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Calculus/Precalculus Information

Please Note:  Students do not have to take a placement test
unless they do not meet the criteria outlined below!

 

Mathematics and Statistics Placement

TCNJ does not require students to take a mathematics or statistics course.  Students must fulfill the Quantitative Reasoning requirement to graduate and many students do that by taking a mathematics or statistics course. But there is no mathematics or statistics requirement.

Which mathematics or statistics course you should take, or whether to take one, depends upon your major program.  All students, and especially entering students, should contact their program advisor or chair for their major for advisement on the most appropriate mathematics and statistics courses for their program.  Many TCNJ majors require Calculus (either MAT127: Calculus A or MAT125: Calculus for Business and the Social Sciences), and the Mathematics and Statistics Department can advise students on which courses they are prepared to take.

The Mathematics and Statistics department cannot advise a student on what their program requires (except for our own majors).  Students must contact their program advisor or chair for their major for advisement on what their program requires.

 

Calculus Placement Criteria

The College of New Jersey is deeply interested in student success in mathematics.  The Mathematics and Statistics Department has determined that important indicators for success in Calculus are the SAT and ACT mathematics score.  You must meet specified entrance requirements, based on these scores and the high school math courses you have taken,  before enrolling in a Calculus course.  If you do not meet these requirements, you may be required to take a lower level course.

Please Note:

  1. College level calculus is a more rigorous course than the Calculus courses taught at most high schools.  Past student performance has shown that certain minimum scores on the SAT-Math or ACT-Math are needed to do well in our calculus courses. Even if you have already taken calculus in high school, you may be placed into Precalculus due to your math scores in order to ensure success when you take our calculus courses.
  2. Entering students who are placed into Intermediate Algebra or Precalculus but wish to take Calculus in their first semester can do so by either taking that course during the summer at TCNJ or another college (we accept transfer credits from community colleges as indicated on NJTransfer.org), and transferring the course to TCNJ, or by taking an online refresher course.  Students interested in the online course should follow the instructions here.

Placement Criteria for Students With:

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Students with AP Calculus Exam Credit:   A chart of the college credit TCNJ gives for AP Calculus scores and placement suggestions can be found here.  However, a student’s own perception of strength in mathematics is an important factor when advising students about math placement.  For example, students who receive AP credit(s) for calculus sometimes choose to forgo the AP credit and retake the class(es) at TCNJ recognizing the faster pace and increased rigor of TCNJ courses.  Others choose to accept the AP credit and do very well.  This is a personal decision that can be discussed with an academic advisor.  Students who earn AP credit will automatically be awarded credit for  the first calculus course (MAT 127:Calculus A or MAT 125) and will be eligible to enroll in MAT 128 or  move on to an appropriate level in the mathematics sequence. Once the AP scores are received by the College, the student can move themselves into the appropriate course using PAWS, TCNJ’s online course registration system.

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Have at least a 650 math SAT score or a 29 ACT math score:  Students may enroll in Calculus.  Students who do not meet this requirement will not be able to directly enroll in Calculus.

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Have a math SAT score in the 600-640 range or a math ACT score of 27 or 28:   Students may enroll in MAT 127: Calculus A or MAT 125 , but will initially be placed into MAT 096: Precalculus.  Students may request to be  enrolled into Calculus A based upon their own perception of their strength in mathematics; however, we strongly recommend that students consider one of the following options during the summer before starting at TCNJ to help ensure success in Calculus A :

  1. Take a pre-calculus online course and placement exam described as described hereOR
  2. Pass a pre-calculus course (either at TCNJ or another institution of higher education). Please note that Precalculus taken at TCNJ cannot be used to meet your degree requirements and is non-transferable from another institution, but will satisfy the pre-requisite for MAT 125 or MAT 127.

PAWS will not let students in the 600-640 math SAT range (or ACT 27-28 range) self-enroll in MAT 127 or MAT 125.  Students who want to enroll can be enrolled by a TCNJ administrator with sufficient privileges to override the PAWS prohibition.  Such officials include:

  • the Assistant Dean for the school housing the student’s major; or
  • Ms. Wanat, the program assistant for the Department of Mathematics and Statistics (wanatl@tcnj.edu).  Incoming students will be able to change their schedule and enroll in Calculus at Orientation.  Incoming students should not contact Ms. Wanat until after they attend Orientation.

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Math SAT score in the 550-  590 range or a math ACT score in the 24 –  26: Students will be placed into Precalculus.  In order for these students to be able to take Calculus their first term at TCNJ, over the summer students must:

  1. Take the pre-calculus online course as described here and and pass the calculus placement exam that the department administers.  The placement exam will be offered on campus during welcome week prior to the start of classes in the fall. Students must register in advance for the placement exam and pay the fee.  Information can be found here.  Students will have the opportunity to adjust their fall schedules accordingly during the first week of classes (add/drop period)OR
  2. Pass a pre-calculus course (either at TCNJ or another higher education institution).

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Math SAT score lower than 550 or a math ACT score lower than 24:  Students will be placed into MAT 095: Intermediate Algebra. Students who would like to enroll in Calculus A their first term at TCNJ should complete both Intermediate Algebra and Pre-calculus prior to the start of the fall semester.  If they take the online courses described on the departmental webpage, students should pass the calculus placement exam that the department administers. Students must register in advance for the placement exam and pay the fee.  Students placed into Intermediate Algebra who would like to enroll in Pre-calculus their first term at TCNJ should complete Intermediate Algebra prior to the start of the fall semester.  If they take the online Intermediate Algebra course described on the departmental webpage, students should pass the pre-calculus placement exam that the department administers. Students must register in advance for the placement exam and pay the fee.  Information can be found here.

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Calculus Placement

Placement
Scores Needed
Additional Notes
Placed into Calculus SAT-Math score 650 or ACT score 29 or higher and four years of math including Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry and Trigonometry
Allowed to register for Calculus but strongly advised prior to registering for Calculus to take Precalculus, at the college level, here at TCNJ (MAT 096), or elsewhere. SAT-Math score between 600 and 640, or ACT score 27 or 28, and four years of math including Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry and Trigonometry
Placed into MAT 96: Precalculus. SAT-Math score between 550 and 590 or ACT score between 24 and 26 and at least two years of math including Algebra and Geometry. This course does not count toward graduation but is considered credit-bearing for financial aid, tuition and full-time status. Offered every semester as well as during our Summer Sessions. Can also be taken at a community college.
Placed into MAT 95: Intermediate Algebra. SAT-Math score below 550 or ACT score below 24 This course does not count toward graduation but is considered credit-bearing for financial aid, tuition and full-time status. Offered every semester as well as during our Summer Sessions. Can also be taken at a community college.

 


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