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, 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  for Winter 2016 Skills Test

There will be Drop-in help available for the tests from 3:00 pm -4:00 pm on Tuesday, January 5th, Wednesday January 6th, Thursday January 7th and Monday January 11th. The drop in sessions will take place in MCJ 429.  


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