Math Course Placement

All entering students are required to take the math placement test unless they qualify for an exemption (see below). A student’s math placement score is a measure of their current preparation for calculus courses taught at Allegheny College and is used to determine which calculus course is the most appropriate starting point for that student. In particular, the placement test will place a student into either MATH 151 (Calculus I) or MATH 140 (Calculus I with Precalculus, Part 1), both of which are appropriate for any major or minor program at Allegheny. 

The test consists of 30 questions covering algebra, pre-calculus, and trigonometry topics:  geometry and measurement; algebraic manipulation; equations, inequalities, and factoring; trigonometry; functions and their notation, including linear, polynomial, rational, trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic functions; graphs of functions; and word problems and modeling.

The Math Placement Test can be accessed via Self Service. Placement results will be displayed as soon as the test is completed.


The following students are exempt from taking the math placement test:

  • Students who have earned one of the following Advanced Placement scores and have submitted an official AP score report to Allegheny:
    • 4 or 5 on the AB calculus exam
    • 4 or 5 on the BC calculus exam
    • 3 on the BC calculus exam with a 4 or 5 as the AB subscore
  • Students who have received transfer credit for an Allegheny math course numbered MATH 141 or higher.
  • Students who have received transfer credit for PRERQ*MAT.

Students who took an AP Calculus test should use the following guidelines:

AP Test Score Credit Received Recommended Placement
Calculus AB 4 or 5 MATH 151 (Calculus I) MATH 152 (Calculus II)
Calculus AB 3 or below none Take placement exam
Calculus BC 4 or 5 MATH 151 (Calculus I) and MATH 270 (Optimization and Approximation) MATH 152 (Calculus II)
Calculus BC 3 with AB sub-score
of 4 or 5
MATH 151 (Calculus I) MATH 152 (Calculus II)
Calculus BC 2 or below OR
3 with AB sub-score
of 3 or below
none Take placement exam AND consult with math faculty

 

Students with transfer credit should use the following guidelines:

Allegheny transfer credit Recommended Placement
PRERQ*MAT MATH 151 (Calculus I)
MATH 140 MATH 141 (Calculus I with Precalculus, Part 2; the first
offering of this course will be in Spring 2020)
MATH 141 MATH 152 (Calculus II)
MATH 151 MATH 152 (Calculus II)
MATH 152 Consult math department.
MATH 270 MATH 152 (Calculus II), and/or consult math department


Course descriptions can be found here