Intermediate Algebra: Math 98-99



1. Students will be given the Math Placement Survey. On the basis of the answers to the survey, the student will be given the opportunity to take the Math 98 and 99 Intermediate Algebra Placement Test.

2. A student may retake the Placement Test only once. Please check with Educational Services Advisors regarding when the test may be retaken.

3. Students MAY NOT:
a). Take the placement test after having completed a math class at Whatcom.
b). Take the placement test as an attempt to place in the next course after having failed to achieve a grade of C or better in Math 97, 98, or 99.
c). Use the Placement Test as a Course Challenge.

4. Students will have 60 minutes to complete 50 questions. The test will be available either in a group setting or in the testing center. Please contact Educational Services Advisors regarding either option. Students should contact the testing center regarding dates and times the testing center is open.

5. NO CALCULATOR will be allowed on this exam.

6. Upon completion of the exam, all scratch paper and score sheets will be collected from the student.


To be successful on the Intermediate Algebra Placement Test, the student should be competent in:

The order of operations with signed numbers.

Arithmetic operations using signed numbers: add, subtract, multiply, divide, raise to powers.

Simplifying numbers raised to powers.

Working with ratios and proportions.

Working with the area of a rectangle, a circle, a triangle.

Reducing a fraction involving integers, variables, or a combination of both.

Simplifying expressions with variables by combining like terms.

Using the distributive law to simplify an algebraic expression.

Solving a linear equation.

Solving a quadratic equation.

Solving equations with a variable in either the numerator, denominator, or both.

Solving a system of linear equations.

Solving a linear inequality and graphing the solution.

Simplifying a rational expression using exponent laws.

Rewriting factors with non-negative exponents.

Factoring a quadratic expression.

Using factoring of polynomials to reduce a rational algebraic expression.

Using factoring when two algebraic fractions are multiplied or divided.

Using a formula.

Expanding a binomial squared.

Multiplying two binomials and simplifying the result.

Evaluating expressions with given values for variables.

Rewriting a formula for a specific variable.

Writing an equation from the information given in a word problem.

Identifying the coordinates of a point.

For a linear equation, determining either the x-intercept, the y-intercept, or both.

Matching the graph of a line to its equation.

Extracting a perfect root from a radical expression.

Simplifying radical expressions using root and exponent properties.

Working with numbers that have exponents that are rational and real numbers.

Rationalizing either the denominator or the numerator of a fraction containing a root.

Combining two rational algebraic expressions by determining a common denominator.

Working with function notation.

Working with complex fractions.


Recommended text to study for the Math 98 and 99 Intermediate Algebra Placement Test:

Elayn Martin-Gay
Intermediate Algebra, 5th. edition
Pearson Prentice Hall Publishers (2009)

Math 98 and 99 Intermediate Algebra Placement Scores:

Below 12 Take Math 97-Math 98 Elementary Algebra Placement Test

13-18 Math 97
19-39 Math 98
40 or above Math 99

Revised November, 2008

Whatcom Community College

237 W. Kellogg Road, Bellingham, WA 98226

(360) 383-3000

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