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Prep Class of 2017
Welcome to Prep! This message aims to answer all of your questions about Math Placement for incoming freshmen. The required Math placement exam (March 16th at 8:15am reporting time) covers basic math skills, Pre-algebra topics, and Algebra 1 topics. These topics and practice problems can be found at Math Placement Test Info and Practice Problems . Based on this test each freshman is provisionally scheduled for one of the following courses: Algebra 1 or Accelerated Algebra. Course Descriptions for each can be found at SPP Offerings in Mathematics.
We are aware that many students have taken at least one year of Algebra and some have had Geometry. These students may want to apply for the Intermediate Algebra Honors course offered in freshman year. If you are considering this course, it is strongly advised you fully read the SPP expectations which can be found at Math Honors Expectations.
In order to qualify for consideration into the Intermediate Algebra Honors course, the student must successfully complete the Math Challenge exam on the same day as the above Placement Test. It will begin shortly after the conclusion of the required Incoming Placement Test. Please be advised that this Challenge exam is advanced and requires demonstration of knowledge and critical thinking skills beyond multiple choice questions. All work must be shown and explained. Again, this challenge exam is only required for students wishing to be considered for placement beyond the Accelerated Algebra course in freshman year. Topics for the Challenge and Practice Problems can be found at Math Challenge Practice Problems. This Challenge Exam has been designed to be completed in 45 minutes.
In summary, the schedule for the Placement Tests is as follows:
|Math and English Placement Tests
||Required for all
8:30 – 11:30am
Report 8:15 to O'Keefe Commons
|Placement into Algebra I or
|Math Challenge Exam
Immediately after required tests.
Intermediate Algebra Honors
After these tests have been scored, you will be notified of the course placement. If you have any questions, please direct them to Ms. Erin Stark, the Chair of the Math Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where is the location of the Placement tests?
A: All students should come to the O’Keefe Commons to register before 8:15 am. They will then be escorted to a classroom to take the tests.
Q: What should I bring to the Placement Tests?
A: Every student should bring at least 2 pencils and an eraser. Prep will supply all other materials. No calculator is allowed.
Q: What are the expectations for an Honors Course?
A: The student in an Honors class is expected to do a greater amount of work than is normally done in that year of Mathematics studies. The assumption is that a student who selects, with the approval of the department, an advanced section is willing to both approach the Math at a more sophisticated level and to devote additional time to study at home and at school. Homework may take twice as much as a non-Honors student. Mathematics Honors students must be able to work independently as well as in groups. For more information, see Requirements of a Math Honors Student.
Q: What if I have additional questions about the additional Math Challenge exams?
A: Contact Ms. Stark at email@example.com. Please make sure you have read through all the material on the SPP website regarding the Placement Tests and the Math Challenge.
Q: What is covered in the required Math Placement Test?
A: Topics include but are not limited to computational arithmetic , including fractions and decimals, positive and negative numbers, order of operations, absolute value, evaluating algebraic expressions, solving one variable equations, rules of exponents, solving systems of equations, writing equations of lines, multiplying and factoring polynomials, and solving a quadratic equation using the quadratic formula. For a more detailed list, please see Placement Test Info and Practice Problems .
Q: What is covered in the optional Math Challenge Exam (required for placement into Honors)?
A: This exam is not multiple choice, so the student must be able to effectively communicate his ability to detail the following topics which include, but are not limited to, solving advanced linear systems, solving quadratic equations using factoring, solving absolute value equations and inequalities, simplifying roots, simplifying exponential expressions, and many more. For a more detailed list, please consult Math Challenge Info and Practice problems
Q: Is there a way to see sample problems for the Placement Test?
A: Practice Problems can be found at Placement Test Practice Problems .
Q: Is there a way to see sample problems for the optional Math Challenge Exam?
A: Practice Problems can be found at Math Challenge Practice problems
Q: What calculator does Prep recommend for the school year?
A: SPP recommends but does not require the TI83 plus or higher beginning in freshman year. The College Admissions tests which each Prep student will take in Junior and Senior years allows the use of this sophisticated calculator and we have found it to improve scores significantly if used by an experienced student. Prep will begin instruction in freshman year for those students who wish to become familiar with it at the earliest possible date. These are on sale, at a discount, at the Prep Campus Shop, but you can purchase them wherever you choose. You can purchase most items online at SPP Campus Shop.