How to take the exam

  • Access the exam through the MySuffolk platform*
  • Click Blackboard in the navigation bar at the top of the page
  • In the 'My Courses' box, you should see a link to the Math Placement Exam
  • Read through the on-screen instructions and begin
*Your MySuffolk login information was first sent to you when you applied to Suffolk. If you need assistance logging in, please contact the Suffolk Help Desk or call 617-557-2000.

  • Who needs to take the exam?

    All first year students must take the Math Placement Exam (MPE). Transfer students are strongly encouraged to take the MPE. However, transfer students who have already fulfilled the math requirement at another institution may be exempt from taking the MPE. If this is your situation, you must bring the evaluation of your transfer credits that the admissions office sent you to Orientation as evidence that you have fulfilled the math requirement. Some majors require a specific math course. Students who are not transferring in the particular math course required by the major should take the placement exam.

  • What is the exam like?

    • Timing: Many students will be able to complete the exam within 50 minutes; however, the clock will allow up to 60 minutes. Once you start the exam the clock will start running. It will continue to run even if you click "save and quit.‟ Once the time runs out, your exam will be locked. You should plan to take the exam in one sitting. Make sure you have scrap paper, pencils and your calculator next to your computer before you begin.

    • Types of questions: The exam is a set of approximately 40 multiple-choice questions. They start from basic arithmetic, then progress to algebra 1 and 2 and trigonometry similar to standard high school classes. It is not expected that everyone can answer all questions. Work as many as you can.

    • Should I guess? It is best to limit guessing to problems in which you can eliminate all but two choices. In general, a student will get the most accurate course placement if he or she does not guess.

  • When and where do I take the exam?

    You will take the exam online. In most cases this will be at home before coming to Orientation. You will receive an email from the University with information on how to access the exam.

  • If I don't take it before, will the exam be offered at Orientation?

    We strongly encourage all students to take the exam prior to Orientation. Students who take the exam prior to Orientation will know earlier which level math class to take and will have a wider set of choices of class times at registration. Students who are not able to take the exam before Orientation will be able to take the exam at a designated time during Orientation. 


  • How should I prepare for the exam?

    While it is not necessary to prepare for the test, many students like to review some beforehand. For your convenience, we offer sample problems and answers below. 

    Sample Review Sheets #1 (pdf)

    Sample Answer Sheets #1 (pdf)

    Sample Review Sheets #2 (pdf)

    Sample Answer Sheets #2 (pdf)


  • When will I find out my exam results?

    You will receive your placement recommendation during Orientation. 

  • What if I need extra-time accommodations?

    If you are in need of any accommodations that allow for extended test-taking time, please contact the Office of Disability Services.  

  • Are calculators allowed on the exam?


  • Can I put off the math requirement until later?

    It is wise to not wait. Many courses depend on math as a prerequisite. In some majors, your entire degree program may be delayed if you delay math. Also, the longer the time since your last math course, the more difficult it is to remember what you knew. Once we humans start procrastinating it is hard to stop! No special favors are available for students who wait until the senior year and then fail. Math is a requirement at Suffolk because we believe that a college educated person must know some mathematics in order to have any chance at all of understanding the world and its problems.


  • What if I'm placed in the wrong math level?

    During the first meeting of all math classes, instructors spend time discussing the content and prerequisites for the courses. If it turns out that you have chosen the wrong math course it may be possible to move from one class to another during the “Drop-Add Period” (the first two weeks of class).


  • What else do I need to know about the exam?

    You are on your honor when taking the test. You may use paper and pencil to work the problems and a calculator. You should not receive help from others, or use books or other resources such as web sites for help. Your success in a course is unlikely if you are placed above your current ability.