The Mathematics Learning Centre

The Mathematics 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 offered by the Mathematics Learning Centre throughout each semester.  As well, students registered in any mathematics 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, Monday to Friday

*All courses help sessions service the following courses:

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

Click here to see the Learning Centre Schedule for the December 2019 Exam Period

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 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

Additional Resources

Students who may be interested in hiring a private tutor can contact Margaret Thomson (mthomson@brocku.ca), in the Department of Mathematics 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 main office, before contacting outside sources.

A-Z 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.

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 Maple T.A. Once you have registered for either MATH 1P01 or MATH 1P05, you must activate your Maple T.A. 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 page which grants you access to the system. To activate your Maple T.A. account if you have not already done so, click on the following link. You will sign in with your Brock login and password.

Math 1P05 (Winter 2020): https://lms.brocku.ca/x/PbpMLJ

For an alternative activation method, please click here.

After your account is activated, you must first complete a Maple T. 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 Maple T.A. Notation Guide and Examples of Complicated Maple T.A. 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.

Taking the Mathematics Skills Test

Students registered in Math 1P05 Winter 2020 term who have not completed the test last August must book a testing time in early January 2020 You must book your testing time by 11:59 PM on Tuesday, December 31st, 2019.

To book a testing time:

  1. Review the testing times below and choose your preferred time.
  2. Click this link to book your testing time. Testing times come on a first-come, first-serve basis. You will receive an email confirmation after you have booked. (Registration is currently closed. We are planning to open it by Friday, December 13, 2019)

The tests will take place in Mackenzie Chown J-block room 430 (located on the fourth floor in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics). There is a map included in the instruction booklet. Please arrive 15 minutes in advance of your testing time.  Note that no aids, including calculators, are permitted for the test.

Testing Times

  • Thursday January 2nd
    • 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
  • Friday January 3rd
    • 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
    • 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Important Note: You must verify that you can login to the system prior to arrival. 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, there are limited opportunities to write the test again within the first two weeks of January classes.

Failing to Complete the Mathematics Skills Tests

Successful completion of the MST is required in order to obtain a credit for MATH 1P01 or MATH 1P05.  If a student:

  • fails to attempt the MST, he/she will be deregistered from MATH 1P01 or MATH 1P05, and/or be subject to sanctions from the Department of Mathematics and Course Instructor.
  • fails to obtain the minimum grade of 70% on the MST before the drop date, he/she  will be deregistered from MATH 1P01 or MATH 1P05.

Students who fail the MST are strongly encouraged to register for MATH 1P20 (Introduction to Mathematics).

Exemptions for the Skills Test

Students who have completed the MSTs in a previous attempt, 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 Math Learning Centre organizes workshops for students registered in MATH 1P01/1P02 or MATH 1P05/1P06. The workshops are offered if possible 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.

Math 1P05 Exam Review Workshop: Friday, April 12, 10:00 AM — 12:00 PM in Welch Hall 209

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 Learning Centre.

The role of the student:

Before you arrive at the Mathematics 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 Learning Centre to adhere to Brock University’s Academic Integrity Policy, Student Code of Conduct, and Human Rights and Equity Policies.