In the Saint Ignatius Math Department, we consider placement for incoming students to be an integral piece of the puzzle for their future success in our program. We use as many data points as possible to determine the most appropriate course for your son’s first year. These include placement exams, input from grade school teachers, the admissions exam, and other input from the admissions file.
There are a wide range of courses students may place into for 9th grade. Students will have an opportunity to express a preference for a particular course on the enrollment form. If the student requests Fundamentals of Algebra, Algebra I, or Honors Algebra I, that can be registered at that time (pending approval for Honors Algebra I if needed — see below). If the student requests any other course, he will need to sit for a placement exam in May.
As part of this process, we will request recommendation information from students’ 8th grade math teachers. In the Course Registration form, we will request an email address for the student’s 8th grade math teacher. The information provided will not have any impact on admissions and will be kept confidential.
Placement Testing Information
Students who wish to place in a course beyond Honors Algebra I will need to sit for the Algebra Mastery Examination on May 5 or 10 at 3:30 p.m. (location on campus TBD, signage will direct students). This test covers the concepts taught in Algebra I at Saint Ignatius and takes 90 minutes. The exam will have both multiple choice and written sections and will rely on the work students show to communicate methods learned and strategies used to solve problems. A graphing calculator may be used. Students demonstrating proficiency in Algebra will be scheduled for Geometry or Honors Geometry. Most students not passing the exam will be scheduled for Honors Algebra I or Algebra I, depending on other placement data. Students who wish to pursue this path should indicate that preference on the Course Registration form.
Students who have completed Algebra and are presently taking Geometry will need to take two tests. They should take the Algebra Mastery Exam on May 5 as described above and the Geometry Mastery Exam on May 10. This test covers the concepts taught in Geometry at Saint Ignatius and takes 90 minutes. The exam will have both multiple choice and written sections and will rely on the work students show to communicate methods learned and strategies used to solve problems. A graphing calculator may be used. Students will be placed in the appropriate level of Algebra or Geometry or in Honors Algebra II if they demonstrate mastery of the appropriate topics. Students who wish to pursue this path should indicate that preference on the Course Registration form.
Students who are taking a course beyond Geometry should indicate that preference on the enrollment form. They will need to sit for testing to display mastery in the courses they wish to bypass. Testing in these cases can be arranged individually.
Any other testing scores (e.g. State of Ohio End of Course Exams) should be forwarded to Mr. Sabol at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students who are not taking the equivalent of a full year of high school Algebra or Geometry or beyond do NOT need to take the math mastery examinations. If a student wants to take Honors Algebra I, he should indicate that preference on the Course Registration form.
All math placement decisions will be communicated by May 17.
Does every student need to take a placement exam?
No. The only students that need to take a placement exam are those who wish to place into Geometry or beyond for freshman year.
My son was recommended for an honors course; does he have to take it?
No. Any parent or student may elect to take a standard course (e.g. Algebra I instead of Honors Algebra I) or a preceding course (e.g. Honors Algebra I instead of Honors Geometry). Email email@example.com to make that arrangement if needed.
My son is taking a math course at a local high school. Will the credit transfer to Saint Ignatius?
Every student who wishes to place into Geometry or beyond must sit for a placement test, regardless of credit. Since we are accountable to the students progress for the next four years, we must be sure that the will be placed properly.
I do not agree with the placement determined by the school. What do I do?
Contact Dave Sabol at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns. He can explain results and give perspective to the scores. In special cases, there are some alternate options if they are determined to be warranted.
How do we sign up or register for the placement tests?
Registration is not necessary for the mastery exams May 5 or May 10. Contact Dave Sabol at email@example.com with any questions.
Is there a cost for the placement test?
Why do you hold the placement tests so early? Don’t the students still have material to cover in their classes?
We must hold the placement tests in early/mid May so that the freshmen schedules will be ready in time for summer. We are sensitive to the material yet to be covered, so we established threshold scores based on Honors Algebra I students taking the tests at the exact same time of year.
How do you collect feedback from my son’s 8th grade teacher and how do you use it?
All recommendation input is collected by the Math Department. We ask that you submit the 8th grade math teacher's email address as part of the enrollment process, but we will reach out to the teacher directly. If your teacher has not been contacted by the school, they should contact firstname.lastname@example.org to exchange email addresses. Note that these recommendations are not required for any level of placement, but we value this input since it gives deeper perspective to the students and their future with us.
What is covered on the Algebra I test?
The topics are very standard according to the State of Ohio and most traditional Algebra I curricula. Please contact email@example.com with any specific concerns.
What if I have a conflict for a needed testing day?