FAQ: Math Readiness Assessment

Who needs to take the Math Readiness Assessment?
All students who wish to take MTH 121, 131, or 141, except those who have a grade of C or better in ULC 148, a score of 3 or higher on AP Calculus (A/B or B/C), or a sufficient grade in MTH 121, 131, or 141 (see below).

Any passing grade in MTH 121 or 131 is sufficient to enroll in MTH 121 or 131.
A grade of C or better in MTH 121 or MTH 131 is sufficient to enroll in MTH 141.
Any passing grade in MTH 141 is sufficient to enroll in MTH 121, 131, or 141.

Why must students take the Math Readiness Assessment?
The assessment is used to assess students' readiness for college-level calculus.

How do students register for the Math Readiness Assessment?
Registration for the Math Readiness Assessment is handled through the Navigate app. Students can search through Navigate for a list of available dates. When scheduling an appointment, students should select "Student Support" for the appointment type and "Math Readiness Assessment" for the service.

A video demonstrating this registration process can be found here.

Alternatively, students can make their appointment here.

Is there a fee for taking the Math Readiness Assessment?
No, the Math Readiness Assessment is free to all students.

What topics are covered on the Math Readiness Assessment?
The Math Readiness Assessment tests students' knowledge of three main components: Math Fundamentals, Advanced Algebra, and Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry. A breakdown of the topics for each component is given below:

  • Math Fundamentals
    • Arithmetic
      1. Integer arithmetic
      2. Rational and decimal arithmetic
      3. Introducing algebraic skills
    • Algebra
      1. Simplifying algebraic expressions
      2. Factoring algebraic expressions
      3. Linear and quadratic equations
      4. Linear equalities
      5. Introduction to solving rational and radical equations
      6. Functions
      7. Solving literal equations
  • Advanced Algebra
    • Algebra
      1. Graphs of non-linear equations
      2. Simplifying expressions
      3. Quadratics
    • Advanced algebra
      1. Radicals and fractional exponents
      2. Absolute value and inequalities
      3. Functions
      4. Exponentials and logarithms
      5. Complex numbers and theory of equations
      6. Applications
  • Trigonometry and Geometry
    • Trigonometry
      1. Basic trigonometry definitions
      2. Identities
      3. Triangles
      4. Graphs
    • Geometry
      1. Plane geometry
      2. Three-dimensional geometry
      3. Geometric relationships
      4. Circles and other conics
      5. Triangles
      6. Parallel/perpendicular lines

What is the format of the questions on the Math Readiness Assessment
The Math Readiness Assessment is a multiple choice exam. There are 20 questions for each of the three main components, with 60 questions in total. Scrap paper will be provided to students to work out all answers for in-person exams.

How long is the Math Readiness Assessment?
Students have up to 90-minutes to complete the Math Readiness Assessment.

May students use a calculator while taking the Math Readiness Assessment?
The use of a calculator is not permitted during the Math Readiness Assessment.

May students use any other resources during the Math Readiness Assessment?
Students may only use a pen or pencil, paper, and the resources provided within the exam itself. Students are not allowed to receive assistance from friends, family, notes, websites, textbooks, or any other resource not provided by the exam. Using outside resources will lead to improper placement and potentially course failure. It is a violation of UB's academic integrity policy.

Can students take the Math Readiness Assessment online?
Yes, the Math Readiness Assessment is offered online.
Students will need to make an appointment through the Navigate App in order to take the exam.

What do students need in order to take the online Math Readiness Assessment ?
The online Math Readiness Assessment requires the use of two devices: a desktop or laptop computer to access the exam, and a smartphone or tablet with functioning camera to access the Zoom meeting room for proctoring. Students will also need a photo ID, writing utencils, and blank paper.

How will students access the Zoom meeting room for proctoring?
Students will need to have the Zoom app installed on their smartphone or tablet. A link for the Zoom meeting room is available through the student's appointment on the Navigate App. In order to join the meeting, students will need to be signed into Zoom with their UB account with SSO.
See more information on signing in with SSO, here.

How will students access the online Math Readiness Assessment?
The online Math Readiness Assessment is accessed through WeBWorK.
Students will not be able to access the WeBWorK page until shortly before the exam.

