Math Placements

Math placements provide a snapshot of your math skills to accurately place you in a course or program Math placements are available both online and in paper and pencil formats and are available up to and including Grade 12 Math.

Online Version

Online math placements are done using the ACCUPLACER online placement tool. ACCUPLACER is an adaptive placement. This means that the questions are chosen for you on the basis of your answers to previous questions. This technique selects just the right questions for your ability level. Because the placement works this way, you must answer every question when it is first given. You can change your answer to a particular question before moving on to the next question, but you cannot leave a question out or come back to it later to change your answer.

You will receive your results within a week (often sooner) of sitting the ACCUPLACER. If you are taking the ACCUPLACER at the Comox Valley campus, it may be possible to receive your results on the same day. Results will also be inputted into our system and forwarded to the Admissions office.

Arithmetic (divided into three types) Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra and Statistics Advanced Algebra and Functions
  1. Operations with whole numbers and fractions (addition, multiplication, division, recognizing equivalent fractions and mixed numbers and estimating)
  2. Operations with decimals and per cents
  3. Applications and problem solving (per cent, measurement problems, simple geometry problems and distribution of a quantity into its fractional parts)
Rational numbers, ratio and proportion, exponents, algebraic expressions, linear equations, linear applications and graphs, probability sets, descriptive statistics, geometry concepts Linear equations, linear applications and graphs, factoring, quadratics, functions, radical and rational equations, polynomial equations, exponential and logarithmic equations and trigonometry

For more details on each subsection, go to:

Paper Version

The paper and pencil Math Placement covers a range of math functions presented in several subsections, presented as both equations and word problems.

  • Students start with adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing whole numbers, fractions and decimals. This part must be done without a calculator. A calculator is allowed for the section on ratio and proportion, percentage problems, reading graphs and metric questions.
  • Students may move on to questions using algebra, factoring, quadratic equations, trigonometry and geometry. For these questions students are provided with a scientific calculator.
  • The paper and pencil Math Placement is not timed, but generally takes about 2-3 hours to complete all sections. Some programs do not require the completion of all sections. Check with the program requirements to see what materials will be evaluated. If additional time is needed another session can be booked at no further expense.

How to prepare for math placements

To get ready for your math placement (paper or online), we have a Math Review Book available to you. Begin by previewing the Study Guide for the Math Review Book.

This book is also available for purchase at all NIC bookstores or for review at all NIC libraries.

The Level A Book would prepare students for the ACCUPLACER arithmetic placement, while the Levels B and C will prepare students for ACCUPLACER advanced mathematics. For review material that prepares students specifically for the ACCUPLACER math placements, use the links below or sign up for the ACCUPLACER Study App.