What is the purpose of the test?
The Basic Skills Test covers mathematical skills that students must master at
the start of calculus.
Students who pass the test should be reasonably well- prepared to pass calculus.
The test is given three times. We do not expect all
students to pass on the first try, but we do expect
calculus students to pass the exam after they identify gaps in their skills,
refresh their memories and
practice these basic skills.
Who is required to take the test?
All students in MA1135, MA1140, MA1160, and MA1161b
NOTE: Photo ID is required for everyone who takes
When is the test given?
First Try: Wednesday, January 17, 6-7 p.m.
Second Try: Tuesday, January 23, 6-7 p.m., location
announced in class
Third Try: Thursday, January 25, 6-7 p.m., location announced in class
How long is the test?
The test contains 25 questions and should be completed in 50 minutes.
Can I use a calculator?
No, all of the questions must be worked by hand.
What do I have to do to successfully complete this
requirement? Each answer will be graded as either right or wrong (any minor error will
result in a score of 0
points on that problem). You must score 80% or better on this test (20 out of
25) in order to satisfy
the requirement. The BST counts as 10% of your final course grade in calculus.
If you pass the
BST with a score of 20 out of 25 or better on one of the three tries, you will
receive full credit
(10/10) for this part of your course grade. If you score less than 20, your
score will be as follows:
• Score of 20 or better
• Score of 18-19
• Score of 16-17
• Score of 15 or below
*This will lower your final course grade by one full
letter grade. We STRONGLY recommend that students
who do not score at least 16 drop calculus and enroll in MA1032 Data, Functions
If I passed the BST, do I have to take it again?
Yes, it is a course requirement.
What does the test cover?
Skills essential to success in calculus. See below for a list of topics.
Will the test be the same each semester?
The test will cover the same topics each time it is given, but the questions
will be different.
Do I need to study for it?
Most definitely. In a typical semester, only 30% of students pass the BST (20 or
higher) on the first
try and most pass it after three tries.
When will I get the results?
Your instructor will return your tests in class as soon as they are graded.
What if I miss one of the three tries?
Make-up tests will only be given to students who miss a test date because of an
(family emergency, illness requiring medical attention, etc.). All such absences
must be verified by
the Dean of Student’s Office, and the student should contact Ann Humes
Fisher 205B, as soon as they return to classes, preferably within two days of
the scheduled test date.
Retakes will NOT be given if you slept through the test, forgot to come, etc.
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