Frequently Asked Questions about Math Placement Exams

Who must take the mathematics placement exams?
A list of students required to take the math placement exams can be found at the following link: The exam will be taken when you come to Orientation this summer.

If I have college credit for a mathematics course, is it still necessary for me to take the placement exam?

If you have passed or anticipate passing a college level Calculus math course or the AP calculus exam, you may be exempt from the math placement exam. To be waived from the math placement exam, please send an email to with your name, major, student ID number, course information, and grade received/anticipated at least 3 business days prior to your orientation date. Please note: If you received a grade lower than a 4 on the AP Calculus exam or a B in a college level calculus course, you should take the math placement exam to ensure that you are well-prepared for the next level of math.

Why must I take a mathematics placement exam?

SUNY Oswego offers several different mathematics courses that first year and transfer students might choose from.  As you know from your study of mathematics in high school, your success in understanding a particular mathematical concept often depends on how well you have mastered earlier concepts.  For this reason you should only enroll in a mathematics course for which you have the necessary prerequisite knowledge and skills.  The results of this placement exam, together with your prior coursework and grades, indicate which course is most appropriate for you.

How do I prepare for the placement exam?  The exam will be given when you come to Orientation.

  • These tests are designed to help us properly place you in an appropriate level of math based on your current skill level.
  • Calculators, websites and textbooks are not allowed. 
  • You may need to take more than one test depending on your scores. 
  • If you have a disabling condition which may interfere with your ability to successfully complete any exam, please email If you have not already done so, you may complete the Disability Support Services Special Needs Identification form.

May I use a calculator or other materials when I take the  test?

 On questions where it is appropriate to use a calculator an online calculator is available for your use. You are not allowed to use your own calculator.

For all other questions about Math Placement, please  email