Placement Exams

For many majors (especially in science, technology, engineering and math), it’s strongly recommended you take a math and/or chemistry placement exam before registering for classes. Doing so could allow you to test into a higher prerequisite your first semester, which could help you graduate on time or sooner. Placement exams are offered through UTSA Testing Services.

You should take a Math Placement Exam if you are TSI complete in Math and need to take a math course higher than College Algebra, as it is one way you can fulfill the prerequisites to enroll in Precalculus or Calculus.

You should take the Chemistry Placement Exam if you need a higher chemistry course than Basic Chemistry and want to register and take General Chemistry (CHE 1103) your first semester.

Math Placement Exam

What is the Math Placement Exam?

The placement exam will gauge which math course is appropriate for you, based on your performance. If it has been a year or more since you took a math course, you may need to spend time reviewing in order to be successful in the placement exam.

Do I have to take the Math Placement Exam?

For certain majors, especially in science and engineering, higher-level math courses are mandatory in order to fulfill degree requirements. Consequently, it would be highly beneficial to test out of college algebra and be placed in higher-level math courses in your first semester.

However, in order to register for those higher level math classes like pre-calculus or calculus at Orientation, you must have either a passing Math Placement Exam score on file, or your scores/credits received from AP/IB/Dual Credit courses must already be processed. Because your AP/IB/Dual Credit scores might not be processed in time before your Orientation session, we strongly recommend you complete the Math Placement Exam so you can register for a higher level math course without delay.

Since the Math Placement Exam can only result in placement in a higher-level math course and not nullify any credits you earned from other exams or courses, you have nothing to lose in taking the exam!

How can I prepare for the Exam?

To help you prepare, we recommend that you take a practice placement exam online. You should use only a four function calculator and limit your time for the assessment to 90 minutes for an accurate assessment.

Click below for interactive versions of the practice placement exam.

Take Practice Placement Exam Part 1

Take Practice Placement Exam Part 2

What if I don’t need a higher-level course?

Even if your current major doesn’t require a higher level math, it’s still beneficial to start with a more advanced course. This way, if you decide to change your major, more course options will be open to you. Studies show over 50 percent of college students change their major at least once.

Where do I take the exam?

You have to register to take the exam through your ASAP account. No walk-in slots are available. Schedule your exam before your Orientation session on a day that is convenient for you.

Taking it at UTSA

UTSA Testing Services offers the math placement exam on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 11:00 am.

  1. Register to take the Math Placement Exam by logging into your ASAP account and clicking on "Testing Services Office (Testing Registration)" under the "Student Services" tab.
  2. Show up at your registered time at UTSA Testing Services. Bring a physical current, valid photo ID such as a driver’s license, student ID or passport.
  3. The fee for the exam is $20, which is charged to your UTSA account.
Taking it Remotely

If you live more than an hour away from San Antonio, we offer a remote testing option. The Remote Math Placement is available only for first-attempt Math Placement examinees.

  1. Log into your ASAP account to register to take the Math Placement Exam by clicking on "Testing Services Office (Testing Registration)" under the "Student Services" tab. You must choose "Remote Math Placement" from the list of Test options.
  2. Locate a proctor that is willing to administer the test at the date and time you prefer. Your proctor must complete the "Proctor Security Agreement and Acknowledgement Form".
  3. Fill out the "Remote Math Placement Disclaimer" form.
  4. Email the following information to testinfo@utsa.edu with the subject line "Remote Math Request":
    • Proctor Security Agreement and Acknowledgement Form
    • Remote Math Placement Disclaimer Form
    • Your Full Name, myUTSA ID and phone number
    • Your proctor’s full name, job title, professional email address and professional phone number with area code
    • the date and time you selected on ASAP
What happens if I don’t successfully pass the exam? Can I retake it?

The test can only be taken twice, so make sure you’re adequately prepared before taking it. Review the practice problems and ensure that you have adequate time to devote to taking the test before you register to take it again.

I took the AP Calculus exam. Should I still take the placement exam?

Yes, you should still consider taking the Math Placement Exam because AP scores are not available until mid-summer, and decisions about your eligibility for math courses may be needed prior to the receipt of your AP scores. Although a passing score on the AP exam will earn you college credit, we recommend you take the placement exam, so you can register for higher level math courses at Orientation, even if your scores haven’t been received.

It is possible that your AP score will allow you to register for a higher level math course, so you can check with an advisor at Orientation about prerequisites needed to take a course.

I have already taken college algebra or calculus at a community college. Should I still take the placement exam?

Yes, we recommend you take the Math Placement Exam prior to attending Orientation. Most likely your college credit will be reviewed after your Orientation session, so placement into math classes at Orientation can be based on your Math Placement Exam score.

I took College algebra, precalculus, or calculus in my high school. Should I still take the placement test?

