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Local Placement Exam Topics

Algebra Placement Exam Summary

Arithmetic

  • Order of Operations
  • Adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing signed numbers
  • Add and multiply fractions, simplify complex fractions
  • Rationalize denominators (consisting of a single radical).
  • Radicals and rational exponents

Exponentials and Logarithms

  • Integer exponents
  • Properties of exponents (zero, negative powers)
  • Radicals and rational exponents
  • Converting between exponential and logarithmic equations.
  • (Note: general properties of logarithms are not included)

Elementary Algebra Topics

  • Solve linear equations with decimal coefficients
  • Combine linear terms using properties of numbers
  • Simplify rational expressions involving variables
  • Linear Inequalities
  • Quadratic Equations (with real and complex number solutions)
  • Quadratic Inequalities (demonstrating compound inequalities)

Other Algebra Topics

  • Factor difference of two squares
  • Factor sum/difference of two cubes or higher powers.
  • Absolute Values
  • Absolute value inequalities
  • Linear Systems of Equations: 2 equations, 2 unknowns

Other Topics

  • Graphs of linear equations
  • Intercepts of graphs
  • Evaluating Expressions at numerical values
  • Evaluating Functions at numerical values and simple expressions.

Taking the Exam

  • The exam is scheduled for 40 minutes and has 32 problems.
  • The exam is not pass/fail, simply a tool to determine an appropriate math course for which a student is prepared to succeed in.
  • Tools for reviewing the topics above include any High School algebra text, Schaum's Outline of Intermediate Algebra, or the website www.sosmath.com

Ready for Calculus Exam Summary

Algebra

  • Solving polynomial, rational equations.
  • Simplifying expressions with rational exponents
  • Solving logarithmic equations
  • Factoring sums and differences of powers.
  • Absolute value equations and inequalities.

Coordinate geometry

  • Intersections of lines.
  • Coordinates of points from graphs of functions.
  • Distance between points
  • Slopes of lines

Functions 

  • Domain and range
  • Symmetry of graphs
  • Graphs of specific types of functions (polynomial, exponential, etc)
  • Composition of functions

Verbal Problems

  • Linear versus exponential growth
  • Surface Area of rectangular boxes.
  • Perimeter versus area.

Trigonometry

  • Values of sin(x), cos(x) at standard angles in the unit circle.
  • Domains of the 6 trigonometric functions.
  • Graphs of trigonometric functions.
  • Simplifications of trigonometric expressions by ratios or the pythagorean identities.

Taking the Exam

  • A calculator is not allowed.  
  • The exam is scheduled for 30 minutes and has 25 problems.  
  • The exam is not pass/fail, simply a tool to determine an appropriate math course for which the student is prepared to succeed in.  
  • Tools for reviewing the topics above include any high school precalculus text, Schaum’s Outline of Precalculus, or the websites www.sosmath.com or Khan Academy.