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Calculus/Precalculus Information

Mathematics and Statistics Placement for Calculus and Precalculus

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.

Which mathematics or statistics course you should take, or whether to take one, depends upon your major.  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 passing the CLEP exam in Precalculus described here. Students can also demonstrate their knowledge of Intermediate Algebra or Precalculus by doing credit-by-examination.

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 630 math SAT score or a 28 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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Math SAT score in the 550- 620 range or a math ACT score in the 24 – 27 range: 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. 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.
  2. Earn a score of at least 50 on the Collegeboard CLEP  Precalculus exam. Information about the CLEP can be found here. We recommend students use the ALEKS software to help with their self-study for the CLEP exam.

 

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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 Precalculus in their first term at TCNJ should demonstrate proficiency in Intermediate Algebra prior to the start of the fall semester in one of two ways:

  1. Pass a College Algebra or Intermediate Algebra course at a college or university during the summer before starting at TCNJ, or
  2. Demonstrate proficiency by earning a score of 50 or higher on the Collegeboard’s CLEP College Algebra exam. Details can be found here.

If a student would like to take Calculus in their first term at TCNJ, they must additionally demonstrate proficiency in Pre-Calculus following the methods listed in the previous section above.

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Calculus Placement

PlacementScores NeededAdditional Notes
Placed into CalculusSAT-Math score 630 or ACT score 28 or higher and four years of math including Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry and Trigonometry
Placed into MAT 96: Precalculus. SAT-Math score between 550 and 620 or ACT score between 24 and 27 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 24This 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.

AP Calculus Score Placement

AP CourseSCORETCNJ EquivalentNumber of Course Units Received as CreditNext Math Course to Take
AB Calculus4 or higherMAT 127: Calculus A or
MAT 125: Business Calculus
1MAT 128: Calculus B
BC Calculus3MAT 127: Calculus A or
MAT 125: Business Calculus
1MAT 128: Calculus B
BC Calculus4MAT 127: Calculus A and
MAT 128: Calculus B
2MAT 229: Multivariable Calculus
International Baccalaureate Mathematics - Higher Level5 or higherMAT 127: Calculus A or
MAT 125: Business Calculus
1MAT 128: Calculus B
Statistics3STA 115: Statistics (Liberal Learning/Quantitative Reasoning)1Discuss with an adviser
Statistics4STA 215: Statistical Inference (Liberal Learning/Quantitative Reasoning)1Any 300-level course


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