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Proficiency Exams

The Department of Mathematics offers in-person, proctored credit by examination (EM) for a selection of courses through the Testing Center. Students who believe their math placement results are inaccurate may schedule an in-person, proctored Proficiency Exam for the course of their initial placement. Students who demonstrate proficiency (80% graded score or above) will be permitted to schedule more advanced courses. A student may not test out of a course in which they are currently enrolled, or have an assigned letter grade. Please email us at mathadvisors@math.osu.edu for a testing referral to see if you qualify

Math Courses with Proficiency Exams

The following courses 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. This is a one-time only opportunity - no re-tests are permitted.

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

If you would like to request proficiency exam accommodations, you will need to submit an application and documentation to Student Life Disability Services (SLDS) prior to taking the exam. You can use this link to complete your application: New Student Application. Please allow 2-3 business days for processing. Typical accommodations may include extended time, alternative formats, and Reader/scribe. If you are interested in utilizing academic accommodations as an OSU student, you will need to complete the registration process. Please contact Michelle Salomone (salomone.6@osu.edu), for more information.

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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 is 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 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 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.
  • Scores between 70-80% will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Math Department but does not ensure going on to the next level. 
  • For scores less than 70%: students need to remain in the math course indicated by their course code.

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