This website uses features that are not well-supported by your browser. Please consider upgrading to a browser and version that fully supports CSS Grid and the CSS Flexible Box Layout Module.
Dartmouth Mathematics Placement System
Sidebar image

Related Links:
     Suggested courses for first-year students
     Frequently asked questions

Obtaining Appropriate Placement and Credit in Mathematics

  • Every entering student — whether they intend to take any mathematics or not — receives a math placement. You should know your placement, its significance, as well as your options to change it.
  • Obtaining an appropriate math placement concerns not only those who plan on taking more math or those who want credit for material already mastered; it is equally important to those who think they will never need or take any more mathematics.
  • Often, students who have taken some calculus in high school arrive with no plans to take math, and then later decide to add a minor which has a calculus prerequisite, and because they have not secured an accurate placement upon matriculation, are forced to rearrange their crowded academic schedules to accommodate the requirement.

  • While every student receives a default placement, advanced placement and credit can be achieved in many ways including standardized AP, IB-HL, and British-based A-level exams, as well as (locally written) placement exams which you can take online over the summer.
  • Local placement exams are available online to matriculated students starting August 1, and are taken only by those who have either not taken a standardized placement exam, or wish to improve their current (default) placement. To ensure correct placement before enrolling in Fall term classes, placements exams must be taken at the latest by Wednesday noon, two days prior to enrollment, in the week before the start of Fall term classes. You will receive an email in July/August providing more details.
  • If you were unable to take a placement exam in time for Fall term enrollment, you may still take placement exams until the end of Fall term. The due date for mathematics placement exams is November 30. If, at a later date, you choose a major or minor which has a calculus prerequisite, and you did not secure an accurate placement upon matriculation, you may petition the advisor to first-year students, professor Van Erp (, to re-open the appropriate placement exam for you.
  • Placement exams are specifically intended as a means to acknowledge prematriculation credits. They can not be used after Freshmen Fall term as a means to test out of required college courses (through self-study, or by taking online courses, etc.).
  • Since you are allowed to take a placement exam only once, you are strongly urged to read the relevant parts of this and related web pages.

The Dartmouth Mathematics Placement System will:
  • allow you to determine the appropriate starting point in mathematics (should you choose to take math at Dartmouth),
  • allow you to gain credit and/or advanced placement for mathematics you mastered before coming to Dartmouth,
  • introduce you to the courses at Dartmouth and allow you to see how your background dovetails with Dartmouth's courses,
  • provide extensive review material to allow you to prepare for any placement tests you choose to take.

Sneak Peek — What's my default placement?
[Click on either image to magnify/shrink.]
AP Calculus Placements       AP Statistics Placements
For further explanation, see the links below.

Getting to know Dartmouth ...

Answers to many common questions

  • What placement/credit exams are available to take? Answer
  • I have taken both AB and BC calculus, but have credit for neither. Which placement/credit exams should I take? Answer
  • I have taken a math course at another college or university. How can I get credit for these courses? Answer
  • Where and when should I take a math placement/credit test? Answer
  • When and where can I find out my official placement? Answer
  • Is there any risk to my current placement by doing poorly on a local placement/credit exam? None! You can never lose placement.
  • How can I determine if I should take a math placement/credit test, and if so which one? Answer
  • I have reported AP/IB/A-level credit information to the Registrar's office. Now what? Answer
  • I did poorly on my AP exam. Do I have any options? Answer
  • I took calculus and/or statistics before coming to Dartmouth, but did not take any AP exams. Can I get credit? Answer
  • Do these placement credits count towards graduation? Answer
  • I took math courses beyond calculus like linear algebra, differential equations or number theory. What can I do? Answer

Resources and Review Material

  • Video tutorials for all levels of calculus from Khan Academy are available on the Core Calculus Courses web page.
  • Practice exams from Math 3, 8, 11/13 (Multivariable Calclus).
  • Precalculus review material.
  • For more advanced courses such as linear algebra (Math 22), differential equations (Math 23) or elementary number theory (Math 25), refer to the archive of course web pages to see a typical syllabus. In some terms, practice midterms and finals may have been posted, but generally such resourses are restricted to students on campus.

Take me to the placement exam site

  • You should go to the Canvas exam site only when you are ready to take the appropriate placement/credit exam, and have the time available. Math 1, 3, 8 exams are 60 minutes long; Multivariable Calculus (Math 11/13), Linear Algebra (Math 22), Differential Equations (Math 23), and Number Theory (Math 25) are 90 minutes long.
  • You should also take the exams from a desktop or laptop computer. A phone or tablet is likely to cause problems.
  • You would be wise to use a cross-platform browser like Google Chrome or Firefox to interact with the exams on Canvas. Safari, in particular, has been known to cause problems when viewing the exam.
  • The exam pages are by Dartmouth class: