Skip Navigation
[image of dog in snow] Don't take it cold! Prepare for the math placement test by practicing!

Math Placement FAQs

Do I need to take the Math Placement (APT) Test?

Many incoming students find that they do need to take the Math Placement (APT) Test. Basic Algebra Readiness (BAR) is a level of math proficiency required for many CLC classes. This test is one way to demonstrate BAR. Students planning to enroll in CLC math courses and unable to demonstrate BAR through other means are required to take the Math Placement (APT) Test to determine initial math course placement. This is also true for some non-math CLC courses. Students who have already demonstrated BAR through other means may choose to take the test anyway to try to place into a higher level course. See specific course requirements in the current catalog, or talk to a CLC advisor. Learn more about Math placement and prerequisite requirements.

What’s the test format?

The exam is all multiple-choice, and measures current mathematics knowledge and skill proficiency. You’ll read each question, and then select an answer from the four available choices. The exam begins with a 12-question Elementary Algebra section and then moves either to a 17-question Arithmetic section or to a 20-question College Mathematics section. The test is computer adaptive, meaning questions are chosen for you based on your previous answers.  The adaptive test format means your group of questions will be unique.  It also means you won’t be able to go back and change your answers, so it’s important to give each question careful consideration before submitting your answer and moving on.  For examples of typical test questions, please access the free Accuplacer Study App.

Should I study for this test?

YES! Studying could save you a lot of time and money by allowing you to place into higher level classes and take fewer classes!

Where can I find study materials?

Study materials are available online and at the Testing Center or the Counseling, Advising and Transfer Center. The Accuplacer study app is accessible to most devices with internet access, and provides sample questions similar to those on the actual test plus explanations of correct/incorrect answers. You can track your study progress, identify areas for improvement, and come back as often as you like. You’ll just need to create your own login once, and then use it each time you want to access the app.

Can I bring scratch paper? 

No. For the Math test, you’ll be provided with scratch paper and pencil. Testing Center staff will collect your scratch paper at the end of your test.

Can I use my calculator?

Handheld calculators are not allowed, but the testing software provides a pop-up calculator on some questions. Onscreen instructions for using the pop-up calculator will be provided, and Testing Center staff will be available nearby if you have questions or need assistance.

Can I flag questions or change my answers?

No. Unlike on some other exams, once you select an answer and move to the next question, you cannot go back and change a previous answer. Because of this, it’s recommended that you take your time, check your answers on your scratch paper and/or the pop-up calculator (if provided), and then carefully select each answer before moving on to the next question.

Will I be able to see my score when I’m done?

Yes, a score report is generated at the end of each test, but the numbers probably won’t mean much to you because scoring does not follow a standard 0-100 format. When you check out after testing, Testing Center staff will briefly outline your course placement options based on your score, and you’ll be given a paper score report for your reference.  If you have further questions about specific course placement, you’re encouraged to speak to a CLC advisor or an advisor in your field of study.

What if I took the Math Placement (APT) Test and didn’t do as well as I planned? Can I take the test again?

Students who have demonstrated Basic Algebra Readiness (BAR) may take the Math Placement Test twice in a 12-month period, but must wait for a period of at least two days (48 hours) before retesting. Students who have not demonstrated BAR after testing should see an advisor/counselor to determine next steps.