Yes. A high school course does not count towards college credit unless it was taken as part of a dual credit program through a college or university. Students must take the Math Placement Exam in order to place into the appropriate higher level math course at UTSA if they don’t already have the required prerequisites.

If you took a college-level or dual credit course while in high school, you must provide appropriate documentation to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions so that your credits will appear on your records. Final transcripts often get processed after Orientation, which means you’ll have to hold off on registering for higher level courses until transcripts have been submitted and reviewed. If you pass the Math Placement Exam, you can register for those classes at Orientation.

Chemistry Placement Exam

Who should take the Chemistry Placement Exam?

For certain majors, especially in the College of Sciences, General Chemistry and other higher level chemistry courses are required in order to fulfill degree requirements; however, the prerequisite is Basic Chemistry. It would be highly beneficial to be able to skip Basic Chemistry and be placed in General Chemistry your first semester. Even if your current major doesn’t require a higher level chemistry, it’s still beneficial to start with a more advanced course. This way, if you decide to change your major, more course options will be open to you.

In order to register for General Chemistry at Orientation, you must have either a passing Chemistry Placement Exam score on file or your credits received from AP or Dual credit courses must be already processed. Because they might not be processed in time for your Orientation session, we recommend you complete the Chemistry Placement Exam before your Orientation session. Also, if you don’t have Dual Credit or AP or CLEP scores to meet the Basic Chemistry requirement, taking the Chemistry Placement Exam can also meet that prerequisite.

Note about the Chemistry Exam Scores

We recommend that you sign up and take the Chemistry Placement Exam prior to attending Orientation and meeting with your academic advisor. While your scores on the Chemistry Placement Exam can result in placement in a higher-level Chemistry course, it cannot result in a course placement lower than Basic Chemistry. Low scores on the Chemistry Placement exam will also not nullify any credits you earned from other exams, so you have nothing to lose in taking the exam.

Should I take a prep course to prepare for the exam?

Yes. Because you can only take the Chemistry placement exam once every two years, it is highly recommended that you sign up for a prep course. UTSA offers a free Chemistry Camp through Tutoring Services.

About Chemistry Camp
Chemistry Camp is a 3 day prep course that includes a chemistry refresher taught by a UTSA professor, several workgroup sessions led by upper level students, and automatic sign up to take the Chemistry Placement Exam through Testing Service at the end of the camp. Traditionally three out of four participants pass the exam, saving time as well as tuition. Part of the camp includes taking the exam and you will be automatically signed up when you register for the camp.

There is no charge to sign up and attend the Camp, other than the $10 fee for the placement exam. If you are attending Chemistry Camp, you do not need to register on ASAP to take the exam. Part of the camp includes taking the exam and you will be automatically signed up when you register for the camp.

Seating is limited and is available on first-come, first served bases. All Chemistry Camp sessions are held Wednesday through Friday and run from 8:30am - 5:30pm. Camp sessions include the following:

  • June 7-9 (deadline to register May 29)
  • July 5-7 (deadline to register June 26)
  • July 26-28 (deadline to register July 19)
  • August 2-4 (deadline to register July 24)

To register, call 210-458-6783.

How Do I Take the Chemistry Placement Exam?

The Chemistry Placement Exam can be taken through UTSA Testing Services.

  • Register on ASAP
  • Fee is $10 for exam
  • Need to achieve passing score of 21 out of 30 questions
I took the AP Chemistry exam. Should I still take the placement exam?

Yes, you should still consider taking the Chemistry Placement Exam because AP scores are not available until mid-summer. We recommend you take the placement exam, so you can register for General Chemistry courses at Orientation, even if your scores haven’t been received.

It is possible that your AP score will allow you to register for a higher level chemistry course, so you can check with an advisor at Orientation about prerequisites needed to take a course.

I have already taken Basic Chemistry at a community college. Should I still take the placement exam?

Yes, we recommend you take the Chemistry Placement Exam prior to attending Orientation. Most likely your college credit will be reviewed after your Orientation session, so placement into chemistry classes at Orientation can be based on your Chemistry Placement Exam score.

I took a chemistry course in high school. Should I still take the placement exam?

Yes. A high school course does not count towards college credit unless it was taken as part of a dual credit program through a college or university. Students must take the Chemistry Placement Exam in order to place into the appropriate higher level chemistry course at UTSA.

If you took a college-level or dual credit course while in high school, you must provide appropriate documentation to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions so that your credits are recorded. Even if you have dual credits that will place you in General Chemistry, we strongly recommend you take the placement exam so that you can register for those classes at Orientation as final transcripts often get processed after and you may not be able to register for higher level chemistry courses. If you pass the Chemistry Placement Exam, you can register for those classes at Orientation.

Questions? Contact the following office:

UTSA Testing Services

Email: testinfo@utsa.edu
Call:210-458-4125
Web: utsa.edu/testing

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