Math 65 competency exam

The MTH 65 Competency Exam is available at PCC testing centers. Please read all of the information below before registering to take the exam.

Purpose of the exam

The MTH 65 Competency Exam is for students who need to complete Math 65 for their degree and who have the required knowledge and skills. Please discuss this further with your advisor if you think this may apply to the completion of your degree.

Reviewing before you take the exam

The math content of the exam is typically covered in Introductory Algebra textbooks.  An Introductory Algebra I & II textbook is on reserve at each PCC campus library. You can also review the online version of PCC’s current textbook here. The test primarily covers Part II (Chapters 5-9) and some of Part I (Chapters 1-4). PCC also created its own online Math Review Resource that includes most of the topics that are expected in the MTH 65 Competency Exam.

List of math topics that are part of the exam
  • Fractions
    • Multiply fractions
  • Polynomials
    • Add, subtract, and multiply polynomials
    • Divide monomials
  • Solving equations
    • Solving linear equations
    • Solving quadratic equations
      • Solving quadratic equations by factoring
      • Solving quadratic equations using the square root property
      • Solving quadratic equations using the quadratic formula
      • Solving quadratic equations in context
      • Understanding and using the vertex in context
    • Solving radical equations
  • Square roots
    • Evaluating square roots with a calculator
    • Evaluating square roots of perfect squares
  • Scientific notation
    • Write a decimal in scientific notation
    • Write a scientific number as a decimal
    • Multiply numbers that are written in scientific notation
  • Graphing
    • Graph a parabola
      • Find the x- and y-intercept algebraically and graphically
      • Find the vertex algebraically and graphically
  • Unit conversion
    • Convert units from the metric system to US system
  • Formulas to know
    • Quadratic formula
    • Area of a rectangle
    • Volume of a rectangular prism

Taking the exam

Taking this exam is a two-step process:

  1. Register for exam

    Get added to the D2L Brightspace course where you can access study materials and the exam (the exam is only available once you are at the testing center for your appointment).

  2. Schedule exam

    Schedule a time to take the exam.

Testing procedure

The exam takes approximately 2 hours. Once you are at the testing center at your scheduled time, you will log into the D2L Brightspace course and head to the exam, which is located under the Quizzes tab. The testing center staff will type in the password to open the exam at which point you may begin.

You must have a valid picture ID when you come to the testing center. Scientific calculators are allowed during the exam. Graphing calculators will not be allowed. A scientific calculator can be provided to you at the Testing Center.

What if I don’t pass the exam?

If you do not pass the exam, you may take the exam again the next term. You may take the exam once each term. However, please review for the exam before you retest. See the “reviewing for the exam” section above. If you do not pass the exam a second time, you are highly encouraged to take a Math 65 Support Lab class to refresh your knowledge for one term.

What if I pass the exam?

When you are finished with the exam you will need to show your exam score to a testing center representative. It will take at least 1 business day for your score to be entered. Once the score is entered, you will have completed your Math 65 requirement.


If you have any questions, contact the math faculty department chairs at