The Mathematics Placement exam will be open from 9am on July 1, 2020 until July 31, 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.
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.
In August, we will hold a placement advising session as well as town halls for each calculus course. Details will be posted on this site in July 2020.
If you miss the advising session and wish to discuss your placement, please contact the director of the course that you would like to switch to. For Fall 2020, the course directors are: Robert McDonald (Math 110), James Barnes (Math 112), Brett Smith (Math 115), John Hall (Math 120). You can find their contact information on the math department site.
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 the start of the semester. In the Fall, the deadline is typically at 5pm on Monday before classes start. In the Spring, the deadline is typically on Wednesday or Thursday during the week before classes start.
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.
- 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:
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, save for the final deadline in August, so there is nothing you need to do for extra time accommodations: you can take as much time as you need. If you need other accommodations, please refer to the following information from Student Accessibility Services:
There are two sites that may have answers to further questions:
Calculus and placement exam FAQ, where you can find the above FAQ and many other questions about the placement exam and our introductory courses,
Math major and advanced courses FAQ (in particular, this site has information about Math 230+231, for those of you who wish to learn more about the course).
Questions about the mechanics of taking the exam should be directed to email@example.com.