Online Algebra Assessment - Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I take this online assessment?

Our primary aim is student success at the UM SPH. We offer this assessment as a gauge for you to assess and if necessary improve your readiness to succeed in introductory level biostatistics courses.  The practice assessment allows you to assess your competency in 5 domains of Pre-algebra and 10 domains of algebra. The goal is to improve your algebraic skills in preparation for the biostatistics courses at the University of Michigan.

Is the online algebra assessment mandatory?

Although the assessment is not mandatory we strongly recommend that you take the practice assessment to help you measure your computational competency and prepare for biostatistics classes at UM SPH.

How long will the assessment take?

The assessment will take between 1 and 2 hours.

Will I be able to see the results of my assessment right away?

Yes. Upon completion of the assessment, you will receive your score, the questions you missed and the corresponding competencies. You may revisit your results at any time. A list of recommended resources is also available at the end.

If my score is high on the assessment will I still need to take the algebra diagnostic exam during orientation?

Yes. Every MPH, MHSA, and MHI student will take the algebra diagnostic exam during orientation. Students who score below 80% on the algebra diagnostic exam will enroll in tutoring sessions concurrently with the first-level biostatistics course. The algebra assessment helps you determine whether you need to refresh your algebraic skills over the summer prior to taking the algebra diagnostic exam during orientation.

Will the algebra assessment results affect my admission to the UM SPH?

No. The results of your assessment have no bearing on your admission to the UM SPH.

Will assessment results affect my financial award from UM SPH?

No. The results of your assessment have no bearing on your financial award from UM SPH.

Can I take the assessment more than once?

Yes. 

Can I take the assessment after the stated deadline?

We highly recommend you complete the online algebra assessment by the deadline provided in order for you to have enough time to take advantage of the resources provided to increase your algebra skills.

What if I need additional time to take the online algebra assessment?

The assessment does not have a time limit. You may take as much time as you need to complete the assessment. However, you do need to complete the assessment in one sitting.

Can I change an answer once I have submitted the assessment?

No. Answers cannot be changed once the assessment has been submitted.

Can I use a calculator?

No. Calculators are not to be used for the online algebra assessment and will not be allowed during the in-person exam during New Student Orientation in August.

Will UM SPH staff and faculty be able to see my online algebra assessment scores?

Yes. Although UM SPH staff and faculty will be able to see your online algebra assessment scores, they are not being tracked by anyone at UM SPH. 

If I have already taken and successfully passed Biostat 503/553 (renumbered to Biostat 501/521), do I have to take the Algebra Exam during Orientation?

No, if you have successfully passed Biostat 503/553 (renumbered to Biostat 501/521), you are not required to take the Algebra Exam during the SPH Orientation. You also do not need to take the algebra assessment.

I completed the Certificate in the Foundations of Public Health (CFPH) program, and successfully passed the online Biostat 503 course, do I need to take the Algebra Exam during Orientation?

No, if you successfully passed the online Biostat 503 course in the CFPH program you do not need to take the Algebra Exam during the SPH Orientation.  You also do not need to take the algebra assessment.

Further questions? Contact sph.algebraexam@umich.edu .