Math Testing FAQ
- Why should I take the Math Competency Exam (MCE)?
- Will taking this test help me decide where to begin study in math?
- How will I be able to show that I am prepared for a math course?
- I already hold a college degree. Can I enroll in a math course without taking the MCE?
- What is the test like?
- Are review materials available for the test?
- What happens if I choose a test that is too easy or too difficult for me?
- How is the test scored?
- What are the retest and fee policies?
- Do I need to bring anything with me to the test?
- When and where can I take the math test or get more information?
- Mathematics Competency Examination Test Selection Guide (Chart)
- Mathematics Competency Examination Test Selection Guide
A. Take this test to:
- Discover your current level of math skill
- Demonstrate preparedness for numerous math courses (i.e. meet prerequisites)
- Satisfy the MCC degree requirement for competency in math (course completion may be required)
- Complete the math assessment requirement for matriculation
A. Yes. Your score will indicate your preparedness for a particular level of math unless you take a test that is too easy or too difficult for you which may require you to re-test. Another possibility is that your score may be borderline. Students with borderline entry skills for a course often have difficulty in that class. If your score is borderline, carefully consider the possible advantages of taking a lower level course. It's a good idea to discuss your scores with a counselor or academic advisor.
A. (1) If you took the math tests here, your placement is checked by computer.
(2) If you completed the preceding course at MCC with a grade of "C" or better, your course eligibility is checked by computer.
(3) If you took the prerequisite course elsewhere, you must submit a requisite review request form to the Admissions and Records Office with a copy of your transcript or grade report.
(4) If you took a placement test at another California community college, you must provide the Admisssions & Records Office with a copy of your score report showing placements.
(5) If you took an approved test elsewhere (see class schedule for listing of approved tests) you must provide the Testing Office with a document that clearly shows your qualifying score.
You must meet the prerequisite before you register for any math course except Math 20. If you have not met the required skill level for the math course you wish to take, you will not be allowed to enroll.
A. Any student who holds a B.A. degree or higher is eligible to take Math 30. For higher courses proof of the prerequisite is required.
A. You will select one of four separate tests on computer: Pre-calculus, Intermediate Algebra, Elementary Algebra, or Algebra Readiness. You may take only one of the four tests on a given day. Calculators are not allowed on any of the tests. Each test has a time limit of 75 minutes. The entire testing process will take about 90 minutes.
A. Math review for the Algebra Readiness, Elementary Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, and Pre-calculus tests is available online at: www.miracosta.edu/testing. You may also purchase these same review packets in the college bookstore at either campus for a few dollars each.
A. You should plan a time to take another test. If the test was too difficult, take a lower level test. If you earned a very high score, consider taking a higher-level exam.
A. Each multiple-choice question is worth one point. You will also learn how well you did in each of the skill areas tested.
A. You may take each of the four math tests a maximum of two times. Tests given through our high school outreach testing program will not be counted toward the maximum. You must wait at least 24 hours after taking a test to retest on the same level or to take a different level test. If you are taking the math test for another college or institution there is a $30.00 fee per test.
Q. What if I am a student with a disability needing an accommodation?
A. If you have a disability that would affect your test-taking ability, you may wish to contact the Disabled Students Program and Services Office (Rm 3006 at the Oceanside campus, ext. 6658).
A. Yes. You must present positive photo identification (i.e., a current driver's license or state I.D. card with photo, school I.D., high school yearbook (picture with name), military I.D. or a passport). Any necessary materials for testing will be provided. Calculators and other aids are not allowed.
The Algebra Readiness Test includes the following topics: integers, fractions, decimals, exponents, square roots, simple equations and geometry.
This is the test to take if you have never studied algebra. Students who take this test will be advised to take one of these courses: Math 20, Pre-Algebra or Math 30, Elementary Algebra. (High scorers may wish to take the Elementary Algebra Test next.)
The Elementary Algebra Test includes problems in arithmetic, polynomials, linear equations and inequalities, quadratic equations, graphing, rational expressions, exponents and square roots, geometric measurement, and word problems.
Students who take this test will learn whether enrollment in one of these courses is indicated: Math 20, Pre-algebra; Math 30, Elementary Algebra; or Math 64, Intermediate Algebra.
Take the Elementary Algebra Test if any of the following statements applies to you:
- Elementary algebra was the highest math class that you completed.
- You have taken at least two years of high school algebra (or the equivalent), but you took your last algebra course more than two years ago, or you earned a grade below “B.”
- You earned a very high score on the MCE Algebra Readiness Test and you have studied elementary algebra.
- You took the MCE Intermediate Algebra Test and you were advised to take this test next.
- Your elementary algebra skills are sharp and you are very confident about your ability to solve the types of problems listed above in the time allotted.
The Intermediate Algebra Test covers elementary operations, rational expressions, exponents and radicals, linear equations and inequalities, quadratic polynomials and equations and inequalities, graphing, logarithms and functions, and word problems.
Students who take this test will learn whether they have met the graduation requirement for competency in math; whether retesting on the Elementary Algebra Test is recommended; if preparedness is indicated for enrollment in Math 64, Intermediate Algebra; or if preparedness is indicated for enrollment in any of the following transfer courses: Math 103, Statistics; Math 105, Concepts and Structures of Elementary Mathematics I; Math 115, Calculus with Applications; Math 125, College Algebra or Math 130, Trigonometry.
This is the test to take if any of these statements is true:
- You have taken at least two years of high school algebra (or the equivalent) and you completed your last algebra course within the past two years with a grade of at least “B.”
- You have taken three years of high school algebra or the equivalent, but you took your last algebra course more than three years ago, or you earned a grade below “B.”
- You earned a very high score on the Elementary Algebra test and you have studied intermediate algebra successfully.
- You took the MCE Pre-calculus test and were advised to take this test next.
Your intermediate algebra skills are sharp and you are very confident about your ability to solve the types of problems listed above in the time allotted.
The Pre-calculus Test covers elementary operations with numerical and algebraic fractions, operations with exponents and radicals, linear equations and inequalities, polynomials and polynomial equations, functions, and logarithmic and exponential functions.
Students who take this test will learn whether they have met the graduation requirements for competency in math; whether retesting on the MCE Intermediate Algebra test is recommended; if they qualify for Math 135, PreCalculus; or if they qualify for Math 150, Calculus and Analytic Geometry.
This is the test to take if any of the following statements is true:
- You have completed Trigonometry and at least three years of high school algebra (or the equivalent); you finished your last course within the past two years; and you earned a grade of at least “B.”
- You earned a very high score on the Intermediate Algebra Test and you have completed a course in Trigonometry.
- You have studied Trigonometry, your algebra skills are sharp, and you are very confident about your ability to solve the types of problems listed above in the time allotted.