Credit and Placement Exams

Mathematics credit and placement exams are offered during Summer Orientation: AARO.  The department provides sample exams (see below) to help you determine if you are ready to take an exam and/or help you prepare for the exam. The sample exams are accurate representations of the actual exams in length, level of difficulty, and coverage of the material in the specified courses.

Calculators are not allowed on the credit or placement exams, except for the Finite Mathematics exam, where a calculator is a necessity. Textbooks and notes are also not allowed. All formulas needed for the Finite Mathematics exam are included with the exam.

More information about selecting an appropriate first year mathematics course and the preparation needed for that course can be found at: FAQ's about Mathematics Fundamentals Courses.

Credit and placement exams are also offered to students during the week before they first begin taking classes at SMU. To make an appointment to take an exam during this time, please contact the Counseling and Testing Center located in the Memorial Health Center. The phone number for the test proctoring services is 214-768-2269. Under exceptional circumstances, it is possible to take an exam during a student's first week of classes (contact the mathematics department). The precalculus placement exam is also offered during November and before the spring semester (contact the Testing Center for dates and times).

Placement Exam

The mathematics department encourages students that have taken a strong precalculus course to consider taking the placement exam so that they do not have to repeat precalculus. Students that have taken some calculus in high school are exempt from having to take the placement exam and can proceed on to calculus. It is not possible to get course credit for passing the precalculus placement exam.

Math 1303. Precalculus Mathematics for Business Calculus. Graphs, functions, basic analytic geometry, polynomials, exponentials, logarithms.  The Math 1303 placement exam is similar to the Math 1304 Precalculus Mathematics placement exam; the major difference being the coverage of trigonometry in Math 1304.

Math 1304. Precalculus Mathematics. Graphs, functions, basic analytic geometry, exponentials, logarithms, trigonometry, inverse functions. Precalculus Sample Exam 

Credit Exams

The department offers credit exams for a variety of first and second year mathematics courses. You should examine the sample exams provided to determine if you have the necessary background for a particular course.  It is not possible to get course credit for both Math 1309 and 1337.

Math 1307. Introduction to Mathematical Sciences. Permutations and combinations, probability, Markov chains, linear programming, elementary statistics, and mathematics of finance. Finite Mathematics Sample Exam

Math 1309. Introduction to Calculus for Business and Social Science. Derivatives and integrals of algebraic, logarithmic, and exponential functions with applications to the time value of money, curve sketching, maximum-minimum problems, and computation of areas. Applications to business and economics. (Natural science and engineering students must take MATH 1337). Business Calculus Sample Exam

Math 1337. Calculus with Analytic Geometry I. Differential and integral calculus for algebraic, trigonometric, and transcendental functions, with applications to curve sketching, velocity, maximum-minimum problems, and areas. First Semester Calculus Sample Exam

Those students interested in taking a credit exam for the following three courses should contact the mathematics department:

Math 1338. Calculus with Analytic Geometry II. A continuation of MATH 1337;  volume, surface area, techniques of integration, improper integrals, and infinite sequences and series, including Taylor series. Second Semester Calculus Sample Exam

Math 2339. Calculus with Analytic Geometry III. A continuation of MATH 1338 including polar coordinates, partial differentiation, multiple integrals, and vector analysis.

Math 2343. Elementary Differential Equations. First order equations, linear equations, Laplace transforms, power series solutions, and applications. 

Which placement or credit exam should I take?

Many students that major in the fine artshumanities, and thesocial sciences (excluding economics) take Math 1307 or Stat 1301. A placement exam is not required for these two courses. It is possible to get credit for Math 1307, but most incoming students have not studied all of the topics that are covered in this course. Attempt the sample test, and if you feel that you are proficient enough, take the credit exam for Math 1307. If you are a strong mathematics student, you should consider taking calculus.

If you plan to major in business and have taken precalculus, but not calculus, you should take the placement (non credit) exam for Math 1303. If you have already taken calculus, but do not have credit for it, you can enroll in Math 1309 Business Calculus without taking a placement exam or get credit for calculus by passing the credit exam for Math 1309 or Math 1337.

If you plan to major in a technical field, such as engineering, natural sciences, or mathematics and have taken precalculus, but not calculus, you should take the placement (non credit) exam for Math 1304. If you have taken calculus, but do not have credit for it, you can enroll in Math 1337 without taking a placement exam or get credit for this course by passing the credit exam for Math 1337.

If you plan to major in economics, it is best to take Math 1337 just in case you choose a degree plan or specialization that requires additional mathematics. Math 1309 or even Math 1307 are alternatives for some degree plans. The placement and credit exams relevant to Math 1337, 1309, and 1307 are discussed above.