How is the online Math Readiness Assessment administered?
Students will join a Zoom meeting room through a smart phone or tablet with functioning camera that shows their face, computer screen, and work space. The proctor will then share the exam code which will allow access to the exam on WeBWorK.

Students must remain in the Zoom meeting room until they are finished with the exam. Failure to do so will result in a score of zero on the exam.

A video showing how to set up the two devices for taking the exam is here.

What is the placement result?
A student's placement result is comprised of three scores between 0 and 100, one for each of the three main components (Math Fundamentals, Advanced Algebra, Trigonometry/Geometry).

The required scores for MTH 121 or 131 are 70 on Math Fundamentals, and 70 on Advanced Algebra.

The required scores for MTH 141 are 70 on Math Fundamentals, 70 on Advanced Algebra, and 70 on Trigonometry/Geometry.

Where can students see their scores?
Students will receive an email with their scores as soon as they become available. The scores will be also viewable in the student's Academic Advising Report (AAR) on the HUB.

How long is the placement result valid?
The placement result is valid for 1 year.

If a student does not receive high enough scores for the course they want to take, can they register for the course anyway?
Unfortunately not. All students must achieve the applicable minimum component scores to be allowed in each course. If a student has not reached the required thresholds, they will be removed from the course before the start of the semester.

Can students retake the Math Readiness Assessment?
Yes. The best score from each component will be kept.

Can a student register for more than one Math Readiness Assessment date at a time?
No. If a student already has an appointment to take the Math Readiness Assessment, they will not be able to register for anotherMath Readiness Assessment until after the date of their existing appointment has passed.

Can a student change their exam date?
Yes. The student will first need to cancel their existing Math Readiness Assessment appointment before they are able to register for a new date.

Do students receive a reminder about their upcoming Math Readiness Assessment?
Yes, students will receive an email reminder 4-hours before your exam date and a text message reminder 1 hour before the exam (if they have a cell phone listed in HUB/Navigate).

When is the Math Readiness Assessment offered?
The Math Readiness Assessment is offered toward the end of the Fall and Spring semesters and over the summer and Winter breaks.
Please check the Navigate App to find a current list of available dates.

Can advisors see when the Math Readiness Assessment is offered?
Yes, advisors can look up the Department of Mathematics user through Navigate to find the list of availabilities.

What should students do if they take the Math Readiness Assessment but do not receive the scores required for their calculus course?
Students can retake the Math Readiness Assessment to try to improve their scores.

If a student is not able to satisfy the prerequities for their desired calculus course, they can consider enrolling in ULC 148 and should contact their academic advisor.


Can students that are currently taking ULC 148 enroll in MTH 121, MTH 131, or MTH 141?
Yes, if a student is currently taking ULC 148 then they can enroll in MTH 121, MTH 131, or MTH 141.

If the student completes ULC 148 with a grade of C or better, no further action will be necessary.

If the student does not complete ULC 148 with a grade of C or better, they will still need to satisfy the prerequisites for their calculus course in order to remain enrolled (e.g. sufficient scores on the Math Readiness Assessment).


If a student is already enrolled in MTH 121, MTH 131, or MTH 141, do they still need to take the Math Readiness Assessment?
If the student has not otherwise satisfied the prerequisites for their calculus course, they will still need to take the Math Readiness Assessment in order to remain enrolled. 

Students that have not satisfied the prerequisites for MTH 121, MTH 131, or MTH 141 will be dropped from those courses.


Will students be notified if they are enrolled in MTH 121, MTH 131, or MTH 141 but have not yet satisfied the prerequisites?
Yes, students will receive email notifications if they are enrolled in MTH 121, MTH 131, or MTH 141 and have not satisfied the prerequisites.
If a student believes this to be a mistake, they should email to the Math Readiness Assessment Email address, mth-placement@buffalo.edu, as soon as possible.

When are students dropped from MTH 121, MTH 131, or MTH 141 for missing prerequisites?
The drop process takes place in stages. Roughly two weeks before the start of the semester, students that have not satisfied the prerequisites for their calculus course will be dropped unless they have an active appointment to take the Math Readiness Assessment. This will be repeated just before the start of the semester and again after the first week of the semester. Students will receive email notifications if they are in jeopardy of being dropped at each stage.

For any questions or issues, please contact us via the Math Readiness Assessment Administrative Email: mth-placement@buffalo.edu