Brown University Mathematics Department
Self-Graded Calculus Placement Exam

This self-graded exam will help you decide which Brown math course is right for you. The exam has four sections:

IMPORTANT! This exam is only intended to help you decide which math course is right for you. There is no way to use this exam to receive Brown credit or satisfy a course prerequisite. If you wish to take a course in another department with a calculus prerequisite and you have not earned credit in an appropriate calculus course, you should speak to someone in that department.

Instructions for taking the exam:
  1. You will need paper and pen to do the exam.
  2. Click on the links below to access each section of the exam.
  3. After taking each part, check your answers against the posted solutions.
  4. After taking all four sections, use the guidelines at the bottom of this page to interpret your results.

Note It may take a few seconds for the math symbols to display properly on your browser, so please be patient.

     


Interpreting Your Results

If you had trouble with Section A, you will likely need to take a first-semester single-variable calculus course. The most common choice is Math 0090, which is a standard introduction to calculus. This course and all higher-level courses assume familiarity with functions, algebra, trigonometry and, to a somewhat lesser extent, exponential and logarithmic functions. If you consider yourself weak in these background areas, you might consider taking Math 0050 (offered in the fall) and then Math 0060 (offered in the spring). Together, Math 0050 and 0060 cover in two semester similar content to Math 0090, but they also include significant review of the background material.

If you performed well on Section A but had trouble with Section B, you are likely ready for a second-semester course with some review. Math 0090 covers the material in Section B, but the follow-up course, Math 0100, includes some review of basic integrals. If you have seen integrals before and felt you understood them once, this review may be sufficient. If you have never been comfortable with integrals, you may choose to take Math 0090 (much of which will be familiar), or you may wish to spend some time reviewing integrals on your own before taking Math 0100. If you have never seen integrals before, you should probably start with Math 0090.

If you performed well on Sections A and B but had trouble with Section C, you are likely ready for a second-semester course. The standard second-semester course is Math 0100, which begins with a few weeks of review on integrals. If you felt reasonably confident about the problems in Section B and wish to take on a faster-paced course, you should take 0170, which is an advanced version of Math 0100 that covers material more quickly and does not have recitation sections. (If you find early in the semester that Math 0170 is too fast-paced, you will be able to switch to Math 0100.) In addition, there is an alternative second-semester course, Math 0190, which is similar to Math 0170, but is targeted at physics and engineering students. If you are considering concentrating in engineering or physics, you should probably take Math 0190 instead of Math 0170.

If you performed well on Sections A, B, and C, but had trouble with Section D, you are definitely prepared for a second-semester course, and some of the course will likely be familiar. The best choice for you is probably Math 0170, which is an advanced version of Math 0100 (the standard second-semester course) that covers material more quickly and does not have recitation sections. In addition, there is an alternative second-semester course, Math 0190, which is similar to Math 0170, but is targeted at physics and engineering students. If you are considering concentrating in engineering or physics, you should probably take Math 0190 instead of Math 0170.

If you performed well on all sections, you are likely ready for multivariable calculus. Brown has three multivariable calculus courses. The standard multivariable course is Math 0180, which is what most students take. Math 0200 is a version of multivariable calculus that is targeted at students considering concentrating in physics and engineering. Math 0350 is the honors version of multivariable calculus. It is for students who are considering concentrating in mathematics and those who enjoy the more theoretical side of math. (If you start in Math 0350 and find early in the semester that it is too fast-paced, you will be able to switch to Math 0180.)