How To Get Placed Into A Math Course

The University of Washington Bothell offers placement testing in mathematics. The test is designed to assess your mastery in the subject so you do not have to take courses you don't need.

You need to take a math placement test if both the following are true:

  • You're interested in a program that requires college math - this includes engineering, sciences (biology, chemistry, math, etc.), premed, computer science, and business; and
  • You don't already have college credit for algebra or calculus, or a Calculus Advanced Placement (AP) score of 2 or higher, or an International Baccalaureate (IB) Mathematics (Higher Level) score of 5 or higher.

The University of Washington Bothell accepts two placement tests for math.

UW Bothell will offer and administer the test ONLY to admitted UW Bothell students. UW Bothell students can take the math placement test at UW Bothell or UW Seattle. UW Seattle offers testing more frequently than Bothell. Follow the above link for more information on test dates, fees, and process for testing at UW Seattle.

Academic Placement Testing Program

The Academic Placement Testing Program (APTP) is a cooperative program of Washington State public colleges and universities. Faculty from participating institutions have created the Mathematics Placement Test (MPT) to help students, with the assistance of their academic advisers, select first-year mathematics courses for which they are best prepared. The program is managed by the Office of Educational Assessment on behalf of participating institutions.

Test Format

UW Bothell students have the option to test at the Seattle campus. The On-Campus Math Placement Test offered throughout the year is a one-hour test. For the test session, allow approximately one and a half hours total to accommodate time for sign-in and instructions prior to the test. Pre-registration for the test is required.

On the day of the test, arrive at the testing center at your appointed time with your Admissions Ticket (proof of registration/payment), picture identification, and at least two sharpened #2 pencils. Calculators, calculator watches, slide rules or other similar aids are prohibited. Scratch paper will be provided for you.

UW Bothell will offer two test types to enable accurate placement of students with varying levels of academic preparation. Specific placement cutoffs reflect the content and difficulty level of each course. Students will choose their test based on the course in which they wish to enroll and their level of academic preparation.

  • The General Math Placement Test (MPT-G) is directed toward students who have less than three or four years of high school math and who will be entering pre-calculus or general college-level math classes.
  • The Advanced Math Placement Test (MPT-A) is directed toward students who have taken at least three or four years of high school math and who wish to enroll in Calculus. It covers Intermediate Algebra and Pre-Calculus I and II.

Test Scores and Class Placement for UW Bothell: Effective Autumn 2014

Test scores are available on your unofficial UW transcript the morning after you receive the email from the Testing Office stating your scores are available. Unofficial transcripts can be accessed via MyUW.

MPT - General

  • 151 or above places the student in BMATH 123 (Pre-Calculus II)
  • 150-147 places the student in BMATH 122  (Pre-Calculus I)
  • 146 and under places the student in BMATH 121 (Algebra)

MPT - Advanced

  • 163-154 places the student in STMATH 124 (Calculus I) OR BMATH 144 (Calculus for the Life & Social Sciences)
  • 153-145 places the student in BMATH 123 (Pre-Calculus II)
  • 144 and under students will need to take the MPT-General test for appropriate placement

Scaled scores are created by "standardizing" the distribution of raw scores for each test so that it has a particular mean and standard deviation. Scaled scores correct for minor differences in test difficulty and variability as new test versions are developed, allowing colleges and universities to use the same placement and college readiness cut scores for different versions of the same test. Without scaled scores, variations in test difficulty would require institutions to set different cut scores each time a test version is introduced.

*Please note that UW Bothell offers ONLY the General and Advanced tests. For most accurate placement in a math class at UW Bothell, if you take the test off site, please be sure to take one of these two tests, NOT the Intermediate test.

Schedule, Registration and Cost

It is highly recommended you complete your Math Placement Test at least one week before you attend orientation. It takes approximately one week for the test to be scored and results distributed.

The cost of the test at UW Bothell is $15 and must be paid at the time of registration. There are no refunds if you are unable to take the test on the date you select. Payment is made using PayPal so have a credit card ready.

It takes approximately 5-7 minutes to complete the registration process. You will need to login using your UW NetID. The registration process is multi-step and must be completed in one sitting.

You will need to show your Admissions Ticket (proof of payment) when you arrive at your testing session.

UW Bothell Test Dates and Location

Date Time


Friday, February 2, 2018 9:30 AM UW2-005
Friday, February 16, 2018 9:30 AM UW2-005
Friday, March 2, 2018 9:30 AM UW2-005
Saturday, March 10, 2018 1:30 PM UW2-005
Saturday, March 17, 2018 1:30 PM UW2-005


Parking between 0 to 3 hours costs $3.00. Parking over 3 hours costs $6.00. Per visit parking must be purchased in advance at pay stations located at each of the parking facilities. Additional information and directions to campus can be found here.


To register for a testing session, please click the button below.

(UW Bothell will administer the test ONLY to admitted UW Bothell students!)

Disability Accommodations

If you require disability accommodations, please contact Disability Support Services at 425.352.5307 or e-mail, preferably at least 10 days in advance of the test date. The staff will be more than happy to assist you. Please be aware that you should be prepared to provide documentation of your disability in order to receive academic or testing accommodations.

Preparing for the Test

Sample problems have been developed to assist students in preparing for the test.


Students who wish to take the Math Placement Test a second time may do so after a minimum wait of two weeks. Students who wish to test a third time must wait a minimum of one year.

If you still have questions about math placement testing, please call 425-352-3427 or email for assistance

Compass - Not available as of December 1, 2016

ACT Compass is an untimed, computerized test that helps your college evaluate your skills and place you into appropriate courses. You will receive your ACT Compass test results immediately upon completion of testing. UW Bothell will accept COMPASS test scores that are less than one year old. Students must bring an official copy of their scores from the college testing center and drop them off at the First Year Pre-Major Program Advising office. (Currently, we cannot accept scores directly from the testing centers and upload them into our system.)

What Do My Compass Scores Mean?

Please understand that our cut-offs and placement may be different than those of the college where students took the exam.

Algebra Test:

  • 0-50       BMATH 121
  • 51-74     BMATH 122
  • 75-100   BMATH 123

College Algebra Test:

  • 0-27       BMATH 121
  • 28-34     BMATH 122
  • 35-100   BMATH 123

Trigonometry Test:

  • 26-50     BMATH 123
  • 51-100   STMATH 124 OR BMATH 144


Scroll down the page for testing dates and the registration link.