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The Test Subjects

Assessment test results determine your course placement for your first year.

About the Tests

For any of these exams, reviewing the Accuplacer Student Guide will help familiarize you with the format and types of questions you will find on the test.

Students who have documented learning disabilities should contact for information about accommodations. 

All tests must be completed prior to Orientation. Please visit "Schedule a Testing Appointment" to select a test time. We welcome incoming freshman on campus during both the fall and spring semesters to complete their assessment testing requirements.

A student's standardized test scores and his or her intended major determine which tests will be required. The possible tests include:


The Calculus Readiness, Elementary Algebra, and UMass Lowell Business Math tests must be taken before freshmen students can attend summer Orientation.

Calculus Readiness Test

Students who major in Engineering, Science, Math, or Sound Recording Technology will take an on-campus test developed by the university's math department. The 20-question computerized exam tests students on algebra, geometry, trigonometry and functions, exponentials and logarithms. The time limit for this test is 60 minutes. Certain tests provide the test-taker with access to a calculator, however calculators are not permitted in the computer lab at any time.

A practice test (pdf) is available for your use. We recommend that students do not use a calculator during practice tests.

Elementary Algebra Test

Students who major in a health science major, humanities, social sciences, art and music (with the exception of Sound Recording Technology) take the Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test. The computerized exam is made up of 12 questions, with a time limit of 60 minutes. Please note that a calculator is not allowed during this test.

The Elementary Algebra test has three categories:

  1. Operations with integers and rational numbers include computation with integers and negative rationals and the use of absolute values and ordering.
  2. Operations with algebraic expressions test your ability with the evaluation of simple formulas and expressions; and the addition and subtraction of both monomials and polynomials. Both of these categories include questions about multiplying and dividing monomials and polynomials, evaluating positive, rational roots and exponents, simplifying algebraic fractions, and factoring.
  3. Equation solving, inequalities and word problems include solving systems of linear equations and quadratic equations by factoring, geometric reasoning, graphing and translating written phrases into algebraic expressions.
A practice test (pdf) is available for your use.

U Mass Lowell Business Math

The Manning School of Business requires all Business majors to take a specialized math assessment entitled UMass Lowell Business Math. A proficient understanding of basic math concepts and skills is expected. The computerized exam is made up of 20 questions, with a time limit of 60 minutes. Please note that a calculator is not allowed during this test.

The UMass Lowell Business Math assessment includes basic algebra, geometry, trigonometry and calculus.


All students, regardless of their major, with a critical reading SAT score of 600 or less, or an ACT score less than 26, must take the WritePlacer test.

The Writing assessment gives students the opportunity to demonstrate expression of ideas, attention to grammar, and development of perspective. Students will read a short passage and an assignment question that are based on a relevant or cultural issue. Students are expected to support their position with appropriate reasoning and examples. The individual position of each student will not influence score or placement.

The test will provide two prompts and ask students to choose one and write an appropriate essay. The exam lasts an hour. The University's College Writing faculty evaluates each student's writing sample and determines the student's placement into his or her writing course.

A sample essay (pdf) with reviewers' comments, is available for your review.