Colorado State University
Mathematics Placement Exam Review

This Mathematics Placement Examination Review was written by the authors of the Colorado State University Mathematics Placement Examination (MPE) to help you prepare for this exam. The MPE Review is organized into three sections corresponding to the three parts of the exam. Section I deals with topics in college algebra; Section II is concerned with numerical and analytic trigonometry; and Section III is devoted to logarithmic and exponential functions. Each section contains a brief explanation of the material and several practice problems. Answers to the practice problems can be found at the end of each section.

We strongly recommend that you prepare thoroughly before taking the MPE. Your performance on the exam can have a significant impact on your academic future. You can get a head start on your degree program by scoring well on the exam and earning up to five college credits in mathematics. A poor performance on the MPE could delay your access to required courses and possibly delay your academic program.

All students should strive to do well on as much of the exam as possible. But it is especially important to prepare for Part I of the exam. Part I consists of 24 items concentrating on pre-algebra and algebra skills. You must earn a satisfactory score on this part to be eligible to take any mathematics courses at CSU without further review. Since every major requires that at least three credits in mathematics be earned during the first 60 credits of enrollment, it is to your advantage to perform well on this part of the exam. For students in math intensive majors such as engineering, physics and the mathematical sciences, it is especially important to thoroughly prepare for all three parts of the MPE.

To prepare for the MPE, work through all sections of the MPE Review that contain material you have previously studied. (Remember, Part I is for everyone!) If you find you have forgotten some techniques or some topics are unfamiliar, borrow textbooks that deal with those topics from a school library, a public library, or your high school math teacher. Use them to review. Your high school math teacher may also be willing to talk with you about topics you have forgotten.

The MPE is based on the pre-calculus courses offered at Colorado State University. Using the course outlines as a guide may also help you find suitable reference materials at your local library. The current outlines for these courses are found here.

Click on the appropriate link below to access the review materials for the section you wish to study.  (requires the free Adobe Acrobat Reader).

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