Calculus Diagnostic Test

General Information


All incoming first year students planning to take calculus courses at Holy Cross in Fall 2011 should complete the Calculus Diagnostic Test online in Moodle, using the instructions that will be distributed by the Class Dean.  This test covers exclusively pre-calculus topics (see list below).   The purpose of this exam is to help us and you understand how well you have mastered some of the topics and skills needed in college-level calculus classes.  You should take it seriously and try to do your best work.

  • The exam consists of one short untimed questionnaire, plus two 45 minute timed portions (A and B).
  • You have 45 minutes to complete each timed portion of the test from the time you begin.
  • You will not be able to return to each portion of the exam later, so you will need to set aside 45 minutes in which you will not be disturbed.  The A and B portions may be taken separately, though.
  • No books, calculators, or consultation of any other sources of information are allowed while you are taking the exam. Pencil and paper for working out answers are fine and expected.   
  • There is no way for us to check that the previous item has been followed.  However,  it is not to your advantage to attempt to increase your score if that means you are misrepresenting your current mathematical knowledge and skills.  This is a diagnostic test intended for advising purposes.  It will not affect any of your future grades at Holy Cross.
  • If you score poorly (less than 50%) on either portion of this exam you will receive advice about how to review particular topics and what is expected in our calculus courses.

Mathematical Topics That May Be Covered On The Departmental Calculus Diagnostic Test

  1.  Evaluation of expressions, order of operations

  2.  Rules of exponents and logarithms

  3.  Factoring, algebraic simplification

  4.  Solving quadratic equations by factoring and by the quadratic formula

  5.  Solving simultaneous systems of linear equations

  6.  Area and perimeter of triangles, rectangles, circles

  7.  Geometric facts including the distance formula in the plane, the
       Pythagorean theorem, similar triangles, etc.

  8.  Absolute value of real numbers, inequalities

  9.  Function notation, domain of a function, function composition,      
       graphs of functions

10.  Equations of lines, conic sections

11.  Radian and degree measure of angles, trigonometric functions,
       trigonometric identities

12.  Word problems, linear and exponential growth