Placement Exam

The Mathematics Placement exam for the year 2021-22 will be open July 1 - 31, 2021. 

Continuing students: if you need to take the placement exam in order to pre-register in April, please enroll on the Canvas site (see below), then e-mail and I will open a session of this year’s test for you. 

A list of advising resources specifically for calculus is available on the math advising site

Other news about the academic year 2020-21 are being update on a dedicated site (there are already several notes of interest to incoming students). 

Other information for first-year students can be found in our Calculus and placement exam FAQ and Math major & advanced courses FAQ.

The mathematics placement exam has been designed to place you into one of the calculus courses, Math 110, 112, 115, 116, 120, and 121. It is required of every student before their first Yale calculus course. AP exams are taken into account by the placement test, but they are not required or sufficient for placement.

The test does not offer placement above Math 120. In particular, it is not required for Math 230, though you may wish to take it anyway, partly to verify your skills through integral calculus, partly in case you change your mind and decide to enroll in one of the main calculus courses instead. 

More information about our introductory courses can be found in our FAQ

Immediately after submitting the exam, you can click on the “Placement calculator” tab on the left, and your course placement will be displayed. The placement results are valid for one academic year. 

Even if you plan to postpone taking calculus until Spring, you should take the exam during the summer, and attend our advising events at the end of August. 

Advising events

During the first week of August, we will hold three placement advising session via zoom. Advisers at the session will assist students individually with questions and concerns about their calculus placement. Please note that in order to discuss your placement with an adviser, you must first complete the placement exam - without the test, and adviser cannot issue placement for you. 

Links to the sessions are posted on the math advising site, along with contact information for the course director of each course, and other resources. 


Math 110, 111, 112, 115, and 120 have pre-registration (there is no lottery for Math 116, Math 121, or any course level 200+).  Section selection for these classes is done through Yale’s preference selection website. The site will be updated with new courses a few weeks before opening. 

Spring 2021 note: Preference selection will open on December 1 and close at 5pm on December 9 (these are dates announced by the university). 

You will need to rank-order the section times of the course for which you have permission to enroll.  Section assignments will be available within 24 hours after the lottery closes. 

Important: Please note that you must check your assignment back on the lottery site, add the correct section to your schedule, and erase any sections that you may have added before that. The assigned section will not automatically appear on OCS, and other sections will not automatically disappear. 

Please note:

  • Calculus sections often fill up in the lottery, and missing the lottery could lead to difficulties finding a spot in the course.
  • If you pre-register for a course and do not have placement for it, your section assignment will not be honored. 

How to access the placement exam

The placement exam lives on a Canvas site. You can self-enroll in the “course” using the following link:

Technical note: students using Safari sometimes mention issues either with Canvas or with the exam itself (where images don’t load properly, for example). We recommend using Chrome or Firefox, where possible. 

The goal of the placement exam is to get an accurate assessment of your mathematical skills, so that you can be placed into the class that best suits your needs. Please follow the instructions, and do not worry if you are not sure how to do some of the questions - this will help us see how to best support your learning. 


Who should take the placement exam?

  • If you have not taken a calculus class (Math 110/111, 112, 115, 116, 120, 121) at Yale and plan to take one of these, you must take the placement exam.
  • If you have passed Math 110 at Yale, you can take Math 111 without the placement exam.
  • If you have passed Math  111 or 112 at Yale, you can take Math 115 or 116 without the placement exam.
  • If you have passed Math 115 or 116 at Yale, you can take Math 120 or 121 without the placement exam.
  • The placement exam is not required to take any Math class other than those listed above. In particular, it is not needed for Math 230 (though it may be useful to take it anyway, just for yourself, to see if you do get the highest placement, which is Math 120 - also in case you decide to take Math 120 in the end, over Math 230, you will have the placement result ready). 
  • AP exams are taken into account by the placement test, but they are not required or sufficient for placement. 

Must I answer all the questions?

AP exam questions (questions 1 and 2):

  • These questions give us some information about your scores on some standarized tests.
  • Please answer all the questions, even to say that you did not take the relevant exam (you can still be placed in any of the three calculus courses, whether or not you have taken any standardized exams).

Questions 3 - 22:

  • Do not use notes, books, calculators, internet resources, or any other aid. 
  • Answer each question as best you can, but do not guess.
  • If you do not know how to solve a problem, select the answer I don’t know how to do this problem. (Note that the test covers topics in pre-calculus, differential calculus, and integral calculus. If you have not taken some of these courses, then some of the topics may be unfamiliar, and you can certainly skip them.)

The rules are intended to help you get an accurate assessment as to the course that best suits your background. 

How often should I save my answers?

  • You do not need to explicitly save the quiz, it is saved automatically. 
  • You can leave the exam and finish it later if you wish. If you close the page, it will give a warning about possibility of losing progress. You can disregard the warning, the test is saved every time a new answer is submitted or an answer changed. To be extra safe, you can check on the bottom of the page the last time your progress was saved, or you can look in the upper right hand corner where checkmarks are displayed next to question numbers that have been already saved. 

How do I access my placement results?

  • Immediately after submitting the test, you can click on the “Placement calculator” tab on the left, and your course placement will be displayed. Be sure to click on the “Feedback” button to the right of the placement course number, the feedback contains important information about advising sessions, pre-registration for the course, etc. 

What should I do if I need special accommodations on the test? 

Please note that the test is not timed, so there is nothing you need to do for extra time accommodations: you can take as much time as you need, within a window of several weeks. If you need other accommodations, please refer to the following information from Student Accessibility Services:

Students with documented disabilities may request accommodations for placement testing through the Student Accessibility Services office. Please contact them through the online registration form to submit your request at least one week before they plan to begin the placement test. 
Please note that these requests for accommodations apply to the placement testing period alone. To register for ongoing accessibility arrangements, students should submit a request and meet with SAS before the start of the semester.
More information for first-years seeking accommodations is available on the Student Accessibility Services website.

Further questions

There are two sites that may have answers to further questions:

Questions about the mechanics of taking the exam should be directed to

All other questions about the exam should be directed to both Brett Smith ( and Miki Havlickova (