Placement Using Other Exam Scores

Our math placement information for freshmen will be reviewed and updated in July 2017. We anticipate no big changes beyond minor adjustments based on the revised SAT exam and inclusion of recommendations based on ACT scores.

Warning: Placement based solely on these test scores is not reliable. This is particularly true for international students and for students coming from the IB program because we are less familiar with your background. 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.

IB exams:

If you followed the math SL curriculum in the IB program, you should start calculus in MAT103 or MAT100 (if you need a precalculus refresher course). If you took the math HL curriculum (including the optional calculus topics) and scored at least a 6 on the IB exam, then you can likely start calculus in MAT104 or in MAT175.  The choice here depends on your future major, as explained in detail on the web pages for these courses.  If you scored a 7 on the IB exam (again HL curriculum including optional calculus topics) then you can probably start calculus in MAT201.

British A-levels:

If you got a B in math in the British A-levels exam, then you can probably start calculus in MAT104 or in MAT175, again depending on your future major. If you got an A, then MAT201 is probably a reasonable choice.

Good Grades in High School Calculus:

  • If you took at least a year of high school calculus and you got good grades in those courses (at least a B plus) and if you have strong precalculus skills (Math SAT score of 700 or more, or good grades in your high school algebra and trigonometry courses) then you can likely skip MAT103 and start your Princeton calculus with MAT104.  But really, we are just guessing here, so be extra vigilant in the first few weeks of class and be ready to adjust your choice of math course during the drop/add period.
  • Again, be warned that many high school courses are not sufficiently rigorous to prepare you adequately. Use drop/add to switch down to MAT103 if necessary.  Advice: Try a MAT103 final exam. If you can actually solve at least half the problems in three hours, then you should be able to handle MAT104.

Students with a very strong Math background:

Some students enter with a very strong background in mathematics and/or physics, including rigorous proof-based courses or experience at the international mathematics or physics olympiads. MAT216 is intended for students like you.  You can also consult the math placement officer at freshman registration or attend the math department presentation at the Academic Expo in September. 


Undergraduate Placement Officer