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Frequently Asked Questions

math advisement

Q. Do I really have to take a mathematics course to graduate?
Q. What Calculus AP score do I need to test out of the Math Core Requirement?
Q. Can I use Statistics AP credit to skip Math?
Q. Can I use a Statistics course to satisfy the Math Core Requirement?
Q. Can I use IB credit to satisfy the Math Core Requirement?
Q. If I don't have AP credit, is there a test I can take to skip Math?
Q. If I have AP credit already, can I take a Math of Calculus course anyway?

 

When to take Math Courses

Q. Can I put off taking Math until I'm a junior or senior?

 

About (Graphing) Calculators

Q. Do I need a (graphing) calculator for my Math course?
Q. What kind of calculator should I have for Math?

 

I Really Need Help

Q. Can I just ask a simple question, please?
Q. What if I make the wrong choice of a Math course?
Q. Can I talk with someone during Orientation about Math?

 

Questions and Answers

AP Credit and "Testing Out" of Math

Q. Do I really have to take a mathematics course to graduate?
A. The University Core Curriculum Requirements specify that all students in all Schools and Colleges must meet a Mathematics Core Curriculum Requirement. You may satisfy this requirement by completing one semester of mathematics at the level marked "core," but AP credit can also be used to satisfy the requirement.

Q. What Calculus AP score do I need to test out of the Math Core Requirement?
A. You are exempted from the Mathematics Core Curriculum Requirement if you received a score of four or higher on either the Calculus AB or BC placement exam, and the result has been recorded on your transcript.

Q. Can I use Statistics AP credit to skip Math?
A. No. AP credit in Statistics cannot be used to satisfy the Mathematics Core Curriculum Requirement.

Q. Can I use a Statistics course to satisfy the Math Core Requirement?
A. No. Statistics courses do not satisfy the Mathematics Core Curriculum Requirement.

Q. Can I use IB credit to satisfy the Math Core Requirement?
A. Yes. Usually, the Admissions Office will accept IB (International Baccalaureate) credit for Advanced Level mathematics courses with a score of five or higher. Please feel free to consult the Mathematics Chairman directly for other cases where IB credit has been earned in mathematics.

Q. If I don't have AP credit, is there a test I can take to skip Math?
A. No. Other than what's listed above, there is no procedure for "testing out" of the Math Requirement. There are no placement tests administered at BC that you can take to "test out of" the Math Requirement.

Q. If I have AP credit already, can I take a Math or Calculus course anyway?
A. Yes. Having AP credit for Calculus does not preclude you from taking a Calculus course, even if it repeats material from your high school course(s). However, we strongly suggest that you speak with a Mathematics Advisor during your Orientation Session to see which Calculus course is right for you. Also, make sure to visit the Calculus Advisement pages on this website for more help on this question.

 

When to take Math Courses

Q. Can I put off taking Math until I'm a junior or senior?
A. As long as your school or major does not recommend or specify a completion deadline for the Math Requirement, you can take Math in any semester you choose. We find that taking Math is easier for many students when it's done earlier. This is especially true if you'll be taking Calculus. Completing the Math Requirement no later than junior year would seem to be a good, general recommendation.

About Graphing Calculators

Q. Do I need a graphing calculator for my Math course?
A. It depends. The MT100 and MT101 Calculus courses require that you have ... and be able to use, both on assignments and exams ... a graphing calculator. Calculators are strongly suggested for the Math and Science Major Calculus courses (MT102 - MT103 - MT202), and may be required at the discretion of the instructor. Most core-level Math courses do not assume that students have calculators.

Q. What kind of calculator should I have for Math?
A. We recommend the Texas Instruments TI-83+. This is the calculator of choice in all of our Calculus courses -- it is routinely used in the classroom for MT100 and MT101.

The TI-84 family is the more recent equivalent of the TI-83 family -- the TI-84 calculators are "keystroke-compatible" with the TI-83 family, they are faster, they have a better display, and they have a USB connection. You'll pay about $25 more for a TI-84+ over a TI-83+; and about another $15 for a TI-84+ Silver Edition. The speed, display, and USB connection of the TI-84 models may well be worth the extra cost, but there is no specific functionality difference for our purposes between the TI-83 family and the TI-84 family.

The TI-82, TI-85, and TI-86 may also be used, as can calculators from other manufacturers such as Casio and Hewlett-Packard. However, support is available primarily for the TI-83+, and to a limited extent, for the TI-82, TI-85, and TI-86.

Certain symbolic-capable calculators (e.g., the TI-89, TI-92, and HP49g) can also be used, but may be prohibited during examinations, at the discretion of your instructor.

 

I Really Need Help

Q. Can I just ask a simple question, please?
A. Yes. If we've really confused you with this website structure, we have a form you can fill out with a generic "I'm lost, give me a hint" question.

Q. What if I make the wrong choice of a Math course?
A. Good News! Course registrations are not final until after the first week of the semester. During the first few days in your Math class, you can consult your instructor, or talk to your faculty advisor, or see advisors in the Mathematics Department. All of these faculty members can discuss your course choice in depth, and help you make a better course choice, if it's appropriate to do so. The Mathematics Department is committed to putting you in the right Math course, at the right time, for the right reason. Any choice of a Math course can be corrected if necessary, as long as you make a point of talking to us during the first week of the semester.

Q. Can I talk with someone during Orientation about Math?
A. Absolutely! A Math Advisor will be "on duty" when you meet with your Faculty Advisor to register for courses (on the second day of your Orientation program). You can discuss your background with the Math Advisor for a personal recommendation. There will also be someone available in the Mathematics Department (third floor, Carney Hall) on the day before you register, from about 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.