Quantitative Literacy exam) is scheduled for Tuesday, March 28, 2017, at 5:30 PM in Williams Hall room 309.  Note:  You may only retake the math placement exam once.

For students who want to take or retake the Quantitative Literacy Exam you must contact Arlene Dende at (607)-274-3107 or via e-mail at adende@Ithaca.eduNote:  You may only retake the QL exam once.

Placement Group

Based on the results of the exam, students are initially assigned to one of the four placement groups. This determines where they can enter the mathematics curriculum. Students can move from one group to another as follows:

Group 4: The student must take MATH 10000 or MATH 18000 before any other mathematics course. Passing MATH 10000 or MATH 18000 with a C- or better qualifies the student to take courses with a group 3 prerequisite. (Students who are QL-ready may take MATH 16200 or MATH 16300.)

Group 3: The student may take mathematics courses MATH 10400, MATH 10500, MATH 10600, MATH 10700, MATH 11000, MATH 13500, MATH 15200, and MATH 15500. Completion of MATH 10400, MATH 10700, MATH 11000, or with a C- or better qualifies the student to take courses with a group 2 prerequisite.

Group 2: The student may take MATH 10800, MATH 11000, MATH 14400, MATH 14500, and MATH 16100 as well as any course that a group 3 student may take, except . Students are encouraged to take one of the courses listed here. Completion of MATH 11000 with a C- or better qualifies the student to take courses with a group 1 prerequisite.

Group 1: The student may take any course in the mathematics offerings other than MATH 10000, MATH 10700, MATH 11000, , and MATH 18000, provided the course prerequisites are met. Students in group 1 are encouraged to take courses with group 1 or group 2 prerequisites.


Readiness for Quantitative Literacy

In addition, students are deemed QL-ready or not based on results from the Math Placement - QL exam.  If a student receives a passing score (9 or higher) on the QL-readiness portion of the exam, that student may enroll in QL-designated courses for which they meet the prerequisites.   QL-designated courses are part of the Integrative Core Curriculum.

If students fail the QL portion of exam, they may retake the QL portion of the exam.  Otherwise, Group 4 students must take MATH 10000 or MATH 18000; others must take any math course at the 10000 level for which their placement qualifies them.  Once students pass the appropriate course with C- or better, they become eligible to take QL-designated courses.


Mathematics Placement Exam Guide

Sample Mathematics Placement Exam Questions

Sample Math Placement Exam Questions with solutions

Sample Quantitative Literacy Exam Questions

Math Placement and Quantitative Literacy Exam Instructions - this document describes how to log into Sakai to access the Math Placement Exam.

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