The Mathematics and Statistics Learning Centre

The Mathematics and Statistics Learning Centre provides free, drop-in help for students registered in first-year mathematics courses.

About The Centre

Questions regarding course concepts or material can be discussed with course-specific Teaching Assistants, who are available at select times each week.  Workshops or special help sessions are also sometimes offered by the Mathematics Learning Centre throughout each semester.  As well, students registered in any mathematics or statistics course are encouraged to use the Learning Centre as space for independent or group study.

Location: Mackenzie Chown Complex, J-block , Room 434 (MC J 434)

Hours of Operation: 9:00am – 4:00pm, Tuesday-Friday for Winter 2024. Additional office hours on Mondays (see schedule posted to your course Brightspace). The Mathematics and Statistics Learning Centre is available both online and in-person in MCJ 434. For further information, including how to access online hours if you are in a supported first year math course, please see your course Brightspace page).

*All courses help sessions service the following courses:

  • MATH 1P01, MATH 1P02,
  • MATH 1P05, MATH 1P06,
  • STAT 1P98, MATH 1P97,
  • MATH 1P11, MATH 1P12,
  • STAT 1F92, MATH 1P20,
  • MATH 1P66, MATH 1P67
  • Stat 1P99

Our Mission

  • to help students succeed in mathematics courses, through a better understanding of, and appreciation for, mathematical concepts, theories, and applications.
  • to help students develop the skills and strategies required to be successful in mathematics and statistics, and to build a solid foundation in numeracy.
  • to work with faculty and course instructors in providing additional instruction, workshops, and course support when necessary.
  • to provide an open, accessible, and collaborative learning environment.

Contact Information

Questions, concerns, or suggestions regarding the Mathematics and Statistics Learning Centre can be confidentially addressed to:

Neil Marshall, Mathematics Development Programs Coordinator
Phone: (905) 688 – 5550 x 3138
Email: nmarshall@brocku.ca
Office: MC J 429
If you wish to submit feedback anonymously, please click here.

Additional Resources

Students who may be interested in hiring a private tutor can contact Alan Liu (mathstats@brocku.ca), in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics main office (MC J 415), for a list of potential tutors.  It is highly recommended that students seeking a private tutor first speak to their course instructor, and/or the Department of Mathematics and Statistics main office, before contacting outside sources.

Learning Services, through the Student Development Centre, also provides drop-in math help, which focusses on learning strategies and problem-solving techniques.  Students can visit their website for the drop-in help schedule, as well as a list of informative workshops.

Introduction to the Mathematics Skills Test

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 Test (MST) is mandatory for all students registered for MATH 1P01 or MATH 1P05.  In order to receive a credit for these courses, you must successfully complete the MST. There are two testing periods scheduled for each year: one starting mid-August for the fall term and one in early January (before classes start) for the Winter Term.

Please note that the Mathematics Skills Test has been completed for January 2024. Information about the summer 2024 Skills Test will be posted by mid-July 2024.

Students who register for Math 1P05 Winter 2024 will be contacted by Monday, December 18th, 2023 regarding the testing period for January 2024.

Mathematics Skills Test Objectives

The purpose of the MST 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 Test

The test consists of twenty questions, covering essential pre-calculus material from high school level mathematics.  The test areas and associated topics are:

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

Preparing for the Mathematics Skills Test

The MST is conducted using an online testing environment called Möbius. Once you have registered for either MATH 1P01 or MATH 1P05, you must activate your Möbius account. Please note it may take over 24 hours after you have been added to the course for you to be able to access the course Sakai or Brightspace page which allows access to the system. To activate your Möbius account if you have not already done so, click on the following link. You will sign in to Sakai with your Brock login and password. Please note: Sakai should automatically log you into Möbius. If you are prompted to log into Möbius, please see the steps outlined in our Help with Technical Issues with Möbius document.

Math 1P05 Winter 2024:  Activate here (requires brock campus login and password)

Note: You may need to click on the Open Link button in Brightspace after clicking the activation link

After your account is activated, you must first complete a Readiness Test that will provide you with an orientation to the system. It is important to read the Mathematics Skills Test Instruction Booklet prior to taking this test. This booklet contains detailed information on how to use the Maple T.A. system and a Möbius Notation Guide and Examples of Complicated Möbius Syntax.  Students will receive this booklet by email. It is also available on this webpage.

The Readiness Test should take approximately 20 minutes.  Once it is complete, you will have access to a Practice Skills Test which is similar to the Mathematics Skills Test that you will take on campus. The practice test is randomly generated each time it is taken so you are strongly encouraged to carefully review each practice test attempt and then carefully go through the review materials to help prepare for the MST. Students are strongly encouraged to take the practice test under the same conditions as the in-person test: No calculators or other aids other than scrap paper.

