General Information for Incoming Students
Incoming students are notified upon admission on which placement test(s) they need to take upon entry to the University and before their SOAR date.
UW-Madison students are required to take the Math B exam. Math B is the proctored version of the UW System Math placement test, while Math A is the non-proctored version of the placement test. Both versions are designed to test the same set of skills. The only difference is that Math B is proctored and UW-Madison does not accept Math A results. The Math B exam is offered both in-person as a paper and pencil test, and online via Live Remote Proctoring. Both freshman and transfer students taking the test after March 2023 can select any of the options labeled “Math B”.
All incoming freshmen must take the math placement test (Math B version), and transfer students are notified of their need to take it based on previous coursework. Students who do not have college transfer credits or college credits in mathematics and want to take math classes need to take the math placement test.
The SOAR website has more information on how to register for placement tests. The SOAR FAQs page has a section specific to placement tests.
How Placement Is Determined
Information on the placement test and an overview of our placement algorithm can be found here.
The only exception to math placement is course credit (more on this below). Students must adhere to their placement test scores for enrollment in math coursework except in cases of course credit or retakes.
Courses Available Via the Placement Test
The courses that students can place into span a number of areas, levels, etc. Students attending SOAR can and should have conversations with their academic advisors regarding appropriate math courses to enroll in based on their areas of interest.
Please see our courses page for an overview of some of our early-sequence math courses based on the placement test, as well as an early-sequence “math flowchart”.