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Kalamazoo College
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Calculus Requirements

Calculus is required for the major in Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, and Mathematics. It also meets the calculus requirement for Economics majors.  Most students intending to take a calculus class at Kalamazoo College will need to take an online placement exam. See the Q&A area below to determine which exam is appropriate for you.

CALCULUS AT KALAMAZOO COLLEGE

The standard first-term calculus course at Kalamazoo College, Calculus I (MATH 112), is intended for students with thorough mastery of algebra and trigonometry but little or no prior knowledge of calculus. Students in this course learn about derivatives of functions. Depending on your mathematical background, Calculus I may be too advanced or not advanced enough. The online calculus placement exam helps us work with you to decide which course best fits your needs.

Students who appear to need more work in algebra and trigonometry will be advised to take MATH 110 and 111: Calculus with Review, Parts I and II. This two-course sequence, which may even be appropriate for some students who have prior experience with calculus, offers a slower-paced treatment of the material and prepares students to continue with Calculus II.

Students who appear to have mastered calculus to a considerable degree will be advised to take Calculus II (MATH 113), in which students learn about integrals and infinite series. Those who have already mastered this course sufficiently will be advised to take Calculus III (MATH 214), multivariable calculus, or Linear Algebra (MATH 240).

To help you decide which math course fits your needs, we ask that you take one of the placement examinations described below. After you have read a description of the exams, follow the step-by-step procedure to determine the appropriate exam for you.

ABOUT THE CALCULUS PROFICIENCY EXAMINATION

The purpose of your taking the Calculus Proficiency Examination is to help us assess the computational skills you have already mastered in a high school calculus class. It is roughly equivalent to the computational portion of a final examination in a calculus course. Whether or not your high school calculus course was called "AP Calculus," if you think your first course at Kalamazoo might be at a more advanced level than Calculus I, you need to take this Calculus Proficiency Examination. Use of calculators is not permitted on the placement exams.

ABOUT THE CALCULUS READINESS TEST

The purpose of the Calculus Readiness Test is to assess your mastery of the algebraic skills that will be needed in the calculus series. Students who appear to need more work in this area will be advised to take MATH 110 and 111: Calculus with Review, Parts I and II. This may even apply to some students who have prior experience with calculus. Material on the examination includes factoring and simplification of algebraic expressions, solving algebraic equations and systems of linear equations, functions and their graphs, logarithms, exponents, and basic trignonometry. Use of calculators is not permitted on the placement exams.

WHAT MATH EXAM SHOULD I TAKE?

Q: DO YOU THINK YOU MIGHT TAKE A CALCULUS CLASS AT KALAMAZOO COLLEGE?
A: NO Calculus is required for the major in Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, and Mathematics.  Please note that Math 260-360, Applied Statistics I-II, is a sequence of great value to prospective biologists and social scientists. These courses do not have calculus as a prerequisite.  You need not read further in this document and you do not need to take a placement test.
  YES Read the next question.
     
Q: DID YOU TAKE CALCULUS FOR A FULL YEAR IN HIGH SCHOOL?
A: NO Then you'll need to take the online Calculus Readiness Test.  Your results will be posted in WebAdvisor to help you select an appropriate course when you register.
  YES Read the next question.
   
Q: FOR THIS CALCULUS COURSE, DID YOU RECEIVE COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY CREDIT THAT YOU INTEND TO APPLY TOWARD YOUR DEGREE AT K?
A: NO
Read the next question.
YES You do not need to take a placement exam.  Please contact the math department about the most suitable course for you.
     
Q: DID YOU TAKE THE AP CALCULUS EXAM?
A: NO Then you'll need to take the Calculus Proficiency Examination. Your results will be posted in WebAdvisor to help you select an appropriate course when you register.
  YES Read the next question.
     
Q: HAVE YOU RECEIVED YOUR SCORES FOR THE AP CALCULUS AB OR BC EXAM?
A: NO take the Calculus Proficiency Examination. Your results will be posted in WebAdvisor to help you select an appropriate course when you register.
 
  YES

A score of 4 or 5 on the AB exam (or AB subscore) counts as equivalent to MATH 112 and makes you eligible to register for MATH 113.

A score of 4 or 5 on the BC exam counts as equivalent to both Math 112 and MATH 113.  If your score on the BC exam was 4 or 5, you have probably mastered enough of the calculus to enable you to profit from more advanced courses. If you would like to take a math course during your first quarter at K, please drop by the math department during orientation week to speak with a faculty member about the most appropriate math course for you.

If your score on either exam is 3 or lower, take the Calculus Proficiency Examination. Your results will be posted in WebAdvisor to help you select an appropriate course when you register.