Registering for a Mathematics Skills Test Writing Time

There are six possible writing times for the Mathematics Skills Test.

  • Wednesday, January 3rd, 2024: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Wednesday, January 3rd, 2024: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
  • Thursday, January 4th, 2024: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Thursday, January 4th, 2024: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
  • Friday, January 5th: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Friday, January 5th: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Instructions on how to book a testing time will be available by December 18th 2023.

Taking the Mathematics Skills Test

Students registered in Math 1P05 Winter 2024 must activate their account, register for a test writing time and then successfully complete the Mathematics Skills Test with a grade of 14 or higher (70%). If a student does not successfully complete the test in their first attempt, they can write the skills test once more at an alternate writing time before January 20th.

Important Note: Students must verify that they can login to the system prior to making attempt at the test. Students should arrive 15 minutes before the test starts and bring their student ID as well as a pencil and an eraser. We will provide scrap paper and the syntax guide. No other aids, including calculators, are permitted. Refer to Preparing for the Mathematics Skills Test above.

Completing the Mathematics Skills Tests

You will have two hours to complete the Mathematics Skills Test.  You must achieve a grade of at least 70% on the Mathematics Skills Test in order to remain in Math 1P01 or 1P05. If you fail to achieve 70% on your first attempt, students will have the opportunity (time permitting) for a second attempt after classes start. There is also a recording of an online workshop from last August posted to the Brightspace Page for students to view at their convenience. We strongly recommend in the event of a failed first attempt for students to carefully go through the test, go through the workshop video posted to Brightspace and consult the review resources. Additional attempts will NOT be given except in special circumstances.

Failing to Complete the Mathematics Skills Tests

Successful completion of the MST is required. Students who are unable to pass the Mathematics Skills Test will not be permitted to remain in Math 1P01 or Math 1P05 and will be strongly encouraged to take Math 1P20: Introduction to Mathematics instead. This is to help prepare students for Math 1P01/1P05, which traditionally are difficult courses for students. We intend to create a path for success: Math 1P01 and Math 1P05 will be offered again in Fall of 2024. Students who fail the test who do not remove themselves from Math 1P05 will be deregistered from the course after Friday, January 19th 2024.

Exemptions for the Skills Test

Students who successfully completed the Mathematics Skills Test at a previous offering do not need to rewrite the test. However they must contact Neil Marshall to confirm their exemption status.  Students with a grade of 80% or higher in Math 1P20 must also contact Neil Marshall to confirm their exemption status. Absolutely no student is exempt from the MST unless he/she has received explicit permission from Neil Marshall.

Resources for the Mathematics Skills Tests

Contact

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

MATH 1P01/1P02 and 1P05/1P06: Workshops

The Mathematics and Statistics Learning Centre organizes workshops for students registered in MATH 1P01/1P02 or MATH 1P05/1P06. The workshops are offered if possible and at the request of the course instructor near midterms and before final exams during the fall and winter terms. Workshops targeting specific topics either in prerequisite or course materials are also sometimes offered.

Questions can be directed to Neil Marshall (nmarshall@brocku.ca or 905 688 5550 x3138).

The policies and procedures are intended for both visiting students and Learning Centre Teaching Assistants. These guidelines aim to clarify the role and responsibility of every person who uses the Mathematics and Statistics Learning Centre.

The role of the student:

Before you arrive at the Mathematics and Statistics Learning Centre, there are a number of steps you can take to make your visit as successful as possible.

  • Check the Learning Centre schedule to determine when your course TA will be available, or when general first-year course help is offered.
  • Come to the Learning Centre with your books, lecture notes, and a list of questions. If you are working on an assignment, bring the question page with you.
  • Attempt to solve your question first. Plan to show the TA your work, and explain what you did and why.
  • Prepare a list of questions, or specific examples, with which you are struggling. Identify which steps (or topics) you understand, and which ones need further explanation.

During your time in the Learning Centre, it is your responsibility to ask questions of the TA, and to continue to put independent thought into your work.

The role of the Teaching Assistant:

Teaching assistants are in the Learning Centre to provide students with additional course support. While in the Learning Centre, students can expect that the TAs will:

  • assist in understanding course concepts by working through examples, practice problems, and other course materials, to the best of their ability.
  • provide additional guidance and clarification, but not solve or provide answers to questions, on course assignments.
  • promote an open and welcoming learning environment.

It is the responsibility of all users of the Mathematics and Statistics Learning Centre to adhere to Brock University’s Academic Integrity Policy, Student Code of Conduct, and Human Rights and Equity Policies.