Advanced Placement Credit for Calculus

Scores on the CEEB Calculus AB / BC exam, the General Certificate of Education Advanced (“A”) Level Exam (GCE), and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher-Level Exam determine credit and placement as shown in the following table. More credit may be obtained by taking a placement exam during orientation week.

Credit and Placement for AP Calculus
CEEB scoreGCE scoreIB scoreStudent PopulationPlacement out ofCredits
4 or 5, AB exam A, B, or C 6 or 7 Students not in Engineering Calculus I (MATH 1106, 1110) 4
4 or 5, BC exam Singapore
A, B, or C
Students not in Engineering Calculus I (MATH 1106, 1110) and
Calculus II (MATH 1120, 1220, 1910)
8
Students in Engineering Programs MATH 1910 4

Students with 4 or 8 AP credits will forfeit 4 credits if they take Calculus I at Cornell or receive transfer credit for an equivalent course. Students with 8 AP credits will forfeit 4 credits if they take Calculus II at Cornell or receive transfer credit for an equivalent course.

Cornell Placement Exams

Recommended for: (1) students who have had at least a semester of calculus but did not take a placement exam; (2) students who believe their placement is incorrect; (3) students who are uncertain of their grasp of the material.  Students may use the higher of two placement recommendations.  A failing score is not recorded on the student’s record.

Calculus Placement Exams Offered at Cornell During Fall 2016 Orientation
TestDate & TimeLocationDetails
Engineering Math Advanced Standing Exam August 21
Sunday, 10:15 a.m.
Announced during academic briefings. Optional for engineering majors.  A passing score may be used to place out of MATH 1910 and/or 1920.  No placement exam for linear algebra or differential equations.
Mathematics Department
AP Exam
August 21
Sunday, 10:15 a.m.
228 Malott Hall
(Bache Aud.)
Optional for non-engineering majors.  Covers essentially the same material as the CEEB Calculus curriculum.  A passing score may be used to place out of MATH 1110 and/or 1120.  No placement exam for linear algebra or multivariable calculus.

Placement Recommendations

Advanced placement credit enables students to start with a more advanced course, but they should also not hesitate to forfeit their AP credit and drop back to an earlier course if the advanced course is too difficult.

Students who earn a 4 or 5 on the AP Calculus AB exam (or equivalent) typically continue with Calculus II (MATH 1120, 1220, or 1910). MATH 2310 Linear Algebra with Applications is an option for students who don't need a second semester of calculus and don't plan to take more advanced math.

Students who earn a 4 or 5 on the AP Calculus BC exam (or equivalent) typically enroll in a linear algebra or multivariable calculus course. Options include MATH 2210, 1920, 2130 (spring only), 2310, and 2230.

MATH 1220 and MATH 2230-2240 are challenging (and fun!), digging into the theoretical underpinnings of calculus and linear algebra. They are taught at a much higher level of mathematical sophistication than MATH 1120 and MATH 2210-2220, respectively. Students in these courses invest considerably more time and effort on coursework and are responsible for learning a significant amount of material independently.