Students, one important step on your educational journey is completing the mathematics requirement for your chosen major. While college and major requirements vary, all students at Southeast must successfully complete an appropriate mathematics course to receive a degree.  

Our mathematics placement process will help you find the best course for you and your program. 

Southeast students are initially placed into a mathematics course based on the ACT Math subscore or the SAT Math Score. These scores must have been earned within the past three years to be used for math placement. 

Placement Exams

Students have the option of taking one or more online mathematics placement exams. Taking a mathematics placement exam is not required, but it is necessary if students want a higher mathematics placement for their initial mathematics course.

Placement Exams Topic Lists

  • Solve for part, whole, or percent using the percent equation. 
  • Solve applications (mileage, sales tax, etc.) involving percentages. 
  • Solve application problems involving fractions. 
  • Apply order of operations with whole numbers, integers, fraction and decimal numbers. 
  • Compute averages. 
  • Write ratios and solve proportions. 
  • Write ratios and solve proportions in application problems. 
  • Find the unknown in a proportion. 
  • Convert among fractions, decimals, and percents. 
  • Answer questions about bar graphs, circle graphs, or line graphs. 
  • Evaluate algebraic expressions. 
  • Simplify algebraic expressions. 
  • Solve linear equations. 
  • Find square roots of perfect squares or cube roots of perfect cubes. 

  • Apply order of operations with whole numbers, integers, fraction, or decimal numbers. 
  • Evaluate an algebraic expression for given values. 
  • Simplify algebraic expressions. 
  • Solve linear equations. 
  • Set up and solve a word problem involving a linear equation. 
  • Solve a linear system. 
  • Set up and solve a word problem involving a linear system. 
  • Solve a formula for a specified variable. 
  • Write and solve inequalities. Write the answer in interval notation. 
  • Graph linear equations. 
  • Graph a linear inequality. 
  • Write the equation of a line given information about the line such as slope, point(s), intercept(s). 
  • Simplify expressions involving integer or rational exponents. Simplify expressions using a combination of exponent rules. 
  • Add, subtract, and multiply polynomials. 
  • Factor polynomials. 
  • Divide a polynomial by a monomial. Divide a polynomial by a polynomial using long division. 
  • Simplify a rational expression. Evaluate a rational expression for a given value. 
  • Add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational expressions. Simplify a complex fraction. 
  • Solve a rational equation. 
  • Solve an absolute value equation. 
  • Solve an absolute value inequality. Write the answer in interval notation. 
  • Simplify radical expressions involving variables. 
  • Add, subtract, multiply, divide radical expressions. 
  • Use rational exponents to simplify a radical expression. 
  • Solve a radical equation. 
  • Add, subtract, multiply, divide complex numbers. 
  • Solve quadratic equations by factoring or using the quadratic formula. 
  • Graph a quadratic equation. Locate the vertex. 

  • Pythagorean Theorem Application 
  • Find unknown lengths in similar triangles 
  • Find and simplify difference quotient 
  • Simplify rational exponents using laws of exponents 
  • Use linear equations to solve problems. 
  • Solve a formula for a variable. 
  • Using linear equations to solve mixture problems. 
  • Using linear equations to solve dimension problems. 
  • Solve absolute value inequality. 
  • Evaluate a function at both numeric and symbolic values. 
  • Find slopes and equations of perpendicular and parallel lines. 
  • Find the domain of rational functions. 
  • Find the domain of radical functions. 
  • Find the composition of functions. 
  • Find the inverse of a function. 
  • Graph parabolas using standard form. 
  • Solve polynomial inequalities. 
  • Graph logarithmic functions. 
  • Find the domain of a logarithmic function. 
  • Solve exponential equations. 
  • Solve logarithmic equations. 
  • Solve applied problems involving exponential and logarithmic equations. (exponential growth and decay) 
  • Use logistic growth models. 
  • Model exponential growth and decay. 
  • Complete the square. 

