Placement Exam

The Mathematics Placement exam will be open until January 30, 2020. 

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.

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 the full academic year 2019-2020.

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

On Monday, August 26, the following calculus events will take place:

1. Town hall meetings for individual courses. These will provide essential information about the courses, including grading policies, expectations for homework, exams and classwork, as well as strategies for success. We encourage you to attend the session for your course (or two courses, if you are planning to discuss a possible change of placement at the advising session, and want to learn more about both classes). 

The schedule will be as follows:

  • Math 110 town hall: 10:45 - 11:30am in WLH 201
  • Math 115 town hall: 10:45 - 11:30am in SSS 114
  • Math 112 town hall: 11:45am - 12:30pm in WLH 201
  • Math 120 town hall: 11:45am - 12:30pm in SSS 114 

2. The Math placement advising session will take place from 1pm until 5pm in 431 DL.  This session is optional, available to students who have additional questions about the courses, wish to discuss their placement, or want to learn more about other calculus options (such as Math 116, 118, 121, or 230).  Please note that we can only help you with placement if you have already taken the placement exam (you do not need to bring the test, the advisors will have access to it). 

3. If you have missed the advising session and wish to discuss your placement, please contact the director of the course that you would like to switch to. For Spring 2020, the course directors are: John Hall (Math 111), James Barnes (Math 112), Itziar Ochoa de Alaiza Gracia (Math 115), Pamela Sargent (Math 120). 


Math 110, 111, 112, 115, and 120 have pre-registration (there is no lottery for Math 116 and 121).  Section selection for these classes is done through Yale’s preference selection website. The site is updated with new courses a few weeks before the start of the semester. The deadline to submit choices for the Spring semester is 5pm on January 8. You will need to rank-order the section times of the course for which you have permission to enroll.  You can check your section assignment on the same lottery site later that evening.

Important: Please note that you must check your assignment back on the lottery site, and 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 serious 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:

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). 
  • Please note that 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.

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, save for the final deadline in August. 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 John Hall (Senior lecturer) and Miki Havlickova (Senior lecturer, and Associate DUS), using their e-mails