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PreCalculus and Calculus Placement

Department Chair:

Chaogui Zhang, Ph.D.
Science Center, Room 320
(570) 961-4598


Marcia Gaughan
Science Center, 3rd floor
(570) 348-6265

Any student that plans to take MATH 170 or MATH 201 must satisfy one of the following prerequisite:

  • MATH 115 with a C or better grade
  • A passing score on the placement exam administered by the department

A placement exam session will be offered online on Friday, May 2, 2014. To sign up, students should email the secretary of the Math Department, Marcie Gaughan at by Monday, April 28, 2014.

The two-hour online placement exam may be taken in the Center for Natural and Health Science building in room # 102 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. You are expected to abide by all university rules and code of conduct for exams. It is also to your benefit to have an accurate assessment of your own skills, so that you will be successful in the class you are placed into.

In your registration email to Mrs. Gaughan, please include the following information:

  • Student ID (7 digit, and it can be found on the Marywood Portal under "Academic Profile"->"My profile")
  • Last Name
  • First Name, Middle Initial (Optional)
  • Year (Freshman, Sophomore etc.)
  • Marywood Email Address

The placement exam may include, but is not limited to, the following topics:

  • Basic arithmetic of integers, fractions, and real numbers in general, absolute values, interval notations;
  • Rules of exponents, and Scientific Notation;
  • Proportions, ratios, and word problems involving ratios and basic algebra;
  • Basic geometry, including area and volume of simple shapes;
  • The coordinate system (xy-plane), distance between points;
  • Equations of lines and circles, and related concepts such as slope, x- and y-intercepts, center and radius;
  • Intersection of lines;
  • Solving linear equations and inequalities, including ones with absolute values;
  • Polynomial operations and factoring;
  • Solving quadratic equations through factoring or using the quadratic formula;
  • Solving linear systems of equations (two by two);
  • Functions and related concepts, such as function composition, inverse functions and graphing;
  • Identifying graphs of common functions;
  • Identifying horizontally/vertically translated function graphs;
  • Logarithmic expressions and rules of logarithms;
  • Exponential functions and logarithmic functions, including the natural exponential function and the natural logarithm function;
  • Solving simple equations involving exponential and logarithmic functions;
  • Trigonometric function definitions, trig. function values at special angles, the unit circle;
  • Identifying trig. function graphs and their horizontal/vertical translations;
  • Using trig. function concepts and identities to find trig. function values.

You can download the sample problems and the answers for practice. Please note that the sample problems are not intended to be exhaustive.


For more information, contact Dr. Chaogui Zhang at or (570) 961-4598.