Dickinson's Mathematics Placement Exam

We strongly recommended that you take the placement exam before you matriculate at the college, even if you have no plans to take a mathematics course while at Dickinson. It is important to take this exam while the material is still fresh in your mind. Also, many students decide to (or discover that they need to) take a mathematics class after they arrive.

If you are not an incoming student and you need to take the placement exam, contact the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.

Who should take the mathematics placement exam?

All students should take the placement exam except the following:

  • Students who scored 3, 4, or 5 on the AB Advanced Placement Calculus exam
  • Students who scored 4, or 5 on the BC Advanced Placement Calculus exam
  • Students who scored a 1, 2 or 3 on the BC Advanced Placement Calculus exam, but received an AB subscore of 3, 4, or 5
  • Students who scored an A or B on the Britsh Mathematics A Level Exam
  • Students who scored a 5 or higher on one of the International Baccalaureate exams in mathematics

See the main page for more information about placement.

What topics are on the placement exam?

The mathematics placement exam is a 25-question, 30-minute exam written by the Mathematical Association of America. It is a calculus readiness exam. As such, the exam is used to evaluate your proficiency in precalculus. There is no calculus on this placement exam. The topics on the exam include:

  • Geometry and Measurement
  • Graphs of Functions
  • Word Problems, Modeling
  • Concept Formulation
  • Numerical Awareness
  • Exponential Functions
  • Exponents and Logarithms
  • Equations and Factoring
  • Functional Notation
  • Inequalities, Absolute Value
  • Trigonometry

What does the placement exam score mean?

If you do not place out of Math 170 (see the bulleted list above), then the placement exam score determines whether you should begin with Math 151 or Math 170. In particular, if your placement exam score is...

  • 0–14: You place into Math 151
  • 15–18: You may take either Math 151 or Math 170
  • 19–25: You place into Math 170


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