Q: How do I know if I am required to take a mathematics course for my proposed major at UCSD?
A: You should go to the General Catalog and choose the link titled Courses, Curricula and Programs of Instruction. From there you can select your potential major. Read the complete description of required and recommended courses to determine whether that major requires a math course.
Q: I do not have a math requirement for my major. Must I take the MPE?
A: You should check with your UCSD College academic advising office about mathematics requirements for your college or go to the college orientation web page.
Q: I do have to take a math course at UCSD. Must I take the MPE?
A: See the pages Who Takes the Math Placement Exam (MPE) or Requirements to Enroll in UCSD Math Classes on this site or continue down this FAQ page.
Q: How do I register to take the Math Placement Exam (the MPE)?
A: You do NOT register, just be at the scheduled place at the scheduled time. See Test Dates .
Q: I took the AP Calculus test but have not received my score. Should I take the MPE?
A: You only need to take the MPE if you think you did poorly (i.e. a score of 1) on the AP Level AB Calculus score. See AP Calculus Credit.
Q: I took the AP Statistics exam. Do I need to take the MPE?
A: Yes. The AP Statistics does not give you credit for a UCSD math course.
Q: I took the IB Lower Level Mathematics Exam. Do I need to take the MPE?
A: Yes. The IB Lower Level Mathematics Exam does not give you credit for a UCSD math course no matter what score you make.
Q: I took calculus through a community college while still in high school. Do I need to take the MPE?
A: If you passed the course with a C or better you may enroll directly into the next level calculus course without taking the MPE. Be sure to request the community college to send your transcript to UCSD.
Q: I took a high school calculus class but I did not take an AP or IB exam and I did not receive college credit. Must I take the MPE?
A: Yes, high school credit may not be used for college courses.
Q: Do I have to take the placement exam if I took it over a year ago?
A: Yes, your placement results are good for only one year.
Q: I qualified for Math 20A (or 10A) but now the registration system says I do not have the prerequisite and will not allow me to register for any section. What should I do?
A: Contact the Math Placement Office, jforsythe@ucsd.edu, by email and we will check your record and clear you for registration.
Q: I have an AP AB (BC) score of 3, why would I take 20A (20B) when I will have credit for the course?
A: It is our experience that many students with a score of 3 are not fully prepared for the next calculus course so we allow you to "retake" the course and receive full credit. This is an option to allow, but not require, you to strengthen your math preparation without penalty.
Q: I took precalculus. Am I exempt from taking the MPE?
A: No, you must still take the MPE to enter a beginning calculus course at UCSD.
Q: But I took precalculus at a community college and got an A. Am I exempt from taking the MPE?
A: No, you must still take the MPE to enter a beginning calculus course at UCSD.
Q: I took the AP Calculus test and then enrolled in Math 20B (21C/10B). however my level AB score (or AB subscore) was less than 3. What should I do?
A: You must drop the Math 20B (21C/10B) course. If your AB score (or AB subscore) was 1 you must take the MPE to determine the appropriate math course. If your AB score (or AB subscore) was 2 you may add Math 20A (10A). You should
use WebReg to do this now to avoid being dropped from the course by administrative action.
Q: I have taken part of the Math 10 courses, do I need to take the MPE to go into the Math 20 sequence?
A: No. If you received an A in math 10A you may take math 20A for 2 units credit. Completion of Math 10A and 10B allow you to enroll in Math 20B for 2 units credit. Completion of Math 10A, B & C allows you to enroll in Math 20B for 2 units credit and Math 21C for 2 units credit.
If you still have unanswered questions about math placement or the Math Placement Exam you may email your question to jforsythe@ucsd.edu and we will respond promptly.
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