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R1 (Tier 1) Basic Math Skills Exemption Test

The R1 Exemption Exam:

Passing the R1 Exemption Exam allows students to complete the R1 graduation requirement without having to take a course that satisfies it.  A list of the courses that satisfies the R1 is kept by the registrar (link is external).  If you need to take one of these courses for your major, there is no reason to take the R1 Exemption Exam.  You will not get any credits for passing the R1 Exemption Exam.  The math placement exam is a separate exam that does not give you the R1 Exemption.

About the exam:

  • There are 20 multiple choice questions.
  • To pass you need to have at least 12 correct.
  • It is taken online through Blackboard and proctored by a remote proctoring service.
  • Taking the exam costs $15.50 which you will pay directly to the proctoring service when you take the exam.
  • You will have 75 minutes to take it.
  • There is a scientific calculator that is integrated into the exam.
  • You can take the exam as many times as you want while a student at UMass (it is offered 2 times a semester).  You will have to pay each time.
  • The focus of this exam is to measure knowledge of basic math skills. The Math Department does not provide study materials.  You can use a variety of free online sites to help you study.  Topics include:
    • perimeter, area, volume
    • linear equations
    • averages
    • fractions
    • ratios
    • percent increase and decrease
    • interpreting graphs and tables
    • compound interest

Windows for Upcoming Exams:

The Exemption Exam is given two times a semester. The exam will be open for two days, from 5 am of the first day to 11 pm of the second day.  You may take it anytime within those two days.  If you miss taking it, you will have to sign up (and pay) again the next time it is offered.  ** All times are EST **

Fall 2020

  • Wednesday, September 2nd - Thursday, September 3rd.
  • Friday, November 27th - Saturday, November 28th (University Reading Days)

Spring 2021 (subject to change with University Academic Calendar)

  • Thursday, January 25th – Friday, January 26th
  • Wednesday, April 28th  - Thursday, April 29th

Procedure to sign up:

  1. Go to SPIRE and sign up for MATH R1001 Math R1-Placement Exam.  You must do this 24 hours before the exam window opens.
  2. Once the semester starts, after 24 hours you should be able to access to the “course” where you will take the exam.  To get there, sign into Blackboard using your NetID.  Once you have been given access to the “course” you will see it in your Blackboard Dashboard.
  3. In the “Course”, you will see two areas “Practice Exam” and “R1 Exemption Exam”.  In the practice exam area, you will see instructions on how online proctoring works and what you need to do to prepare for the exam.  You can also take the Practice Exam which will allow you to make sure everything will work for you.  Once the exam window is open, you can go to take the exam when you want in the “R1 Exemption Exam” section.

Exam Results:

You will see whether you passed the exam right after you submit it.  Remember, you need 12 out of 20 correct to pass it.  If you pass the exam you will see this reflected on your SPIRE account within a week.  If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again the next time we offer it, or you can take a course that will satisfy the R1.


General Questions about the R1 Exemption Exam be sent to Mike Hayes (, Math Department Lecturer.

If you are having issues with Blackboard, contact or 24/7: Honorlock proctoring support can be found at:

UWW students with UWW related questions about the R1 Exemption Exam should contact Shekhar Regmi, (, UWW R1 Advisor.