Mathematics Assessment for Prospective Calculus Students

Most students begin their study of calculus at Mount Holyoke with either Pre-Calculus, Calculus I, or Calculus II. The Department of Mathematics and Statistics offers a precalculus placement exam to help you determine whether you are ready for Calculus I.

If you have received a 4 or 5 on the AP Calculus BC exam or are comfortable with methods of integration, sequences, and series and you want to continue with calculus at Mount Holyoke, you should register for Math 203, Calculus III.  You may also want to consider other ways of Beginning the Study of Mathematics and Statistics.

Should you begin with Calculus I?

The Pre-Calculus Assessment tests your knowledge of material that you will need to be successful in Calculus I. As a general rule, to begin with Calculus I you should be familiar with all of the material on the Pre-Calculus Assessment Test.  You may re-try the Pre-Calculus Assessment after reviewing suggested topics until you feel that you have sufficiently strengthened your pre-calculus skills.

  If you have more than three problems incorrect after some review on your own, you should consider taking Pre-Calculus so that you can solidify your understanding of these concepts.

If the Pre-Calculus Assessment or your own mathematics background suggests, you should consider a year-long sequence of Math 100, Pre-Calculus, followed by Math 101, Calculus I. The Pre-Calculus course carries 4 credits but does not meet any distribution requirement. Distribution credit will be granted upon successful completion of Calculus I. Pre-Calculus courses taken outside the Mount Holyoke College Math 100/Math 101 sequence will not be granted credit nor be approved to satisfy any distribution requirement.

Admission to Pre-Calculus is by permission of the instructor, based on your Pre-Calculus Assessment results and other information about your mathematics background.

 If you would like to register for Pre-Calculus, please contact the instructor after you have taken the Pre-Calculus Assessment. Course instructors are listed on ISIS. If you have questions about placement regarding Pre-Calculus or Calculus I, consult Professor Margaret Robinson.

Should you begin with Calculus II?

To begin with Math 202, Calculus II, you should have taken a High School or College class class in Calculus I and done well. If you have questions about placement regarding Calculus I or Calculus II, consult the department chair.