4. Selecting Your Math
Below you will find a diagram that illustrates which Calculus course may be right for you. This depends on your previous experience with the subject, i.e. no Calculus in high school, some Calculus in high school, AP exam credit, except as described in the special notes below, etc.)
- WPI offers a two-term version of the first Calculus course (MA 1020) which is called "Calculus with Preliminary Topics" and this is for students who will benefit from having a pre-calculus review as the course goes along. If you don't have a strong pre-calculus background, please select this course. If you select MA 1020, do not enroll in PH 1110/1120 as one of your course options for A and B terms, choose either a BB, CH, HU, GPS, or SS course.
- If you have selected IMGD as a Major and choose not to take a math please, skip to step four to select your science course.
- If you are particularly interested in the "why and how" of Calculus, and already have credit for MA 1021 and MA 1022, we suggest that you consider the theoretical calculus sequence, MA 1033 and MA 1034.
Please note: Upon completion of your online math placement test, you will be directed to view your scores, and math course recommendations for your first term at WPI. You will also receive an e-mail with this information sent to your WPI e-mail address, within 24 hours of completing the exam.
We have created an on-line “test” to help you review some mathematics, to help you choose your best first math class, and to identify any gaps in your background that may cause trouble in calculus at WPI. The test is run through a system called WeBWorK that allows you to do the test on-line and give you immediate feedback.
A few quick notes before you login:
- You will need a WPI computer account and password. To create your WPI computer accounts, use your Student ID and PIN (Personal Identification Number) to login to the Web Information System, click Personal Information, then click the Computer Account Settings link. Follow the directions to choose a username and password. If you have any trouble creating your WPI account, please contact the Helpdesk.
- Once you login to the system, you will find two sets of problems.
Take a few minutes to work through the Orientation Test. This is a short intro to WeBWorK that will save you time later.
The Calculus Placement Test has 43 problems, starting with basic algebra and trig and progressing through differentiation, integration, infinite series, parametric curves, and vector algebra. You should work as many of the problems as you can, but if you really don’t know the topic, skip the problem!
- You can work on the problems in any order. You can quit at any time and your work will be saved. You can pick up where you left off when you return. Also, you can use the “Email Instructor” button in each problem to send a question to WPI.
- Take the tests seriously and do your best, but keep in mind that these tests are used only to help you pick the best first math class. Your grade will not be recorded and used against you.
- Be sure that you complete the last problem (#43) to let us know that you have finished your work. When you have completed this problem, you will have the option of seeing your recommendation on-line immediately. Whether you exercise this option or not, our recommendation will be sent to your WPI e-mail address within 48 hours.
- If you are interested in the theoretical calculus sequence MA 1033 and MA 1034, you should still take the Calculus Placement Test.
If you are ready to get started, go to Math Placement Tests (Opens May 9).
Didn't score 4-5 on Calc AB? Think about Calc 1.
Didn't score a 4-5 on Calc BC? Think about Calc 2.
Advanced Placement Credit in Mathematics
- Students who obtain a grade of "4" or "5" on the AB-level Advanced Placement Calculus Exam will obtain credit for MA 1021 and MA 1022 and should start in MA 1023 (sections A03A-A14A) followed by MA 1024 (sections B03A-B14A) in B term. Mathematical Sciences majors and those interested in the "why" and "how" of calculus should consider MA 1033 in A term and MA 1034 in B term.
- Students who obtain a grade of "4" or "5" on the BC-level Advanced Placement Calculus Exam will receive credit for MA 1021, MA 1022 and MA 1023 and should take MA 1024 (sections A03A-A06A) in A term as their initial math course and they should be followed by MA 2051 (sections B01A-B03A) in B term.
Students who do not receive AP credit can still have the opportunity to receive credit for Calculus courses without taking them. Please note that retroactive credit ONLY applies for A and B terms in your first year.