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Math Assessment Test

What is the Math Assessment Test? The Math Assessment Test (MAT) is used to evaluate a student’s competency level in the areas of College Algebra and Trigonometry. The results are then used to place students in an appropriate starting point in SPSU’s mathematics sequence.

Who is required to take the MAT? All students who have not received credit from SPSU’s Registrars Office for College Algebra (Math 1111) or Precalculus (Math 1113) are required to take the MAT for placement. Credit for courses can come by transfer, CLEP, or AP scores.

The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) offers exams in both College Algebra and Precalculus.

The table below determines the courses in which a student shall receive credit for having participated in an Advanced Placement Program.

AP Exam

Minimum Score

SPSU Course for Credit


AB Calculus Test


Math 1111, 1113, and 2253 or 2240

10 or 11

BC Calculus Test


Math 1111, 1113, 2253 or 2240, 2254

14 or 15



Math 2260


Students who have credit for Math 1111 or 1113 are encouraged, but not required, to take the MAT for advisement purposes.

What to expect on the MAT? The 90-minute exam consists of 63 multiple choice type questions covering College Algebra and Trigonometry. When you come to campus to take the test please bring a photo I.D. and two #2 pencils. The use of a calculator is prohibited. The MAT can be taken only once, so you should prepare for it (see below).

When should the MAT be taken? Students will take the MAT as part of their Orientation session.  Students not attending Orientation will have to schedule to take the test prior to registering for any math course at SPSU.  If a student is required to take the MAT, no registration for a math course at SPSU will be possible until the MAT requirement has been met.

The MAT will be administered during the times that are stated on the Math Department's website

When can a student enroll without being required to take the MAT? Students who are admitted to SPSU and are awarded credit (by transfer, CLEP, or AP) for both Math 1111 (College Algebra) and Math 1113 (Precalculus) are not required to take the MAT. Students who are admitted to SPSU and never anticipate taking a math course during their stay at SPSU may elect not to take the MAT.

Are there any special testing provisions allowed when taking the MAT? Students who have a documented learning disability or physical handicap may be allowed special provisions. Such students must contact the ATTIC at (678) 915-7361 well in advance of their need for special accommodation.

How are students notified of MAT dates and times? All incoming students are sent notification of the MAT requirement and the times and dates the test will be given, typically taken at Orientation. Currently enrolled students may take the MAT in the ATTIC (A160). Check the schedule by calling (678) 915-7361.

How are MAT scores used? MAT scores are used to determine a student’s appropriate starting point in SPSU’s math sequence. Students may only enroll in a math course at SPSU for which all prerequisites have been met or into which the MAT places them. Note, however, that MAT scores will not be used to “take away” course credit previously awarded by SPSU.

How are MAT scores interpreted? The table below determines a student’s appropriate starting point in SPSU’s math sequence based on MAT scores. A student may choose to start in a course lower than the MAT placement.

If you have a MAT score of …

Then placement is in …

23 or lower on MAT 1 + 2

Math 1111 – College Algebra

24 or higher on MAT 1 + 2

Math 1113 – Precalculus

26 or higher on MAT 1 + 2 and

8 or higher on MAT 3

Math 2253 – Calculus I or

Math 2240 – Survey of Calculus

How should I prepare to take the MAT?  Because the MAT is a placement test it is designed to assess the mathematical knowledge that you have acquired from previous courses. To prepare for the test you may find it useful to review materials from mathematics courses that you have previously taken in the areas of College Algebra and Precalculus. If you have no such review materials at your disposal, or you would like others, then you might wish to obtain copies of the course syllabi for College Algebra (Math 1111) and Precalculus (Math 1113). Listed on these syllabi you will find the names of textbooks and suggested homework assignments that are currently used in teaching these courses.


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