Practice Math and Physical Science
Placement Inventories for First-Year Students

Dear First-Year Student:

I want to take this opportunity to welcome you to Arcadia University and to explain one of the aspects of Summer Orientation. Each first-year student will take a math, English and modern language placement inventory this summer. Since you indicated an interest in either a major or pre-professional program that requires chemistry, you will also take a physical science placement inventory. The purpose of these inventories is to correctly place you into the proper courses.  The University does not want to enroll you in a course that is too difficult or too easy. So, the placements allow us to determine your current level in these three areas. This information will be used in advising you on course selection for the upcoming Fall semester.

I recognize that some students may not have taken math and/or chemistry in their senior year or that math and/or chemistry are weak areas for some. Therefore, a practice math and a practice physical science placement inventory along with the answer keys are linked above. There are three different sections in the math placement inventory: Math Skills, Algebra and Pre-Calculus. When you take the math placement inventory during Summer Orientation, you will complete two of the three sections. New students who have taken four years of high school math culminating with either calculus, pre-calculus, or math analysis should take the Algebra and Pre-Calculus sections. Students with fewer math courses should take the Math Skills and Algebra sections.

The practice math and physical science placement inventories will give you a good idea of the topics covered on the actual placement inventories that you will take during the Summer Orientation day you choose to attend.  Both actual placement inventories will be timed and you may use an ordinary scientific and graphing calculator (such as the TI-83, 85, and 86), but not a symbolic calculator (including the TI-89, 92 and Voyage 200). I will provide calculators for those who do not bring their own. I do not expect new students to get every answer correct. Remember, the placement inventories are used for academic advising purposes. They are not pass/fail tests. I also recognize the fact that some first-year students have taken the Interactive Mathematics Program or the Core Plus math curricula in high school.  These excellent curricula stress problem solving over computational skills, and the math placement inventory may not fully assess the math backgrounds of students graduating from these programs. The Mathematics department will factor your curriculum into their placement assessments.

We here at Arcadia look forward to seeing you at Summer and Fall Orientation. 

Bruce Keller
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies
keller@arcadia.edu
215-572-2922

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