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Introduction to the Math Placement Exam 1 (MPE1)

A vital step to your success in engineering at Texas A&M University begins with proper placement in your first math course.  For this reason, the College of Engineering requires ALL incoming freshmen to take the Mathematics Placement Exam 1 (MPE1), regardless of AP credit, dual credit, or any other credit you may have.  The MPE1 is a 33-question, online, non-calculator, pre-calculus exam that takes 90 minutes to complete.  For more information about the Math Placement Exam, please visit the Department of Mathematics site


Requirements for Engineering Students

All incoming freshman admitted to the College of Engineering will take the MPE1 during their New Student Conference (NSC).

  • In College Station, the MPE1 will occur on day 2 of the NSC, from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.
  • In Galveston, the MPE1 will occur on day 1 of the NSC, from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Students in McAllen should register for their MPE1 here.

Scores earned on the proctored exam during the NSC are used to place students in the appropriate level math course (see course placement table below).  To register for MATH 151 Engineering Mathematics I, the first required engineering math course, a student must earn an MPE1 score of 22 or greater.  Students in the Texas A&M Engineering Academy at Blinn-Bryan program will take equivalent math courses through Blinn College.

MPE1 Score

Math Course placement at Texas A&M 

Math Course placement at Blinn College

22-33

MATH 151 - Engineering Mathematics I

MATH 2413 Calculus I 

15-21

MATH 150 - Functions, Trigonometry and Linear Systems

MATH 2412 - Precalculus 

<15

ENGR 289 - Engineering Fundamentals

MATH 2412 - Precalculus 

 


Prior to NSC - Preparing for the Math Placement Exam 1 (MPE1)

In preparation for the MPE1, engineering students are strongly encouraged to take a web-based practice exam.  Taking a web-based practice exam enables you to receive real-time feedback as you progress through each problem. This is the perfect way to brush up on math concepts that you haven’t seen in a while.

You can access web-based MPE1 practice exams by logging in to your Howdy Portal.  Navigate to the Applicant tab and follow the instructions for the Math Placement Exam.  Engineering students can take up to two web-based practice exams, and there is a 14-day waiting period between each practice exam.

The Math Department also provides a “pencil and paper” MPE1 practice test and MPE1 Practice Test Solutions for your use.  The “pencil and paper” practice test is very much like the web-based practice exam except there are no multiple choice answers.  Reminder: Calculators are not allowed during the exam. 

Note the following:

  • Scores earned on the proctored exam during the NSC will be used to place students in the appropriate level math course. Scores earned on the web-based practice exams will not qualify students to take MATH 151.

Exam Day - Taking the Math Placement Exam 1 (MPE1)

On your exam day during NSC, plan on the following:

  1. Bring pencils.
  2. Scratch paper will be provided for you.
  3. No calculators are allowed.
  4. If you have signed up for NetID two-factor authentication, you will need your cell phone to login to the Howdy Portal.
  5. Only students will be allowed in the testing room.

Accommodations

Disability Services (DS) provides testing accommodations for eligible students with disabilities. Reasonable testing accommodations are provided to allow students with documented disabilities an opportunity to demonstrate their skills and knowledge. In order to receive testing accommodations for any of the tests offered through New Student Conferences, the student must submit documentation to DS at least two weeks prior to the scheduled testing date. Please contact the Disability Services office at (979) 845-1637 or visit http://disability.tamu.edu/requestingaccommodations/


Recommended Action Items (Post NSC) for Students with MPE1 Scores Below 22

After your NSC, it is possible to use the remaining months of the summer to become Calculus-ready for the fall semester.  Options range from taking a pre-calculus course at your local community college to signing up for Texas A&M’s Personalized Pre-calculus Program (PPP) and retaking the MPE in August.  For more information about pursuing these and other options, visit our Post NSC recommendations website.


Register to Retake the MPE in August

Engineering students, with MPE1 scores below 22, have the option to retake the Math Placement Exam on their respective campus during the month of August. For more information on test dates at each campus, visit our Post NSC recommendations website.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • When can I take the MPE1?
    The College of Engineering requires students to take the exam during their NSC. Your test scores will be reported to you and your academic advisor. In College Station, the MPE1 will occur on day 2 of the NSC, from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. In Galveston, the MPE1 will occur on day 1 of the NSC, from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Students in McAllen should register for their MPE1 by clicking here.
  • Will taking MATH 150 or ENGR 289 delay my graduation? 
    Please remember that proper placement in your first math course is paramount to your success and degree completion in engineering.  MATH 150 or ENGR 289 represents one extra course which could extend time to graduation by 1 or 2 semesters.  However, it is possible to take summer session courses at Texas A&M to get back on track for a timely degree completion.  If you do not take the proper math course and fail, graduation could be delayed even more.
  • If I start my math sequence at Texas A&M in MATH 150 or ENGR 289, how do I get back on track?
    It is possible to take summer session courses at Texas A&M to get back on track for a timely degree completion.  Also, please remember that you have alternate options to demonstrate readiness for MATH 151 (Engineering Mathematics I) before you begin your 1st semester at Texas A&M. For more information, visit our Post NSC recommendations website.
  • Math is my best subject in high school, and I even took an AP calculus course. Why am I required to first take a pre-calculus course if I score less than a 22 on the MPE1? 
    The MPE is the best single indicator of student performance in the math courses. Our goal is to set students up for success in the math courses. If a student scores less than 22 on the MPE1, the student is required to begin in MATH 150 (for MPE1 scores between 15 and 21) or ENGR 289 (for MPE1 scores less than 15).
  • If I take MATH 150 or ENGR 289 the first semester, will I still be able to apply for entry to a major during my second semester? 
    Students who begin their math sequence in MATH 150 or ENGR 289 are expected to meet ETAM coursework requirements after their third semester - upon completion of MATH 152, PHYS 206 and ENGR 216/PHYS 216.  Therefore, students enrolled in MATH 150 or ENGR 289 will apply for entry to a major during the third semester. For more information, please visit the Entry-to-a-Major website.  
  • If I score below a 22 on the MPE1, can I retake the MPE1?
    Yes, you can retake the MPE1.  Proctored sessions will be offered during Howdy Week in August.  For more information, visit our Post NSC recommendations website.
  • Is there another way I can demonstrate readiness for MATH 151 (Engineering Mathematics I) without retaking the MPE1?
    Yes, you can enroll in your local community college this summer and earn college credit (with a letter grade of A or B) for a course equivalent to Texas A&M’s MATH 150 (Functions, Trigonometry and Linear Systems).  Equivalent classes for most institutions can be found in the Transfer Course Equivalency guide.  For more information, visit our Post NSC recommendations website.
  • Are the results of the MPE1 binding? 
    Yes.  However, you do have alternate options to demonstrate readiness for MATH 151 (Engineering Mathematics I).  For more information, visit our Post NSC recommendations website.
  • I already have AP/IB credit (or dual credit) for Calculus I. Can I be exempt from this test? 
    No, all incoming students are required to take the MPE1 test. Credit for Calculus I does not necessarily ensure adequate preparation for engineering calculus.

Contact Information

Laura Olivarez
Assistant Director of Freshman Engineering Academic Advising Services  
Engineering Academic and Student Affairs
Engineering Activities Building - B
3127 - Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-3127
Phone: (979) 845-7200
Email: easa@tamu.edu