The placement recommendations here are based primarily on the old version of the SAT exam and AP calculus tests. As a general rule of thumb the new SAT exam scores are about 30 points higher. The new Calculus Placement website on EdX should give much more reliable placement information since the material there is based on Princeton calculus courses. All incoming students have been enrolled in this course, but other students should send a request that includes their Princeton netid to the email address email@example.com in order to get access to this new placement tool.)
Deciding which math course is the best fit may feel like a real challenge when you arrive to Princeton. So we have gathered some general information here to help you make a reasonable plan. Just keep in mind that this process often involves a bit of trial and error, and as the first few days of the semester provide additional important information, it will be easy to make adjustments in your schedule if necessary. This process is very flexible and gives excellent results, but the add/drop adjustment step is crucial and the process relies on students to take an active role in gathering information and (re)assessing the situation in the early weeks of the semester. All the general information needed to get started can be found here on these web pages, and various advisors, formal and informal, are available to help with your questions. We recommend that you take the time to explore the various possibilites by reviewing the information provided here as you plan your program of study and your first semester here.
The Math Placement Process at Princeton:
- The University makes an initial placement recommendation (e.g., MAT104/175) based solely on reported standardized test scores.
- Students refine this initial placement recommendation based on potential majors and other factors. Representatives from the math department will be available to answer questions at freshman registration, but this will go more smoothly (and many routine questions can be cleared up ahead of time) if you have done some preliminary research using the placement tools and course information collected here:
- General Overview including common sequences taken by freshmen and sophomores and brief summary of placement guidelines
- Common Issues to consider in choosing your first university math course
- Placement Guidelines based on high school background:
- In many cases, students will still be considering various options even as classes begin, but the drop/add period exists to deal with this. Going to the first few classes and/or taking the first quiz will usually clarify the decision. Then it is a straightforward matter to make any adjustments that are needed.