Proficiency Exams

Note: Wednesday, August 29, is the deadline to take a Proficiency Exam for students wishing to change their Autumn 2018 schedule based on the results.

The Department of Mathematics offers credit by examination for a number of courses. However, Proficiency Exams for Math 1050 or 1075 are given only for students to progress forward in math classes—no credit is given. Students who believe their math placement results are inaccurate may schedule a Proficiency Exam for the course of their initial placement. Students who demonstrate proficiency will be permitted to schedule more advanced courses.

Math Courses with Proficiency Exams


The following classes within the Department of Mathematics have a proficiency test available.  This allows students to show sufficient content knowledge of a course, earn EM credit, and progress forward without having to take the class during regular semester classes.

Proficiency Exams are available for:

Before Test Day


Students are only permitted to take the Math Proficiency Exam once and should study for this test. The Math Proficiency Exam will be similar to a cumulative final exam. Syllabi, topics lists, and practice exams can be found on each of the course pages. Students may also find additional resources on the Mathematics Statistics Learning Center’s website.

The Math Proficiency Exam is a 2-hour long written (paper) exam. Students will need to provide written justification on all problems. Problems without work will not receive credit. Pay close attention to the directions as problems solved with methods other than instructed will not receive credit. Partial credit may be awarded, but students need to show ALL work.

To receive a Mathematics Proficiency Exam Referral

Students with disabilities should contact a disability counselor at the Ohio State Office for Disability Services at 614-292-3307 to make alternate arrangements for taking the math exam. This includes students with disabilities who may need extended time, as well as students who need a scribe, a reader or other support services. Documentation must be provided to determine eligibility before authorization can be given for accommodations.

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Calculator Guidelines


Proficiency exams for Math 1050 Precollege Mathematics I and Math 1075 Precollege Mathematics II:

Only a non-CAS (Computer Algebra System) graphing calculator ar permitted, TI-83 and TI-84 are permitted. If the calculator is chosen to be used for problems that do not specifically require an algebraic solution, a clear explanation and a sketch of all graphs or tables used to solve the problem are required.

Proficiency exams for Math 1130 College Algebra for Business, Math 1131 Calculus for Business, Math 1148 College Algebra, Math 1149 Trigonometry, Math 1150 Precalculus, and Math 2153 Calculus III:

A graphing calculator without a QWERTY keyboard (e.g. TI-84) is allowed for use on these exams, but students must justify their answers by showing work to get full credit.  No cellphones, laptops, or other electronic devices with full QWERTY keyboards will not be permitted and may be removed during the test.  Once again, no retesting is permitted so it is imperative that students have the appropriate, approved calculator when taking their proficiency exam.

Proficiency exams for Math 1151 Calculus I, Math 1152 Calculus II,  and Math 1172 Math for Engineers A:

No calculators are permitted on these exams.

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After Test Day


You will be notified if you have passed or failed the Math Proficiency Exam by email two or three business days after completing the exam. If you wish to know the exact score or view your exam, you will need to come to the Math Advising Office during Walk-in hours with your BuckID.

If you pass the exam will be able to enroll in the next level Math course and any other courses that requires the course as a prerequisite. If you wish to take the Proficiency Exam for the next level math course, you must receive another test referral from the Math Advising Office.

What do the proficiency exam scores mean?


  • For scores of 80% or higher: students will be eligible to enroll in the next course in the sequence and will be granted credit for the course over which they tested. (Exceptions: credit by examination cannot be granted for Math 1050 or Math1075)
  • For scores less than 80%: students need to remain in the math course indicated by their course code.

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