At CU Boulder, students have several math courses to choose from, based on their intended major. While some courses do not require a prerequisite or prior math experience, others will require a math readiness test or the completion of prerequisite coursework.

We want to ensure that students are successful and prepared for the math courses in which they are enrolled. Students planning to register for a precalculus or calculus course should take the math readiness test first. The test score will be combined with other information including high school transcripts and college entrance exam scores to place students in the appropriate course. Students who wish to improve their placement can take a proctored online math placement test. Note: there will also be on-campus proctored options available for students whose computers will not support the software or don't have a webcam. 

The Math Readiness Test will re-open on Monday, November 2nd for incoming spring 2021 students. New students should prepare for this test, and complete it no later than Sunday, January 10th. Plan to take this test as soon as possible. If your placement is not what you expected, you can take a proctored online placement test, but you will need time to prepare for that, so don't delay!

The Math Readiness Test will re-open on Monday, November 2nd, and close on January 10th. Don't delay! 

Incoming students wishing to enroll in a precalculus or calculus course during their first semester at CU must take the online Math Readiness Test over the summer prior to enrolling in a math class, or in November or December for those starting in the spring semester. The test score will be combined with other student information (high school transcripts and college entrance exam scores) to generate one of three possible placements: Calculus, Precalculus, or Not Calculus/Precalculus. Continuing students hoping to enroll in Precalculus or Calculus 1 who have not received a math placement score may also take the online Math Readiness Test. Results remain valid for one year, but it is recommended that continuing students take the test shortly before the semester in which they plan to enroll in precalculus or calculus. See additional information for continuing students below.

Students are encouraged to review the study materials and work through a practice test before taking the actual test in a distraction-free environment. Please make note of the test conditions:

  • The 60-minute Math Readiness Test will consist of 40 multiple choice questions. Students interested in qualifying for Calculus must complete the entire test. Students interested in qualifying for Precalculus may submit the test after completing the first 20 questions. There will be only one correct answer per question. Partial credit will not be awarded.
  • The only resources allowed are pencils (or pens) and blank scratch paper. Books, notes, calculators, electronic devices, the internet, and other resources are not permitted.
  • For spring 2021 new students, you should complete the exam as soon as possible. The date that you take the Math Readiness Test could impact your ability to enroll in math courses! 
  • Test takers who require additional time to complete the test online due to a documented disability should visit Disability Services in the Center for Community, Room N220, email dsinfo@colorado.edu, or call 303-492-8671 prior to taking the readiness test. You will be asked to register for accommodations with Disability Services and provide the appropriate documentation. After you have received disability accommodations for extended time, it is extremely important that you contact mathplacement@colorado.edu before starting the test to activate additional time.
  • Important note: When you start the Math Readiness Test, you should plan to complete it in one sitting or your incomplete score will be submitted and you will be locked out. If that happens, contact mathplacement@colorado.edu.

When you are ready, visit this site to take the online Math Readiness Test.

  1. Log in using your CU Identikey username and password.

  2. On the Enroll in CU Boulder Math Readiness Test page, click Enroll in Course, then Go to the Course.

  3. On the Canvas home page, select the course CU Boulder Math Readiness Test.

  4. Review the study materials and take the Practice Test.

  5. When you are ready, take the official Math Readiness Test.

After taking the Math Readiness Test, your placement will be available three business days following the test date. Students can view their placement results in Canvas under "Grades" or by going to the Buff Portal.

Students who feel they have not been placed in the appropriate math eligibility category based on the Math Readiness Test may take the proctored online math placement test to demonstrate their math proficiency. See additional information on this below, and on the New Student & Family Programs Website.

All students are required to take the Math Readiness Test first. Those who would like to improve their placement score may attempt a Proctored Online Math Placement Test for another opportunity to demonstrate sufficient proficiency in the topics necessary to be successful in precalculus or calculus 1 at CU Boulder. The proctored test score also determines the placement: Calculus, Precalculus, or Not Calculus/Precalculus; it will not make students eligible for Calculus 2.

The Proctored Online Math Placement Test will be offered January 11 and 12, 2021.

Students will be required to download the Proctorio software before taking this proctored test. After completion of the test, students should email mathplacement@colorado.edu to receive their test score.

  • Students will need a computer and a webcam for this remotely proctored test which will be video recorded.
  • Students will need to install the Proctorio extension for the Google Chrome browser. Instructions can be found at https://proctorio.com/support.
  • Students with questions about the technical requirements or attaining the required technology can email mathplacement@colorado.edu for assistance.

If your computer will not support this software, or you don't have a webcam, email mathplacement@colorado.edu for information on taking the online proctored retake in one of our computer labs on campus.

After completion of the test, students should email mathplacement@colorado.edu to receive their test score.

Important: students should prepare well prior to taking this test, as it is set up to be taken only once. 

You can find more information about placement assessments on the New Student & Family Programs Website

See the section below for more information on signing up to take the the Proctored Online Math Placement Test.

When you are ready, visit this site to take the Proctored Online Math Placement Test

  • Log in using your CU Identikey username and password.
  • On the Enroll in CU Boulder Proctored Math Placement Test page, click Enroll in Course, then Go to the Course.
  • On the Canvas home page, select the course CU Boulder Proctored Math Placement Test.
  • Review the study materials. You may wish to take the Practice Test.
  • When you are ready, take the quiz called Math Readiness Test Retake.

After taking the Proctored Online Math Placement Test, contact mathplacement@colorado.edu to receive your score.

All students who will be taking a precalculus or calculus 1 course at CU must complete the Math Readiness Test, with the following exceptions:

  • Successful completion of prerequisite coursework at the college level (either at CU Boulder or via approved transfer).
  • Successful completion of the AP Calculus AB or BC test with the requisite exam score.

All incoming Engineering students must complete the Math Readiness Test regardless of previous math college credit (transfer, dual enrollment, AP/IB). Other students who meet these eligibility requirements, or those who are eligible for a higher level math course, are still asked to complete the Math Readiness Test to review the topics necessary for success in CU math courses. In these cases the readiness test will not impact your math class options.

All incoming students are encouraged to consult their academic advisors for help in selecting an appropriate math course.

Continuing CU Boulder students who do not have a Calculus or Precalculus placement may also take the Math Readiness Test. Continuing students may also take the proctored online math placement test January 11 and 12, 2021 to improve their score in preparation for taking a math class during the following 12 months. Note that test scores will be combined with other data from student records to generate math placements. 

Since results remain valid for only one year, students should take the Math Readiness Test shortly before the semester in which they plan to take Precalculus or Calculus 1. Students are encouraged to prepare for the placement exam through self-study (see our preparation tips), by taking a math class at a community college, or through other options available to them. Sufficient independent preparatory work should be completed prior to attempting the test.

Results of the Math Readiness test will be posted within three business days to Canvas under "Grades" and in the Buff Portal. Results of the Proctored Online Math Placement Test will be posted within one business day.

Still have questions? Check out the FAQs first, then email mathplacement@colorado.edu.