Math/Science Center

Visit the Math/Science Center during our drop-in hours for one-on-one or small group assistance in mathematics, chemistry, biology and physics.


  • MATH/SCIENCE CENTER

    Get help with core math and science courses.

    Our trained peer tutors are here to help you with topics found in core math and science courses through the 2000 level. We have pleasant space, casual environment, supportive staff and we enjoy talking about math and science! Come visit us!


Drop-in Hours

When you arrive, sign in and make yourself comfortable at a study table. Peer tutors circulate the room to discuss homework problems, math and science concepts and study strategies. Please see O’Neill Center Drop-in Hours for our regular schedule.

Group Study Sessions

During fall and spring semesters, join us each week to talk math and science in a relaxed, informal format. All sessions are facilitated by an O'Neill Center math/science tutor.

Study Session Day Time
Organic Chemistry Q&A Tuesdays 6–8 p.m.
Physics Q&A Thursdays 6–8 p.m.

Placement Tests

You may need to take a placement test to assess your skills before you register for a math, statistics, chemistry or physics course.

Four pieces of information that determine whether you need to take a placement test:

  • Your major
  • The math courses required for your major
  • The target math ACT subscore for each course
  • Your math ACT subscore

You need to take a math placement assessment only if your math ACT subscore is below the required level for the math course that you are interested in pursuing or if you do not have a math ACT subscore on record with the Registrar.

Click "View Math Requirements by Major" below to view the required math courses and math ACT scores.

Major Required Math Course If Your ACT Subscore is Below: Take:
Accounting Statistics* or MATH 1130 19 Algebra Placement
Biology Statistics* required 19 Algebra Placement
Biology MATH 1130 recommended 26 Both Trigonometry AND Calculus Placements
Business-to-Business Sales Statistics* 19 Algebra Placement
Chemistry MATH 1130 and 1140 26 Both Trigonometry AND Calculus Placement
Critical Studies of Race and Ethnicity Statistics* 19 Algebra Placement
Dietetics PSYC 1090 19 Algebra Placement
Economics ECON 1090 19 Algebra Placement
Elementary Education MATH 1050 and MATH 2500 19 Basic Skills Placement
Financial Economics ECON 1090 19 Algebra Placement
Food and Nutrition in Business PSYC 1090 or equivalent 19 Algebra Placement
Food and Nutrition: Science PSYC 1090 or equivalent 19 Algebra Placement
Food and Nutrition: Science MATH 1130 26 Both Trigonometry AND Calculus Placement
Healthcare Sales Statistics* 19 Algebra Placement
International Business & Economics ECON 1090 and one course in Math or Computer Science 19 Algebra Placement
Marketing Management Statistics* 19 Algebra Placement
Marketing Management MATH 1130 26 Both Trigonometry AND Calculus Placement
Mathematics MATH 1130 and higher 26 Both Trigonometry AND Calculus Placement
Nursing Statistics* 19 Algebra Placement
Pre-Dentistry STAT 1090 19 Algebra Placement
Pre-Optometry STAT 1090 19 Algebra Placement
Pre-OT STAT 1090 19 STAT 1090
Pre-Medicine MATH 1130 19 Both Trigonometry AND Calculus Placement
Pre-Engineering MATH 1130 19 Both Trigonometry AND Calculus Placement
Pre-Pharmacy MATH 1130 26 Both Trigonometry AND Calculus Placement
Pre-PT MATH 1130 26 Both Trigonometry AND Calculus Placement
Psychology PSYC 1090 19 Algebra Placement
Respiratory Care MATH 1050 or Statistics* 19 Basic Skills Placement or Algebra Placement
Small Business/Entrepreneurship MATH 1130 26 Both Trigonometry AND Calculus Placement
Sociology Statistics* 19 Algebra Placement

*Statistics is satisfied by ECON 1090, or HLTH 1090, or PSYC 1090 or STAT 1090.

If your major is not on this list, it does not have a specific required math course. Work with your advisor to determine which math course is right for you.

Basic Skills Placement:

For students wanting to take Mathematical Ideas in Contemporary Society (MATH 1050), Mathematical Structures for teachers (MATH 2500) with an ACT score below 19.

Assesses knowledge of equations and number properties.

  • Questions: 32 questions
  • Time limit: 40 minutes
  • Passing score: 60%
Basic Skills Placement covers the following areas:
  • Fractions, decimals
  • Solving proportions
  • Perimeter, area, volume
  • Order of operations
  • Signed numbers
  • Simplifying algebraic expressions
  • Exponents
  • Solving first degree equations, inequalities

Algebra Placement

For students wanting to take Statistics (STAT 1090, PSYC 1090, HLTH 1090,or ECON 1090), General Chemistry (CHEM 1110), or Chemistry for Health Sciences (CHEM 1010) with an ACT score below 19.

Assesses knowledge of basic algebraic manipulation and equations.

  • Questions: 25 questions
  • Time limit: 40 minutes
  • Passing score: 60%

Algebra Placement covers the following areas:

  • Fractions, decimals
  • Solving proportions
  • Perimeter, area, volume
  • Order of operations
  • Signed numbers
  • Simplifying algebraic expressions
  • Exponents
  • Solving first degree equations, inequalities
  • Graphing linear equations
  • Systems of linear equations
  • Polynomials
  • Rational expressions
  • Quadratic Equation
  • Radicals

Calculus Readiness Placement

For students wanting to take Calculus (MATH 1130) with an ACT score below 26 or Pre-Calculus (MATH 1090) or Computer Programming I (CSCI 1110) with an ACT score below 23.