  • Solve application problems (Pythagoras Theorem) 
  • Find unknown lengths in similar triangles. 
  • Find and simplify a function's difference quotient. 
  • Understand and use rational exponents. 
  • Use linear equations to solve problems. 
  • Solve a rational formula for a variable. 
  • Use linear equations to solve geometry problems. 
  • Solve absolute value inequalities. 
  • Evaluate a function and a composition of functions. 
  • Find slopes and equations of parallel and perpendicular lines. 
  • Find the domain of a function. 
  • Form composite functions. 
  • Find the inverse of a function. 
  • Graph parabolas. 
  • Solve polynomial inequalities. 
  • Graph logarithmic functions. 
  • Find the domain of a logarithmic function. 
  • Use logarithms to solve exponential equations. 
  • Use the definition of a logarithm to solve logarithmic equations. 
  • Solve applied problems involving exponential and logarithmic equations. 
  • Use logistic growth models. 
  • Complete the square. 
  • Find function values for 30°(pi/6), 45° (pi/4), and 60° (pi/3). 
  • Understand the graph of y = sin x, and graph variations of y = sin x. 
  • Find exact values of composite functions with inverse trigonometric functions. 
  • Use the fundamental trigonometric identities to verify identities. 
  • Use sum and difference formulas for cosines and sines. 
  • Use the double-angle formulas. 
  • Use identities to solve trigonometric equations. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Not everyone needs to take an additional mathematics placement test. 
 
If you have taken the ACT or the SAT: Your ACT Math subscore or SAT Math score has already determined your placement. The only reason you would want to take another placement test is if you believe your current placement does not appropriately represent your current mathematics skills. You need to start in a course that will allow you to be successful. However, you do not want to pay for a course that covers concepts you have already mastered. If you believe the ACT or SAT placement is not appropriate, then you may opt to take a placement test to demonstrate your skills and readiness for a higher-level mathematics course. 
 
If you have taken a math course at a post-secondary institution within the last three years or are currently enrolled in a math course at a post-secondary institution: This recent math course will be used to determine your math placement. You may not take the online Math Placement Exam to change your placement. 
 
If you have not taken the ACT, SAT, or your scores are more than three years old: You will automatically be placed into Southeast’s lowest level mathematics course, MA050 – Basic Math Skills. You may take the online placement test if you believe your skills warrant a higher placement. 

View the List of Topics for each test above. 

What course I want to take 

MA115, MA123/023, MA128/018, MA155/055 (These are courses that allow the student to take their University required mathematics course with a developmental algebra component) 

The placement test I need to pass with at least 80% correct. 

Level 1 test 

What course I want to take 

MA116, MA123, MA128, MA155, CS125, PL120, MA137 

The placement test I need to pass with at least 80% correct. 

Level 2 test 

What course I want to take 

MA139 

The placement test I need to pass with at least 80% correct. 

Level 3a test 

What course I want to take 

MA140 

The placement test I need to pass with at least 80% correct. 

Level 3b test 

  • You can start at any level. 
  • You may take a test only once. 
  • If you fail a test, you may take a lower level test, but not a higher level test. 
  • If you pass a test, you may take a higher level test. 
     
     

Level 3a and 3b determine if you are ready to take a calculus course that requires trigonometry or not. MA139 Applied Calculus does not require trigonometry. MA140 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I requires trigonometry. 

The deadlines for taking the placement tests each semester are the following. 

Fall Semester Enrollment 

  • 5 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the fall semester 

Winter Session Enrollment 

  • 5 p.m. on the Wednesday of the week before final exam week in the fall semester 

Spring Semester Enrollment 

  • 5 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the spring semester 

Summer Semester Enrollment 

  • 5 p.m. on the Wednesday of the week before final exam week in the spring semester 

There is an Orientation to Lumen OHM Software Assignment to teach you how to navigate the program and input answers in a format the program will recognize. It is required you work through this assignment before starting a test. There are also short sample practice assignments for each test that will give you practice entering answers. These can be repeated as often as you like. A topics list is provided for each test. 
 
View the List of Topics for each test above. 

The test will be graded instantly. Your score will appear on the screen along with a message explaining what the score means. In addition, an email will immediately be sent to you that contains more detailed course and registration information If your score is 80% or higher you have passed the test for that level. Passing Test 1 allows you to take Test 2. 

Another test can be taken immediately; that is up to you. However, you will probably do better if you wait a reasonable length of time. Use that time to review for the next test. You may wish to consult the topics list for the test you will be taking next. Or perhaps work though the Practice assignment for that test. You also need to be aware of the semester deadlines for taking placement tests. 

Let’s say your placement score indicates you are eligible to take Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (MA140), but your major requires Statistical Reasoning (MA155). While you could take MA140, you will be paying for five credit hours that are not required for your degree and you still must take MA155 to fulfill your major requirement. Thus, your placement scores and your major should be essential considerations when determining the appropriate math class to take. It is very important to consult with your advisor about the appropriate math class for you to take based on your placement scores and your major. 

Be sure you can perform calculations with fractions, decimals, roots, etc. without a calculator! Then attend class and be on time! 
Location
Office
Johnson Hall 201
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 6700
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701