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 fifteen 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 synthetic division)
  • Functions and Conic Sections Test (domains, compositions, transformations, symmetry, inverses, roots, parabolas, circles, 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 WeBWorK.  Once you have registered for either MATH 1P01 or MATH 1P05, you will be able to access the WeBWorK system closer to the MSTs opening date.  The MST website is available at:

https://webwork.brocku.ca/webwork2/MathSkills

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 November, 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 WeBWorK system, a WeBWorK 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 six 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.

 

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

 

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


Mathematics Skills Tests Review Sessions

Review sessions will take place in the Mathematics Learning Centre, MC J434.  You must register for a review session, and sessions with insufficient registration will be cancelled.  To register for a review session, click on the appropriate link below, or email ldeeth@brocku.ca.  Please be sure to include your preferred review session, your name and student ID when you register.

In addition to the review sessions, drop-in help will be available on Thursday, January 9 and Friday, January 10, 1-3pm in MC J401.  The drop-in help will not be a review session, but is instead a time for students to discuss specific test questions or specific test concerns.

Algebra Review: Tuesday, January 7, 10 - 11am

Functions and Conic Sections Review: Monday, January 6, 3 - 4pm - CANCELLED

Functions and Conic Sections Review: Wednesday, January 8, 1 - 2pm

Transcendental Functions Review: Monday, January 6, 2 - 3pm - CANCELLED

Transcendental Functions Review: Tuesday, January 7, 11am - 12pm

Transcendental Functions Review: Wednesday, January 8, 2 - 3pm

 

Contact

Dr. Lorna Deeth

Mathematics Development Programs Coordinator

Location: MCJ401

Phone: (905) 688-5550 Ext. 5269

Email: ldeeth@brocku.ca