The Citadel

The Military College of South Carolina

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Mathematics Placement Exam Guide


For those who must take the Math Placement Exam, it must be completed by August 1st

Note: Cadets participating in CSI in July should take the Exam by June 16th

Placement Guidelines

In order to determine the appropriate course for entering freshmen, the placement process is based primarily on the Mathematics Placement Exam (MPE), which covers the basics of Algebra and Trigonometry.

Please see the information below to determine if you are required to take the MPE. Students needing to take the MPE must do so by August 1, 2017.

Important note: Required students failing to take the MPE will be placed in neither MATH 119 nor MATH 131.


Who MUST take the Math Placement Exam?

  • Students majoring in Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry (B.S.), Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science
  • Students in a scholarship program that requires MATH 131
  • Students considering the pursuit of a Minor in Applied Mathematics or if you are attending The Citadel on a Navy scholarship and also CHOOSE to take MATH 131


Note: The MPE helps the college determine who is ready for Calculus I (MATH 131). Students not sufficiently prepared will be placed in Pre-Calculus (MATH 119).


Who DOES NOT NEED to take the Math Placement Exam?

  • Students majoring in a degree other than those listed above
  • Students who already have transfer credit for Math 119 (Pre-Calculus)
  • Students who have transfer or Advanced Placement credit for Math 131 (Calculus and Analytic Geometry I) but decide to repeat Math 131


All Incoming Freshman -- Consider Taking Our Free Online "Concepts of Precalculus" Workshop

For all incoming freshmen, The Citadel also offers a free online workshop on "Concepts of Precalculus." This online workshop consists of 10 modules that cover topics in algebra and trigonometry that are essential for Calculus I. All students who are planning to take Calculus I or Precalculus in the fall are strongly encouraged to participate in this online workshop to refresh and review the concepts of Precalculus for Calculus I or to review and study basics of algebra and trigonometry for Precalculus.

To participate in the online workshop, log in to CitLearn and open the Concepts of Precalculus-Online Workshop in the "My Courses" list.


Test Format and Administration:

  • You will have 55 minutes for 2 short survey questions and 32 Multiple-Choice Basic Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, and Trigonometry questions in CitLearn. Please remember that you can take the MPE only ONCE. Therefore, before you start the MPE, please make sure you will have 55 minutes available for the exam.
  • The Exam will be scored using CitLearn Assessment software, and each math question will earn a value of 1 point.
  • You MUST NOT use a calculator, any textbooks, formula sheets, or the Internet for this Exam.
  • Read the instructions BEFORE you begin.
  • After completing the Exam, be sure to SAVE your answers before submitting the Exam for scoring.
  • Upon completion of the MPE, you will see your results by using My Grades in CitLearn
  • Please send Dr. Chen an email at to learn if you will be placed in MATH 131, MATH 119 or neither.

Review Materials for the MPE:

In addition to the materials below, you will also find a sample test in CitLearn.

How Do I Login to CitLearn?
Review the CitLearn Information page.

Contact Information (Department & Math Placement Exam):

Dr. Mei-Qin Chen
Department: Math & Computer Science
Campus address: Thompson Hall - Room 230

Technical Problems: Review the information on the CitLearn Information page.

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