Are you new to the BJU Press elementary math curriculum? Are you uncertain which grade level to start your child in? Do you need a way to assess how much of the previous year’s math curriculum your student has mastered? Often, it is useful to use the child’s age for grade placement. But if you have specific concerns about your child’s math comprehension, an assessment may help. BJU Press offers several free math placement tests for upper elementary students. These assessments may help you decide which grade level your child is ready for or highlight areas of focus where he or she lacks mastery.

## What is a math placement test?

A math placement test is a series of questions designed to indicate a student’s understanding of specific math concepts. The test can cover a range of concepts, from a single unit to an entire year or multiple years. Like any assessment, the goal is to gauge learning. The most common use for placement tests is to determine which grade level to place a student in. Other factors should also weigh into a placement decision, such as the child’s age, any learning disabilities, and the scope and sequence of your curriculum. Standardized tests might also inform your decision.

## A Math Assessment vs. a Grade Placement Test

A placement test should be a comprehensive assessment of an entire year’s learning. It is one piece of information that can help you decide between repeating a course and proceeding to the next grade level. Remember that the BJU Press curriculum always includes some review as it spirals ever deeper into each subject, so a perfect score on an assessment is not necessary to move on. It is also possible to repeat certain units from one grade level instead of the entire book if there is a particular area of weakness.

#### Are math assessments good placement test practice?

Untimed tests are good practice for tests with time limits. Though standardized tests are not placement tests, they often help inform placement decisions. Additionally, many standardized tests have time limits. Shorter math assessments will be good practice before taking a longer, annual assessment for placement purposes.

## Does a homeschooler need to take a math placement test?

If you have recently transitioned away from a more traditional school setting to homeschool, it may be helpful to use assessments to determine grade placement for your child. One of the benefits of homeschooling is that you do not need to work on all the same grade level courses at once if it would help your child to review some subjects. Math is one subject that students may struggle with and need extra time to review. If your child has used a different math curriculum before, you might want to know how much of that curriculum your child has retained before choosing the next grade of BJU Press math textbook. This is one scenario in which a math placement test would be useful to you.

Another scenario might be that you have been using the BJU Press curriculum and you want to have a record of your child’s achievement in math for the year. The assessment result could be included in your homeschool portfolio as evidence of your child’s mastery of the subject. It could also be useful for you to uncover areas that may need further review.

## Benefits of a Homeschool Math Assessment Test

There are several benefits to using math placement tests in your homeschool:

- Math assessments can help with grade placement if you are transitioning from public school or another traditional school setting.
- They can indicate concepts that may need review before moving to the next grade level.
- They can be recorded as part of your homeschool portfolio to demonstrate mastery of grade level concepts.
- They can enhance your ability to meet the individual needs of your student within the framework of the curriculum.
- Untimed math assessments that are not for a grade can serve as practice sessions for students.
- The assessment itself can help to build mastery and improve long-term recall of mathematical concepts.

## How Our Math Assessment Test Works

These online math placement tests include a series of questions about each of the main concepts from a particular math textbook. Use the following process with your student to ensure the best results.

### How to Use BJU Press Math Placement Tests

- Take your time. Each assessment is an untimed test that contains more than 100 questions.
- Check each answer. Your student should use the “Check Answer” button to receive immediate feedback about each answer. If correct, the answer will be in a green box. The button to move on will say “Correct. Next Question.” If incorrect, the answer will be in a red box and the button will say “Incorrect. Next Question.”
- Review each answer. Your student may spend time understanding why the answer selection was wrong before moving on.
- Take breaks. If your student is taking the whole test, you may want to encourage breaks every ten minutes or every five questions.
- Check results. Your child’s overall score will display on a results screen at the end of the test. You will also find a recap of each question, the concept the question is about, and the correct (green) or incorrect (red) answer. The computation questions will have a solution for the student to review.
- Retake the test if needed. A “redo” button for any questions that were incorrect will be available.

It is up to you how to use the results of the placement test and whether to have your child review solutions to incorrect questions or redo any problems. You could also have your child take part of the assessment to check on one or just a few of the concepts included to save time. You may already have some idea of which areas are likely to need more work, and you could use the assessment to home in on those specific skills. A test with over 100 questions is likely to be overwhelming for young students, so be ready with breaks, snacks, and other ways to reduce anxiety.

#### What do math placement test results tell you?

You can use the scores on our math placement tests to determine how well your child understands the concepts from the indicated BJU Press math textbook. An excellent or good score indicates your child is ready to move to the next grade level BJU Press math textbook. Since the results indicate that your student has appropriately grasped the concepts taught needed in the next grade level, an excellent or good score does not mean that your student is ready to skip a grade level. If you believe your student is well above grade level, consider taking the next assessment available in addition to the current grade level.

A lower score indicates your child may need to review parts or all the grade level assessed. Because the questions are grouped by concept, you will see exactly which concepts were more difficult for your child and which ones have been mastered.

## Free Math Placement Tests from BJU Press

BJU Press has created these tests for you to administer at the end of the given year of school to assess a student’s understanding of the indicated grade level concepts. While we call these tests *skills assessments*, they are intended for use in placement, so you can assess if your student has the skills necessary for the next grade level. If your child did not use the BJU Press curriculum, it may indicate areas where reviewing the prior year’s text could be beneficial to your child. In general these assessments cover similar concepts at the appropriate grade level. These concepts include:

- Number sense
- Patterns
- Addition and subtraction
- Multiplication and division
- Fractions
- Decimals
- Geometry
- Estimation
- Measurement
- Algebra readiness
- Graphs
- Problem solving

#### 3rd Grade Math Assessment

The third grade placement test evaluates a student’s ability to add and subtract five-digit numbers, multiply and divide two- or three-digit numbers with one-digit numbers, and find missing numbers in an equation. The student will need to add and subtract like fractions and compare decimals with up to two decimal places. Your student should understand how to find area and perimeter for various geometric shapes as well as use various measurement units.

Go to the 3rd grade assessment.

#### 4th Grade Math Assessment

The fourth grade placement test evaluates a student’s ability to add and subtract six-digit numbers, multiply and divide two- or three-digit numbers with two-digit numbers, and find missing numbers in an equation. The student will need to add and subtract like fractions and mixed numbers and will need to round decimals with up to two decimal places. Your student should understand how to find area and perimeter for various geometric shapes and solid figures as well as use various measurement units.

Go to the 4th grade assessment.

#### 5th Grade Math Assessment

The fifth grade placement test evaluates a student’s ability to add and subtract six-digit numbers, multiply and divide one- to three-digit numbers with two- to four-digit numbers, and find missing numbers in an equation. The student will need to multiply and divide fractions and mixed numbers using common denominators and will multiply and divide decimals with whole numbers. Your student should understand how to find area and perimeter for various geometric shapes and solid figures. The student should also know how to find angles as well as use various measurement units along with charts and graphs.

Go to the 5th grade assessment.

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*Valerie is a wife and a mother to a very busy preschooler. In her free time she enjoys reading all kinds of books. She earned a B.S. in Biology from Bob Jones University, minoring in Mathematics, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from Ohio State University. Valerie has 15 years of experience working in research laboratories and has coauthored 8 original research articles. She has also taught several classes and laboratories at the high school and college levels. She currently works as a Data Analyst and a freelance writer.*

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