Placement Using AB Calculus Scores

Warning: Placement based solely on standardized test scores is not at all reliable. To use these guidelines successfully it is important to consider other common issues beyond test scores as you make your initial decision, and then adjust after the first few classes if necessary. 

AB score of 4 or less:

Take MAT103 or MAT100 depending on how strong your precalculus skills are (and depending on which majors you consider). 

  • SAT math > 700: Take MAT103.
  • SAT math < 670: We strongly recommend starting in MAT100. 
  • 600 < SAT math < 700 and AB score of 3 or 4: Try MAT103, but try to arrange your schedule so you can switch to MAT100 if necessary.
  • 600 < SAT math < 700 and AB score < 3: Consider MAT100 before you take calculus.

AB Score of 5:

  • You are eligible for 1 unit of AP credit for MAT103. Take MAT104 if you will need to continue with MAT201 and MAT202 for engineering, finance or more math-intensive economics and some sciences.  You can take MAT175 to minimally fulfill the math prerequisite for economics/finance.
  • Do not attempt MAT201 or MAT203, even if some topics at the beginning of MAT104 seem familiar. MAT104 is a quite demanding course, and its later topics give a deeper understanding of limits and approximation that you will need to do well in those more advanced calculus courses.  
  • SAT math > 750 AND strong interest in math as a major: It is possible that MAT214 (Number Theory) or MAT215 (Analysis) is the right course for you. However, many students find these introductory proof-based courses to be extremely challenging. Compared to the calculation-based courses usually taught in high school, these courses introduce a completely new way of doing mathematics. Consultation with the math placement officer is strongly recommended. Hedge your position by attending the first few classes of MAT104 as well, just in case you find that a rigorous proof course is not for you (yet). Note that some math majors do start in MAT104.


Undergraduate Placement Officer