Assesses algebra skills, including logarithms and quadratic equations.

  • Questions: 25 questions
  • Time limit: 40 minutes
  • Passing score: 60%

Calculus Readiness Placement covers the following areas:

  • Order of operations
  • Perimeters, areas, volume
  • Roots and radicals
  • Exponents, polynomials
  • Simplifying algebraic expressions
  • Solving/graphing systems of linear equations
  • Functions and graphs
  • Factoring
  • Quadratic equations
  • Logarithmic functions

Trigonometry Placement

For students wanting to take Physics 1080 or Calculus (MATH 1130) with a math ACT subscore below 26.

Assesses trigonometry skills, with an emphasis on right triangle trigonometry.

  • Questions: 12 questions
  • Time limit: 20 minutes
  • Passing score: 50%

Trigonometry Placement covers the following areas:

  • Pythagorean Theorem
  • Trigonometry identities and algebraic manipulation
  • Unit ciricle
  • Trigonometric functions and graphs

There are four math placement assessments — Basic Skills, Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus Readiness. Make sure you prepare for the test that is designated for your major's math course requirement.

You may borrow textbooks or work with math tutors before taking your placement test. You may also check out our workshops, classes and math refresher problems available on Math Foundations and Khan Academy.

Use Math Foundations if you are taking the basic skills or algebra placement. Use Khan Academy to prepare for the calculus readiness and trigonometry placement assessments.

When should I take the math placement assessment?
You may take the assessment only once per placement period. The placement periods are:

Jan 1–Mar 31
Apr 1–Jun 30
Jul 1–Sep 30
Oct 1–Dec 31

You may take the math placement assessment online up to 72 hours before your registration event. The assessment is timed so that you will need at least 45 minutes when you can work without interruption.

Where do I get my placement assessment results?
When you complete the assessment, click the SUBMIT ASSESSMENT button. The assessment will immediately respond with a message regarding your results.

What if I don't pass the math placement assessment?
You may take the assessment only once per placement period. Before re-taking the assessment, you must develop a plan to improve your skills. Options to help you meet your academic goals include classes, workshops, and independent study. You will be directed to our innovative MATH 1010, a 2-credit math course devoted to meeting students "where they are at" so that can enroll in college level math.

Math placement assessments are administered by the O'Neill Center. If you encounter technical problems or have questions, feel free to visit or contact the O'Neill Center at oneill_center@stkate.edu or 651.690.6563.


Still need help?

Need to Take Statistics, But Not Quite Ready?
Then you are in luck! MATH 1010 is offered Fall, J-term, Spring, and Summer! Successful completion of MATH 1010 ensures placement into Stats (MATH, PSYC, ECON or HLTH), CHEM 1010 and CHEM 1110/1120!

MATH 1010 is a 2 credit developmental math course designed for students who are under-prepared for college-level mathematics. The course utilizes a web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system which identifies individual student’s deficiencies and permits each student to work on the mathematical skills and concepts that she needs to master. Each student works at her own pace in an instructor-supported, computer classroom. Class time and required lab component provide 3.5 hours per week of devoted practice time with professional assistance. Attendance and active engagement are considered essential elements of the curriculum.

Need more information? Contact the O’Neill Center at 651-690-6563.

Most exams in math and science involve problems where you must apply the concepts and techniques learned in the course to new situations.

Before the Exam
Set up a schedule so you make time to study every day. Cramming the night before will not lead to success.

Do ALL of the homework problems. For most students, the course grade or exam grade is directly proportional to the number of problems they do. Build confidence by mastering the easier ones before tackling the very difficult ones.

When you seek help from your instructor or the O’Neill Center, be prepared with a list of specific questions. Show the professor your attempts at the problem, and he or she will be able to offer more help.

Get plenty of rest the night before and eat something nutritious the day of the exam. (Fresh fruit is recommended to reduce stress.)
Arrive early for the test so you have time to relax and do not feel rushed.

During the Exam
First do the easy problems. Skip the questions that you cannot immediately answer; later the tougher questions might look more familiar or you may get clues from other questions on the exam. Read the problems carefully. Determine exactly what you are required to find. What does the answer look like? Is it a speed? A temperature? What are the units?

Estimate the answer before you begin to work the problem. It helps to have a rough idea of the size of the answer.

Include the units with all the answers and round them to the proper place (significant digits!) Remember that you do the rounding at the end of your calculation, not before.

Your professor will have worked problems in class and you have worked examples in your text. Try to see the exam problem as another example of a problem you have already solved or studied.

If you feel nervous, remember to take deep breaths to help you relax (nobody will notice). While you are taking deep breaths, replace any negative thoughts with positive thoughts. For example, repeat positive statements to yourself such as “I am relaxed,” “I will be OK; I can do this,” or “I am prepared.”

After the Exam
Go over every question of very test. Learn how to do the problems you have missed. The ideas in math and science courses build upon each other so that you really want to address any confusion that occurs along the way!