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SMC|Enrollment Development|Assessment|Math Proficiency Assessment

Math Proficiency Assessment

Math Proficiency Test Logo

About the MPA

Consistent with degree requirements approved by the faculty, all Associate degree recipients must demonstrate proficiency in written communication and mathematics. Mathematics proficiency is demonstrated by:

  1. Completing a minimum of an Intermediate Algebra course equivalent to SMC's Math 20 taught at an accredited college; or by
  2. Taking the SMC Mathematics Assessment and placing into Intermediate Algebra (Math 20) or higher; or by 
  3. Taking the SMC Mathematics Proficiency Assessment administered by the Assessment Center.

Note:  If you are meeting the mathematics graduation requirement through Option 2 or Option 3 above, you must also complete one course from the Associate in Arts Degree General Education Requirements Area 4B (Language and Rationality).

Requirements & Retesting

  • Students may take the Math Proficiency Assessment upon completion of a minimum of 30 Associate degree applicable semester units. The Assessment Center will verify this at the time of sign-up by reviewing cumulative units completed indicated in SMC transcript. If you have attended another college and will be using units from that college to meet the 30 unit requirement, it is your responsibility to inform the Assessment Center and provide us with a valid transcript.
  • Retesting for the Mathematics Proficiency Assessment is limited to one time only after a waiting period of eight (8) weeks after the first test was taken. Additional retestings will not be provided under any circumstances. Please ensure that you review and prepare for the test (see below for some resources). 

How to take the MPA

  • The MPA is given on a first-come, first-served basis in the Assessment Center (LA-109) during our normal testing hours ONLY. Appointments are not needed nor provided.
  • Must bring a valid photo ID and student ID number when testing;
  • Students will be provided with the test results immediately after testing (barring unforeseen circumstances), however, test results may not be entered into our system for up to 72 hours.

MPA Contents & Study Guide

The SMC Mathematics Proficiency Assessment consists of the ACCUPLACER Elementary Algebra Test. A total of 12 questions, divided into three types, are administered in this test.

  • The first type of questions involve operations with integers and rational numbers, and includes computation with integers and negative rationals, the use of absolute values, and ordering. These questions test minimal skill levels of the student.
  • A second type involves operations with algebraic expressions, evaluation of simple formulas and expressions, and adding and subtracting monomials and polynomials. At all skill levels, questions involving multiplying and dividing monomials and polynomials, the evaluation of positive rational roots and exponents, simplifying algebraic fractions, and factoring are provided.
  • The third type of questions involve the solution of equations, inequalities, and word problems.


How Can I Best Prepare for the MPA?