Placement Exam questions or problems? Email Dr. Blake Thornton
or call him at 314-935-6301.
or call him at 314-935-6301.
Who needs to take the Placement Exam?
The exam is for certain incoming students in any school (Arts & Sciences, Business, Engineering, Architecture, Art) who are planning to take Calculus I, II, or III:
Those who have received an AP Calculus score of 4 or 5 do not need to take the exam although you may do so if you wish
- Information about AP credit for your score
- Students with a score of 4 or 5 on the AB version of the calculus AP exam should enroll in Math 132 (Calculus II)
- Students with a score of 4 or 5 on the BC version of the calculus AP exam should enroll in Math 233 (Calculus III)
- A few students with a BC score of 5 might want to consider the more challenging, limited enrollment Freshman Honors Mathematics Sequence (Math 203-204)
- If you have not received your AP score by the time you confer with your advisor about registration during the summer, you should either take the placement exam before your advising conference, or make your best guess and plan to change your registration, if necessary, after getting your AP score.
All others should take the Calculus Placement Exam
For Students Taking the Placement Exam
When to take it?
- You should take the Placement Exam before you confer with your advisor--whether that's in person or online--about registration. You should be able to take it (see below) as soon as you are assigned a WU ID Number and set up your WUSTL Key.
What should I know about it?
- In order to get reasonable advice about placement, you need to allow yourself 2 hours of time to work without interruption on the exam.
- There are three versions of the Calculus Placement Exam, testing your readiness for Calculus I, Calculus II, or Calculus III. For example, the "Readiness for Calculus III" exam covers topics from Calculus I and Calculus II. You can choose which of the exams to take. You can take more than one of the exams if you like, but in most cases that shouldn't be necessary.
- We recommend that you do not spend a lot of time studying for this exam. It is designed to be taken during the summer after a student has been away from school for several weeks, and we try to take that into account when interpreting the scores. If you take an exam and get a low score, then you have the option to retake the exam for the preceding course.
- If you are a student with special needs and need or want more time on the placement exam, we still encourage you to take the exam as usual. We already have significant extra time built into the exam and we work closely with our colleagues in Disability Resources. Our experience is that even students qualified for extended time are able to finish the placement exam in the amount of time given. If, after taking the online placement exam, you feel your results do not accurately reflect your calculus knowledge and ability, please contact the Disability Resource Center. We will work with you as needed to make sure you receive an appropriate calculus placement.
- After you take the exam, the score will immediately be found in Blackboard; our advice based on this score will (under Placement) when you sign on to WebSTAC but the advice will not appear until the next day.
- The placement exam is to help students get into the right course based on their current knowledge. YOU CANNOT EARN CREDIT FOR CALCULUS CLASSES JUST BY DOING WELL ON THIS EXAM. The only way to get credit for Calculus I or II is through a high enough AP Calculus Exam score, by high enough scores in an appropriate IB or British A-Level course or by completing the next course in the calculus sequence, at Washington University, with a grade of C+ or better. For example, completing Math 132 (Calculus II) with a grade of C+ or better will earn you 3 AP credits for Math 131 (Calculus I). Note: this policy for "retroactive AP credit" applies only within the calculus sequence 131-132-233.
- There is no way to get AP credit for Calculus III, but somtimes it is possible to place beyond this course. This usually happens for only a handful of students each year. See the link below about Placement Beyond Calculus III. .
- The "recommendation" from the Placement Exam is just that: it is advisory. The final decision about course selection can be made between you and your advisor. Other considerations might include your high school math record, AP scores, and the difficulty of your schedule overall.
How do I take the Placement Exam?
- Go to bb.wustl.edu and login in with your WUSTL Key
- Look under My Courses on the right for “Math Placement Test”
- Choose which test to take: Readiness for Calc I, Calc II or Calc III. For example, if you have not had calculus before, or want to take Calculus I, then choose Readiness for Calc I, a test which contains questions from pre-calculus courses. Choosing an exam will display some sample questions. You may decide at any time to take a different exam by coming back to this page.
- If your exam is somehow interrupted, for example, by a power failure, you must contact Professor Blake Thornton for a "restart."