Attention Students and Employees: All Student Affairs offices will operate on a condensed schedule from Dec. 18-22. Offices will be open from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Future students

Placement Testing Sample Questions

Printer-Friendly Version

Placement Testing Sample Questions

It is important to practice sample test questions for reading comprehension, arithmetic, elementary algebra and college-level mathematics. We have also included writing sample information.

Learn more about placement testing.


Reading Comprehension

This test is designed to measure your reading comprehension. How well do you understand what you read? It contains 17 questions.

Some questions ask about the relationship between two sentences. Other questions ask you to read passages of varying lengths. Some passages are 75 words in length. Others are longer.


Sample Reading Comprehension Questions

Question 1: (Narrative):

Read the statement or passage. Choose the best answer to the question. Answer the question on the basis of what is stated or implied in the statement or passage.

Myths are stories, the product of fertile imaginations, sometimes simple, often containing profound truths. They are not meant to be taken too literally. Details may sometimes appear childish, but most myths express a culture's most serious beliefs about human beings, eternity, and God.

The main idea of this passage is that myths

  1. are created primarily to entertain young children.
  2. are purposely written for the reader who lacks imagination.
  3. provide the reader with a means of escape from reality
  4. illustrate the values that are considered important to a society.

Question 2: (Sentence relationship):

Two sentences are followed by a question or statement about them. Read each pair of sentences. Then choose the best answer to the question or the best completion of the statement.

The Midwest is experiencing its worst drought in 15 years.

Corn and soybean prices are expected to be high this year.

What does the second sentence do?

  1. It restates the idea found in the first.
  2. It states an effect.
  3. It gives an example.
  4. It analyzes the statement made in the first.

Writing Sample

You will be required to write a 300- to 600-word essay. You will be given a topic.


The Arithmetic test has 16 questions. It measures your skills in three primary categories:

  1. Whole numbers and fractions. This category includes:
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Recognizing equivalent fractions and mixed numbers
  1. Decimals and percentages. This category includes:
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Percentage problems
  • Decimal recognition
  • Fraction and percentage equivalence's
  • Estimation problems
  1. Application and problem-solving. This category includes:
  • Rate
  • Percentages
  • Measurement problems
  • Geometry problems
  • Distribution of a quantity into its fractional parts.


Sample Arithmetic Questions

Question 1:

Solve following problem and chose your answer from the alternatives given. You may use the paper you have been given for scratch paper.

All of the following are ways to write 20 percent of N, except

  1. 0.20 N
  2. 20/100 N
  3. 1/5 N
  4. 20 N

Question 2:

Which of the following is closest to 10.5 ?

  1. 3
  2. 4
  3. 5
  4. 8

Question 3:

Three people who work full time are to work together on a project, but their total time on the project is to be equivalent to that of only one person working full time. If one of the people is budgeted for 1/2 of his time to the project and a second person for 1/3 of her time, what part of the third worker's time should be budgeted to this project?

  1. 1/3
  2. 1/4
  3. 1/6
  4. 1/8

Elementary Algebra

The Elementary Algebra test has 12 questions. There are three categories in the test:

  1. Integers and rational numbers. This category includes:
  • Computation with integers and negative rationales
  • Absolute values
  • Ordering
  1. Algebraic expressions. This category includes:
  • Evaluation of simple formulas and expressions
  • Adding and subtracting monomials and polynomials
  • Multiplying and dividing monomials and polynomials
  • Evaluating positive rational roots and exponents
  • Simplifying algebraic fractions
  • Factoring
  1. Equation-solving, inequalities and word problems. This category includes:
  • Solving systems of linear equations
  • Solving quadratic equations by factoring
  • Solving verbal problems presented in algebraic context
  • Geometric reasoning
  • Translating written phrases into algebraic expressions
  • Graphing


Elementary Algebra Sample Questions

Question 1:

If a number is divided by 4 and then 3 is subtracted the result is 0. What is that number?

  1. 12
  2. 4
  3. 3
  4. 2

Question 2:


  1. 8x
  2. 8(2x-x)
  3. 8(2x-1)
  4. 8(2x-8)

Question 3

If x2-x-6=0, then x is

  1. -2 or 3
  2. -1 or 6
  3. 1 or -6
  4. 2 or -3

College Level Mathematics

The college-level mathematics test has 20 questions. It assesses your proficiency from intermediate algebra through pre-calculus. Six categories are covered:

  1. Algebraic operations includes:
  • Simplifying rational algebraic expressions
  • Factoring and expanding polynomials
  • Manipulating roots and exponents
  1. Solving equations and inequalities includes:
  • Solving linear and quadratic equations and inequalities
  • Equation systems and algebraic equations
  1. Coordinate geometry includes:
  • Plane geometry
  • The coordinate plane
  • Graphs of algebraic functions
  1. Applications includes:
  • Complex numbers in a series and sequences
  • Determinants
  • Permutations and combinations
  • Fractions
  • Word problems
  1. Functions and trigonometry includes:
  • Polynomial
  • Algebraic
  • Exponential
  • Logarithmic functions
  • Trigonometric functions
  1. Other algebra topics include:
  • Complex numbers in a series and sequences
  • Determinants
  • Permutations and combinations
  • Fractions
  • Word problems


College-Level Mathematics Sample Questions

Question 1:

If f(x) = x4-x+2, then f(-x)=

  1. x4-x
  2. x4+x
  3. x4-x+2
  4. x4+x+2
  5. x4-x-2

Question 2:

The equation x2-2ix-4=0 has as its roots

  1. 5-1, - 5-1
  2. 5-i, 5+i
  3. 3-i, - 5+i
  4. 3-i, 3+i
  5. sqrt (3) + i - sqrt (3) - i

Question 3:

In triangle ABC, side a=12, b=16, and sinB=2/3. What is the measure of angle A in degrees?

Enter answer here: