Department of Mathematics

5 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 02881 – 401.874.2709 (ph); 401.874.4454 (f)

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URI Math Placement Exam

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The Department of Mathematics at URI is highly committed to student success in our courses and those that follow them. To give you the best chance at success, we will ask you to take a placement exam before enrolling. This exam is merely an impartial evaluation of your current level of preparation, and will assist us in recommending a math course for which you are prepared. As a part of our efforts, we have found that a lack of mastery of the prerequisite material adversely affects your ability to be successful in any given course.

When will the placement exam be held, and do I need a reservation?

  • The placement exam is available during scheduled times only. The current schedule is posted below.
  • Placement exams are not available every week, so you should plan to take it as soon as possible and not wait until the last minute.
  • Students are asked to make a reservation by clicking on “Make Reservation” next to the timeslot that they want to attend. Timeslots with no reservations may be canceled. If exams need to be canceled (due to inclement weather, etc.), students with reservations will receive a notification email.
  • Incoming students (both first-year AND transfer students) who will attend New Student Orientation should NOT make a reservation before coming to orientation; you will take the placement exam on campus during your orientation session.


How to Think about the Placement Exam

It is tempting to think about the placement exam like a test or exam in a class, and do whatever you can to get as high of a score as possible. This is not the point of a placement exam!

If you get questions correct on the placement exam, you will be placed into a course where you will be expected to get those questions correct consistently! In particular:

  • No calculators, books, or internet searches or tools of any kind are allowed on the placement exams.
  • Do not ask friends or relatives for help during the online exam (do ask for help preparing for the exam beforehand).
  • You should look over topics from MTH 099, 101, and 111 before taking the actual placement exam, and use those materials as a study guide to brush up on anything that you may have forgotten.


Who Should Take the Placement Exam

  • Incoming URI students, both new 1st year students and transfer students, will need to take the placement exam. All incoming students will take the placement exam during new student orientation
  • Incoming URI students with AP credit will also need to take the placement exam at new student orientation.
  • Current URI students may need to take a placement exam to enroll into a course for which they do not have the prerequisite. For instance, MTH 111 (Precalculus) is a prerequisite for both MTH 131 (Applied Calculus I) and MTH 141 (Calculus I), so to enroll in MTH 131/141 you must have either a C- or better in MTH 111, or place into MTH 131/141. (Note that not all courses have prerequisites that may be overridden by the placement exam. For these courses, taking the prerequisite course is the only way to enroll.)


How/When to Take the Proctored Placement Exam

  • New incoming freshmen will take the placement exam during New Student Orientation, and do not need to follow this posted schedule.
  • To take the placement exam, make a reservation by clicking on an available timeslot on the schedule BEFORE YOU COME TO TAKE THE EXAM and make sure you are eligible to take a placement exam. If you are unable to log in, we can assist you early so that when you arrive for the exam you can begin immediately.
  • At the scheduled time, go directly to the specified location during one of the listed timeslots. Be sure that you know your URI Student ID number (9-digits, beginning with 100) and bring a photo ID (Driver’s license, State ID, Student ID card if you have one, etc.) with you to the exam.
  • If you have DSS paperwork for extra time, be sure to bring this paperwork with you, and you must at the beginning of the posted timeslot. The lab will close one hour after the last posted arrival, you must be finished by that time.
  • If you’ve already taken the placement exam and a MTH 101,103,111,131,141 course based on that placement, you cannot retake the placement exam to skip a course.
  • Scheduled hours are subject to change, please check back on the day you plan to take a placement exam for any updates.


Is the placement exam timed? Is it possible to receive extra time for disability accommodations?

The exam is timed, by a timer on individual problems. Students with disabilities are invited and encouraged to identify with the Office of Disability Services via 401-874-2098,, or *If you have a disability and require a time extension on the Math Placement test during orientation, please contact Disability Services for Students with your Psychological/Educational Testing or medical documentation BEFORE your orientation session begins. Staff in Disability Services will certify your accommodation need(s) to the Math Department so you will be given the extra time during that session.


Have a question about math placement?

Department of Mathematics Placement Staff

Tom Bella, Placement Coordinator.
Jessica Tolchinksy, Assistant Coordinator.
Heath Loder, Systems Administrator.

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