College Algebra Placement
What is College Algebra?
College Algebra is an introductory MATH course offered by the University for undergraduate students.
Topics include the solution and application of linear and quadratic equations and inequalities; functions, graphs, and theory of equations; matrix solutions of systems of equations and basic properties of matrices.
How it Works
All College Algebra students will enroll in one of the sections of MATH 1203. One set of sections meets three times a week, another four times a week, and another five times a week. Each of these different sets of sections are intended to serve students with different levels of preparedness for College Algebra. The four-day and five-day sections include extra lab time to help students review and master the material.
Although these different sets of sections meet more or less frequently than the others, we want all students to walk away with the same 3-credit-hour course, MATH 1203. To do this, we require students in MATH 1203 sections meeting more than 3 times a week to also enroll in the MATH 0001L or MATH 0002L lab. These labs represent the additional meeting times built into the different MATH 1203 sections, without changing the course number itself. The labs do not require students to attend any additional class time outside of what is required by their MATH 1203 section.
Dividing course credits using labs allows every student to put the same MATH 1203 credit on their transcripts. This means that students requiring lab time will be able to advance to the same math courses as their peers in the three-day sections of College Algebra. Although this arrangement may seem unconventional, it is designed to help students succeed in College Algebra and help them advance in mathematics as efficiently as possible.
Currently, there are 4 subsets of this class that show up equally on students' transcripts:
COLLEGE ALGEBRA WITHOUT A LAB
- The course shows as "MATH 1203"
- Includes sections MATH 1203-002 to MATH 1203-035
- Requires an ACT Math score of 23, SAT Math score of 570, or Math Placement Test score of 46
These course sections do not include the need for a review element with the class. The class typically meets 3 times a week and is intended for students who have a strong grasp of Algebra and Pre-Algebra. This course counts for 3 credit hours.
COLLEGE ALGEBRA WITH 1 HOUR LAB
- The course shows as "MATH 1203" and lab shows as "MATH 0001L"
- Includes sections MATH 1203-051 to MATH 1203-069, students MUST also enroll in any section of MATH 0001L
- Requires an ACT Math score of 19, SAT Math score of 510, or Math Placement Test score of 30
Based on placement scores, this course section is for students who may need an extra hour of review. The class typically meets 4 times a week where students are required to attend a drill session 1 time per week. The MATH 1203 section counts for 3 credit hours and the MATH 0001L section counts for 1 credit.
COLLEGE ALGEBRA WITH 2 HOUR LAB
- The course shows as "MATH 1203" and lab shows as "MATH 0002L"
- Includes sections MATH 1203-091 to MATH 1203-098, students MUST also enroll in any section of MATH 0002L
- Does not require an ACT, SAT, or Math Placement Test score
Based on placement scores, or lack of scores, this course section is for students who are required to take an extra 2 hours for review. The class typically meets 5 times a week. The MATH 1203 section counts for 3 credits and the MATH 0002L section counts for 2 credits.
COLLEGE ALGEBRA FOR CEA STUDENTS
- The course shows as "MATH 1203"
- Includes sections MATH 1203-079 and MATH 1203-099
These sections are reserved for students with accommodations from the Center for Educational Access. Visit cea.uark.edu for more information.
Do I Have to Take College Algebra?
Before considering what classes you should or shouldn't take, students MUST first talk with their program/college advisor.
Here are some reasons students may not necessarily have to take College Algebra:
1) COLLEGE ALGEBRA ISN'T REQUIRED FOR GRADUATION
Some degree programs do not require that students take higher level MATH courses.
College Algebra acts as a prerequisite for courses like Plane Trigonometry, Precalculus, Survey of Calculus, Mathematical Thought, Finite, and Calculus.
For non-MATH heavy majors, we also offer Quantitative Reasoning (MATH 1313).
Quantitative Reasoning is about working with functions, probability, finance, and more; but is NOT a prerequisite for the higher-level courses mentioned above. Students can get up to 12 hours of MATH credit and place into introductory STAT classes.
2) COLLEGE ALGEBRA PREREQUISITES HAVE ALREADY BEEN MET
Referring to mathplacement.uark.edu, simply having a high enough placement score can mean you are able to skip College Algebra all together. Tests taken before college, like the SAT and ACT, can give students the prerequisite for higher-level courses before they even begin classes at the university.
For those students who don't have a satisfactory SAT or ACT score, the department also offers students to take the ALEKS Math Placement Test to test out of lower-level MATH courses. This exam is FREE for registered students of the University, but exam attempts must be proctored to count as credit. More information is available at https://fulbright.uark.edu/departments/math/undergraduate/placement/aleks-ppl.php.
For students who don't want to take the Placement Exam, the University also offers CLEP tests. Fees may be involved, and credit may not count for some courses. More information is available at https://test.uark.edu/clep.php.