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SMC|Enrollment Development|Assessment|Math Challenge Exam

Math Challenge Exam

Notes for Students Retesting Math and/or Challenge Test

Revised November 2014

 

If you take the Math Assessment Test and believe that your score does not accurately reflect your skill level, you may retake the Assessment Test after a two-week periodNote that once you have enrolled/started the course sequence in a math course, you may not retake the Assessment Test.

Information on preparing for the Assessment Test

  •   Assessment website (http://www.smc.edu/assessment). Please review before retaking     the Assessment  Test. Relevant information is primarily located under the Tests and Services heading. 

·       Mathematics Department website (http://www.smc.edu/math)  Information can be found under the Math Placement heading. Additional course-specific study guides and online resources can be found under the Current Students heading.

 Other sources for preparation material

·       SMC Library:  Older math texts are available on the shelves and current texts are in the Reserve section behind the circulation desk. 

·         Math Lab:  Editions of older textbooks are available for reference.

 Challenging the results of the computerized Math Assessment Test

If, after taking the Math Assessment a second time, you still have not achieved eligibility for the class you desire, you may request to challenge your result by taking a challenge exam.  If taking a challenge exam, please note:

·         A challenge exam may be taken once only. 

·         Challenge exams are done without use of a calculator. 

·         Challenge exams are paper-and-pencil multiple choice timed tests, generally lasting 40 minutes.

·         You must earn a score of at least 70% on the challenge exam(s) to qualify for the desired class.

The challenge procedure cannot be used to make up results of D, F or W in a course.

 Choosing a challenge exam

The chart below identifies which challenge exam you might take depending upon your Math Assessment score and the class desired. Preparing for a challenge exam should be a review of material you have already studied but possibly forgotten.

You should also be aware of the sequence of prerequisites for math courses. The most common misconception is that eligibility for Math 21, 26, 41, and 54 satisfies the Math 20 prerequisite for Math 2.  In fact this is not the case, because eligibility for these courses reflects relatively basic algebra skills while Math 2 requires strong algebra skills demonstrated by scoring at least 46 on the College Algebra (Test Type 7) of the COMPASS assessment.

Here are the most typical scenarios and guidelines to follow:

Score made you eligible for

You want

Challenge exam(s) needed

Math 31, 49

Math 20

You will take a test on Math 31 topics (elementary algebra).

Math 18, 20, 32

Math 21, 26, 41, 54

You will take a test on Math 20 topics (intermediate algebra).

Math 18, 20, 32

Math 2

You will take tests on both Math 20 & 32 topics (intermediate algebra & geometry).

Math 21,26,41,54

Math 2

You will take tests on both Math 20 & 32 topics (intermediate algebra & geometry).

Math 28

Math 2

You will take a test on Math 32 topics because algebra skills seem reasonably strong but we have no information on geometry skills.

Math 28

Math 7

You will take a test on Math 2 topics including trigonometry and college algebra.

Math 2

Math 7

You will take a test on Math 2 topics including trigonometry and college algebra.

Math 2

Math 28

No challenge test is needed; you may be waived into Math 28 by a counselor.

 

Other challenge exam situations

You may have successfully completed Math 20 (Intermediate Algebra) and wish to take Math 2 (Precalculus).  In this case, you also need to demonstrate proficiency in geometry (Math 32 at SMC).  You may do this by taking the geometry challenge exam.  Specific information about the geometry challenge exam is available on the Mathematics Department website under Math Placement.

How to schedule a challenge exam

Challenge Exam Request forms are available outside the math department office, MC 26.  Submit the completed form to Betty Wong, Math Department Chair, in MC 34.  At that time, you will be scheduled for the appropriate challenge exam(s).  Available dates and times for scheduling challenge exams are posted near MC 26 and MC 34.