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Advanced Placement for Calculus

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Credit and Placement

Scores on the CEEB Calculus AB / BC exam, the General Certificate of Education Advanced (“A”) Level Exam (GCE), and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher-Level Exam determine credit and placement as shown in the following table. More credit may be obtained by taking a placement exam during orientation week.

Credit and Placement for AP Calculus
CEEB score GCE score IB score Student Population Placement out of Credits
4 or 5, AB exam A, B, or C 6 or 7 Students not in Engineering Calculus I (MATH 1106, 1110) 4
4 or 5, BC exam Singapore
A, B, or C
Students not in Engineering Calculus I (MATH 1106, 1110) and
Calculus II (MATH 1120, 1220, 1910)
8
Students in Engineering Programs MATH 1910 4

Students with 4 or 8 AP credits will forfeit 4 credits if they take Calculus I at Cornell or receive transfer credit for an equivalent course. Students with 8 AP credits will forfeit 4 credits if they take Calculus II at Cornell or receive transfer credit for an equivalent course.

Cornell Placement Exams

Recommended for: (1) students who have had at least a semester of calculus but did not take a placement exam; (2) students who believe their placement is incorrect; (3) students who are uncertain of their grasp of the material.  Students may use the higher of two placement recommendations.  A failing score is not recorded on the student’s record.

Calculus Placement Exams Offered at Cornell During Fall 2017 Orientation
Test Time and Place Details
Mathematics Department
AP Exam
August 20 (Sunday)
10:15 a.m.
228 Malott Hall
(Bache Aud.)
An optional placement exam for non-engineering majors seeking credit for Calculus I (MATH 1110) and/or Calculus II (MATH 1120). Advance registration is not necessary. Bring several pencils. No make-up exam will be given. There is no placement exam for linear algebra. Students seeking credit for multivariable calculus should take the Engineering Math Advanced Standing Exam instead of this exam.
Engineering Math Advanced Standing Exam August 20 (Sunday)
10:15 a.m.
155 Olin Hall
An optional placement exam for any student seeking credit for MATH 1910 and/or MATH 1920, including Engineering freshmen and transfer students. There is no placement exam for MATH 2930 (differential equations) or MATH 2940 (linear algebra).
 

 

Placement Recommendations

Advanced placement credit enables students to start with a more advanced course, but they should also not hesitate to forfeit their AP credit and drop back to an earlier course if the advanced course is too difficult.

Students who earn a 4 or 5 on the AP Calculus AB exam (or equivalent) typically continue with Calculus II (MATH 1120, 1220, or 1910). MATH 2310 Linear Algebra with Applications is an option for students who don't need a second semester of calculus and don't plan to take more advanced math.

Students who earn a 4 or 5 on the AP Calculus BC exam (or equivalent) typically enroll in a linear algebra or multivariable calculus course. Options include MATH 2210, 1920, 2130 (spring only), 2310, and 2230.

MATH 1220 and MATH 2230-2240 are challenging (and fun!), digging into the theoretical underpinnings of calculus and linear algebra. They are taught at a much higher level of mathematical sophistication than MATH 1120 and MATH 2210-2220, respectively. Students in these courses invest considerably more time and effort on coursework and are responsible for learning a significant amount of material independently.