MATH assessment FAQs

Q. Why should I take the Math Assessment?

A. Take this assessment to:

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Q. Will taking this assessment help me decide where to begin study in math?

A. Yes. Your score will indicate your preparedness for a particular level of math unless you take a level that is too easy or too difficult for you which may require you to retake the assessment. It is important to remember if you earned a borderline score decision zone that you have borderline preparedness for a higher level course. Students with borderline entry skills for a course often have difficulty in the higher level course. It's a good idea to discuss your scores with a counselor or academic advisor.

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Q. How will I be able to show that I am prepared for a math course?

A. (1) If you took a math assessment at MiraCosta, your assessment is checked by computer.
(2) If you completed the preceding course at MCC with a grade of "C" or better, your course eligibility is checked by computer.
(3) If you took the prerequisite course elsewhere, you must submit a requisite review request form to the Admissions and Records Office with a copy of your transcript or grade report.
(4) If you took an assessment test at another California community college, you must provide the Admissions & Records Office with a copy of your score report showing assessments.
(5) If you took an approved assessment elsewhere (see class schedule for listing of approved alternatives) you must provide the Testing Office with a document that clearly shows your qualifying score.
You must meet the prerequisite before you register for any math course except Math 20. If you have not met the required skill level for the math course you wish to take, you will not be allowed to enroll.

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Q. I already hold a college degree. Can I enroll in a math course without taking the math assessment?

A. Any student who holds a B.A. degree or higher is eligible to take Math 30. For higher courses proof of the prerequisite is required.

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Q. What is the assessment like?

A. You will select one of four levels on the computer: Pre-calculus, Intermediate Algebra, Elementary Algebra, or Algebra Readiness. You may take only one of the four levels on a given day. Calculators are not allowed on any of the levels. Each level is timed at 75 minutes. The entire assessment process will take about 90 minutes.

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Q. Are review materials available for the assessments?

A. Math review for the Algebra Readiness, Elementary Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, and Pre-calculus assessments is available online at: MiraCosta College - Testing - How Can I Prepare for the Assessments?.. You may also purchase these same review packets in the college bookstore at either campus.

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Q. What happens if I choose an assessment that is too easy or too difficult for me?

A. You should plan a time to take another assessment. If the assessment was too difficult, take a lower level assessment. If you earned a very high score, consider taking a higher-level assessment.

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Q. How is the assessment scored?

A. Each multiple-choice question is worth one point. You will also learn how well you did in each of the skill areas assessed.

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Q. What are the retake and fee policies?

A. You may take each of the four math levels a maximum of two times. Assessments given through our high school outreach assessment program will not be counted toward the maximum. You must wait at least 24 hours after taking an assessment to re-assess on the same level or to take a different level assessment. If you are taking the math assessment for another college or institution there is a $30.00 fee.

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Q. What if I am a student with a disability needing an accommodation?

A. If you have a disability needing an accommodation, you may wish to contact the Disabled Students Program and Services Office (Rm 3006 at the Oceanside campus, ext. 6658).

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Q. Do I need to bring anything with me to the assessment?

A. Yes. You must present positive photo identification (i.e., a current driver's license or state I.D. card with photo, school I.D., high school yearbook (picture with name), military I.D. or a passport). Any necessary materials for taking the assessment will be provided. Calculators and other aids are not allowed.

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Q. When can I take the math assessment or get more information?

A. The assessment is given on a drop in basis. Please see the most current walk in hours here: MiraCosta College - Testing - Testing Schedule

Q. Which math assessment should I take?

A. Use the following chart to choose the appropriate level. Then, compare your findings to the math assessment description below..

Which Math Test Do I Take

Which Math Test Do I Take

The Algebra Readiness Assessment includes the following topics: integers, fractions, decimals, exponents, square roots, simple equations and geometry.
This is the assessment to take if you have never studied algebra.  Students who take this assessment will be advised to take one of these courses: Math 20, Pre-Algebra or Math 30, Elementary Algebra.  (High scorers may wish to take the Elementary Algebra Assessment next.)

The Elementary Algebra Assessment includes problems in arithmetic, polynomials, linear equations and inequalities, quadratic equations, graphing, rational expressions, exponents and square roots, geometric measurement, and word problems. 
Students who take this assessment will learn whether enrollment in one of these courses is indicated: Math 20, Pre-algebra; Math 30, Elementary Algebra; or Math 64, Intermediate Algebra.

Take the Elementary Algebra Assessment if any of the following statements applies to you:

The Intermediate Algebra Assessment covers elementary operations, rational expressions, exponents and radicals, linear equations and inequalities, quadratic polynomials and equations and inequalities, graphing, logarithms and functions, and word problems.
Students who take this assessment will learn whether they have met the graduation requirement for competency in math; whether re-assessing on the Elementary Algebra Assessment is recommended; if preparedness is indicated for enrollment in Math 64, Intermediate Algebra; or if preparedness is indicated for enrollment in any of the following transfer courses: Math 103, Statistics; Math 105, Concepts and Structures of Elementary Mathematics I; Math 115, Calculus with Applications; or Math 126, PreCalc I: College Algebra.

This is the assessment to take if any of these statements is true:

Your intermediate algebra skills are sharp and you are very confident about your ability to solve the types of problems listed above in the time allotted.

The Pre-calculus Assessment covers elementary operations with numerical and algebraic fractions, operations with exponents and radicals, linear equations and inequalities, polynomials and polynomial equations, functions, and logarithmic and exponential functions.

Students who take this assessment will learn whether they have met the graduation requirements for competency in math; whether re-assessing on the Intermediate Algebra Assessment is recommended; if they qualify for Math 131: PreCalc II: Trigonometry & Analytic Geometry, or if they qualify for Math 150, Calculus and Analytic Geometry.

This is the assessment to take if any of the following statements is true:

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