Students admitted to Kentucky State University receive their initial placement in mathematics courses based on ACT/SAT scores. Students scoring below 19 on the math section of the ACT or below 460 on the math section of the SAT must take the Mathematics Placement Exam to ensure correct placement. Students with math ACT/SAT scores of 19/460 or above who want to improve their placement will have the opportunity to take the Mathematics Placement Exam.  Initial placement in English and Reading courses is based on ACT/SAT subscores.

Mathematics Placement based on ACT/SAT sub-scores

Students with an ACT Math sub -score below 19 (or 460 on the SAT Math component) MUST take the Mathematics Placement Test to insure correct placement.

Regardless of major, these students will be placed in their math classes using the following criteria unless they improve their placements on the math placement test.

ACT Math Score
SAT Math Score
Placement Math Course Name
Course Code
14 or belowBelow 350Fundamentals of MathematicsMAT 095
15 - 18350 - 450Beginning AlgebraMAT 096

When a student has placed out of or successfully completed The Fundamentals of Mathematics (MAT 096), the next math class is determined by the student’s major. If the student has not decided on a major, the advisor should at least try to ascertain the student’s interests.  A student who is interested in eventually majoring in an area that requires College Algebra (MAT 115) will need Intermediate Level Algebra (MAT 097) (or MAT 115, depending on placement).  A student interested in a different major should take Contemporary Mathematics (MAT 111).

Mathematics Placement Criteria for Majors that Require College Algebra (MAT 115)

The following majors require College Algebra (MAT 115):

  • Biology
  • Computer Science (all options)
  • Mathematics Education
  • Pre-Optometry
  • Biology Education
  • Information Technology
  • Nursing
  • Pre-Pharmacy
  • Business
  • Mathematics
  • Pre-Engineering (all specialties)
  • Pre-Physical Therapy
  • Chemistry
  • Psychology

Hence, based on the students’ ACT/SAT math test score(s), individuals required to take College Algebra (MAT 115) should be placed as follows:

ACT Math Score
SAT Math Score
Placement Math Course Name
Course Code
19 - 21460 to 500Intermediate Level AlgebraMAT 097
22 - 24510 to 560College AlgebraMAT 115
25 - 26570 to 600Precalculus or Business Calculus and MatricesMAT 120 or MAT 125
27 or higherAbove 600Calculus and Analytic Geometry IMAT 131

Mathematics Placement Criteria for Majors that DO NOT Require College Algebra (MAT 115)

Students that have chosen a major in which College Algebra (MAT 115) is not required should be placed as follows:

ACT Math Score
SAT Math Score
Placement Math Course Name
Course Number
19 or higher460 or aboveContemporary MathematicsMAT 111

Good Housekeeping Notes to Remember

  • Any transfer student who does not have appropriate ACT/SAT scores in the Student Information System or has not taken appropriate remediation prior to enrollment must take the placement test.
  • Students with an ACT Math Score of 19 or better who want to improve their placement will have the opportunity to take the placement test.
  • Any degree-seeking student required to take a developmental math class (MAT 095, 096 or 097) must enroll in that class within the first two semesters.
  • It is strongly recommended that students continue taking their developmental courses in subsequent semesters until they are successfully completed.
  • Upon completion of developmental classes it is strongly recommended that the student enroll in the subsequent credit-bearing course the very next semester.
  • MAT 097 is the pre-requisite for MAT 115.   It is not a pre-requisite for MAT 111.  Students who will take MAT 111 do not need MAT 097.
  • MAT 111 is not a substitute for MAT 097.  MAT 111 is not a pre-requisite for MAT 115.
  • MAT 096 is the pre-requisite for MAT 111 and MAT 097.

English Placement based on ACT/SAT sub-scores

ACT English Score
SAT English Score
Placement English Course Name
Course Code
Followed by
15 or below350 or belowBasic Writing IENG 089ENG 099, ENG 101
16 - 17351 - 399Basic Writing IIENG 099ENG 101
18 or above400 or aboveEnglish Composition I

NOTE:  The SAT – Verbal Score will determine placement in any Reading courses. (Scores subject to change.) 

Additional Placement Test Information

A music placement test is required of all entering music majors.  Foreign language proficiency examinations are available to those who seek advanced placement in or exemption from the foreign language requirements.  The University requires a proficiency level in a foreign language equal to that which the student would have achieved after taking two semesters of language at the 101/102 levels.  Students who have completed language training at the high school level may satisfy all or part of the foreign language requirement through the Advanced Placement Program (described elsewhere in this Bulletin) or through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP – contact the Testing Office) (see Bulletin section, Division of Literature, Languages, and Philosophy, for more information).  Any entering freshmen who have taken a foreign language for three years in high school and passed with a grade of C or better may not enroll in a 101 or 102 level of the same foreign language without taking a Placement Exam to determine level of competency.  Such students may choose, however, to take a 101 level of a foreign language other than those studied in high school.  Exemptions are students who have been out of high school at least five years.

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