Students in the Civil Engineering degree program usually begin with Calculus1 (MATH 170), but many students take college algebra and trigonometry (MATH 143/144) or jump directly into Calculus 2 (MATH 175). The goal with math placement is to put you where you will learn the most and have the best chance to succeed. We never recommend that a student take a course they are not ready for as that is a recipe for failure.
Math level placement can be determined with your SAT/ACT/AP scores. It can also be determined by the Accuplacer Exam. You may take the Accuplacer anytime during your senior year, but towards the end is best.
Students who have been out of school or who have not taken a math course in over a year should take the Accuplacer Exam. Review before you take the exam. More likely than not, the information is there, it just needs a bit of a jolt.