Mathematics Course Placement

Placement via College Credit

Students that transfer to UTRGV with college credit in some low-level mathematics courses can use their college credit to satisfy prerequisites for subsequent mathematics coursework. In situations where college credit is not transferred automatically, students should consult with the SMSS Undergraduate Program Coordinator. Students can also get college credit for lower level courses (College Algebra, PreCalculus, Calculus 1) via the International Baccalaureate (IB) Credit.

Placement Thru Standardized Exams

The state-mandated TSI test is used to determine the highest-level placement in entry-level mathematics courses that is permitted under state law. The SAT/ACT and AP mathematics scores can also be used determine student placement in mathematics courses. Please check the Mathematics Placement Scores sheet.

Placement Exams for College Algebra and Precalculus

The placement exams for College Algebra and Precalculus provide students with an opportunity to be tested in the respective course material to determine if they qualify to register for the subsequent course. The College Algebra Placement Exam tests students in College Algebra material and upon passing the exam, students are eligible to register for Precalculus. Similarly, the Precalculus  Placement Exam contains material on Precalculus and upon passing the exam, students are eligible to register for Calculus 1. Note that neither exam provides the student with any credit for either College Algebra or Precalculus.

Please read below on Exam Organization, Exam Rules, and Placement Exam Content. You can download this content here - placement exam information. and a flyer.

In addition, please download information on the College Algebra assessment topics and the Precalculus assessment topics

Exam Sign-Up and Administration

Exams are provided on Fridays, 9am – 5pm in MAGC 1.308 on the Edinburg campus but you must indicate the Friday date of the exam below when you sign-up.  For the Brownsville campus, please indicate your chosen date and you will be further contacted regarding the test location and time.  Please check your email at all times for notifications and communications. 

To sign-up for the exam, please complete the information below. You will be contacted via your UTRGV email address to confirm your attendance. If you have any questions, please contact the:

Placement Coordinators



Exam Organization

  1. The placement exam is multiple choice.
  2. Each placement exam has 4 parts where each part contains 15 questions for a total of 60 questions and each part is allocated 60 minutes.
  3. A minimum of 42 / 60 questions (70%) must be answered correctly to receive a pass.

Exam Rules

  1. Each placement exam has 4 parts where each part contains 15 questions for a total of 60 questions and each part is allocated 60 minutes. The 4 parts may be taken independently and on different exam days. Students can take the four parts of the exam on the same day with two parts in the morning and two parts in the afternoon. Alternatively, students may take two parts on one day and the remaining two parts on a subsequent day.
  2. A minimum of two weeks is required between consecutive attempts to retake any parts of the placement exam.
  3. In totality, only two tries are provided to take the full exam or any parts of the exam.
  4. UTRGV students are required to present their UTRGV student ID upon exam time. High school students are required to show their high school ID. Any government issued photo ID such as a driver’s license is also acceptable.
  5. Cell phones are to be put away and cannot be used during the exam.
  6. Calculator Usage. No cell phones are allowed to be used as calculators.
    1. College Algebra exam: Any graphing calculator is allowed
    2. Precalculus exam: Any graphing calculator is allowed except the TI-CX and except any Computer Algebra Systems (CAS) calculators.

Placement Exam Content

Each placement exam contains four parts and the table below contains the material content for each part. Please go to the Curricular Resources website where you can find links to complimentary books under the heading "Math textbook collections" to help you prepare for the placement exams. 

College Algebra Precalculus
Part 1: Rational functions Part 1: Polynomial, Rational, Exponential,
Log & Trig Functions
Part 2: Exponential/Logarithmic functions Part 2: Analytic Trigonometry
Part 3: Matrices and solving linear systems Part 3: Applications of Trigonometric Functions
Part 4: Sequences and probability Part 4: Polar Coordinates, Vectors, Analytic Geometry