Mathematics Skills Tests

Department of Mathematics & Statistics

Mathematics Skills Tests

Introduction to the Mathematics Skills Tests

The Department of Mathematics & Statistics offers three first-year calculus courses: MATH 1P01 (Calculus Concepts I), MATH 1P05 (Applied Calculus I) and MATH 1P97 (Calculus with Applications).  A full description of each course is available in the Academic Calendar.  If you are required to take a calculus course, it is important that you check your program requirements to determine which courses you are eligible to take.  If you are eligible for more than one calculus course, please consult your academic advisor to determine which course is most appropriate for you.

The Mathematics Skills Tests (MSTs) are mandatory for all students intending to register for MATH 1P01 and MATH 1P05 only.  In order to receive a credit for these courses, you must successfully complete each of the MSTs before the prescribed deadline.

Mathematics Skills Tests Objectives

The purpose of the MSTs is to:

    • allow both the Department of Mathematics & Statistics and the student to assess whether he/she has the required mathematical foundation to be successful in a first-year calculus course;
    • assist both the Department of Mathematics & Statistics and the student in determining which sequence of mathematics courses will be the most beneficial to the student’s learning and success; and to
    • provide students with insight into the level of mathematics proficiency expected for first-year calculus courses.

Content of the Mathematics Skills Tests

There are three Mathematics Skills Tests.  Each test consists of ten questions, covering material from high school level mathematics.  The test areas and associated topics are:

  • Algebra Test (equations of lines, distance formula, midpoints, factoring, simplifying expressions, solving equations and inequalities, absolute value and long division of polynomials)
  • Functions and Modeling Test (domains, compositions, transformations, symmetry, inverses, roots, parabolas, and modeling)
  • Transcendental Functions Test (exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric functions)

A schedule of review sessions for each test will be available once the MSTs have been opened.

Completing the Mathematics Skills Tests

The MSTs are conducted in an online testing environment called Maple T.A..  Once you have registered for either MATH 1P01 or MATH 1P05, you will be able to access the Maple T.A. system closer to the MSTs opening date.  The MST website is available at:

The MSTs are released to students in early August, and must be successfully completed by early September.  For the winter session of MATH 1P05, the MSTs are opened in December after exams, and must be completed by early January.  A specific deadline is announced once the MSTs are released.

Before you attempt a MST, it is important to read the Mathematics Skills Test Instruction Booklet. This booklet contains detailed information on how to use the Maple T.A. system, a Maple T.A. Notation Guide, practice questions, and FAQs.  You will receive this booklet by email, and it will be available on this webpage, a few weeks before the MST opening date.

You are allowed four attempts per test, with a time limit of one hour for each attempt.  For each test, a minimum passing grade of 70% on at least one attempt is required for successful test completion.  The MSTs are sequential; you must pass the first test in order to access the second, and you must pass the second test in order to access the third.


Students who have completed the MSTs in a previous semester, but who are repeating either MATH 1P01 or MATH 1P05, must contact Neil Marshall to determine their exemption status.  Absolutely no student is exempt from the MSTs unless he/she has received explicit permission from Neil Marshall.

Failing to Complete the Mathematics Skills Tests

Successful completion of the MSTs are required in order to obtain a credit for MATH 1P01 or MATH 1P05.  If you:

  • fail to complete or attempt any of the MSTs, you will be required to deregister from MATH 1P01 or MATH 1P05, and/or be subject to sanctions from the Department of Mathematics and Course Instructor.
  • fail to obtain the minimum grade of 70% on any of the MSTs, you will be required to deregister from MATH 1P01 or MATH 1P05, and instead register for MATH 1P20 (Introduction to Mathematics).

Historically, students who do not obtain the minimum passing grade, or who struggle significantly with the material covered on the MSTs, do not perform well in MATH 1P01 or MATH 1P05.  It is strongly recommended that these students take MATH 1P20 before attempting MATH 1P01 or MATH 1P05.

Resources for the Mathematics Skills Tests

Mathematics Skills Test Instruction Booklet

Mathematics Skills Test Sample Problem Answer Key

MapleTA Units Guide

Mathematics Skills Tests Review Sessions

DROP-IN HELP and Workshops for Fall 2015 Skills Test

Starting the week of August 24, Workshops on each of the 3 skills tests will be available for students in 1P01 and 1P05 to attend. Please click the Schedule of Workshops link to see what is available.

Workshops will be held in the Mathematics Learning Centre (MCJ 434) unless otherwise notified.

Students are required to register for every workshop you wish to attend. To register, please send an email from your rock University account to and include your name, student number and the names, dates and the times of the workshops you wish to attend. Please register for each workshop no later than 24 hours before the workshop. Emails that do not meet these requirements may not be processed or responded to.  Workshops may be cancelled if fewer than 5 participants register before the deadline. If this occurs, those registered will be notified by email.

The week of August 31, 2 hours of drop-in help (on a first come, first serve basis) will be available each week. They will be from 3:00 – 4:00 pm Tuesday and Thursday in MCJ 429. The week of September 8th, 2015 there will be one drop in hour of help available from 3:00 - 4:00 pm on Tuesday September 8th, 2015 in MCJ 429. Unfortunately the drop in session on Thursday September 10th is cancelled.

The week of September 14th, there will be 3 hours of drop-in help available from 3:00 – 4:00 pm, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in MCJ 429.

Note due to the extension of the skills test until Sunday, September 20 at 12:00 pm noon, there are additional drop-in hours from 3:00 - 4:00 pm on Thursday and Friday (September 17 and 18) from 3:00 - 4:00 pm in MCJ 429.


Neil Marshall
Mathematics Development Programs Coordinator
Department of Mathematics & Statistics
905-688-5550, ext. 3138