Placement Exam Related

  • Practice problems (PDF)
  • Benchmarks for interpreting placement results may be found in the matrix (PDF) of courses by major and placement score.

MATH Courses for Entering Students

  • MATH 103. The Nature of Mathematics. 3 credits.
    Primarily for students desiring no more than one mathematics course at JMU and whose major program has no mathematics requirement.
    GENED: Cluster 3 Track I Group 1.
  • MATH 105. Quantitative Literacy and Reasoning. 3 credits.
    Prerequisite for MATH 220 for students with STAT placement score below 16.
    GENED: Cluster 3 Track I Group 1.
  • MATH 107 Fundamentals of Mathematics I. 3 credits.
    For IDLS majors and others interested in K-8 Education. This is the beginning of the 3-course IDLS core. Note that IDLS majors with a strong mathematics background may begin in MATH 235 and substitute this for part of the core, but will eventually need MATH 107.
    GENED: Cluster 3 Track II.
  • MATH 155. Functions and Probability. 3 credits.
    Algebra review, required for lower placement scores before taking MATH 205, 231, and 235.
    GENED: NO.
  • MATH 199. Algebra/Precalculus Gateway. 1 credit.
    A co-requisite with MATH 205 or MATH 231 for students who wish to start calculus but need a review of fundamental mathematics. Students whose schedules prevent their attending the proctored tests on Friday evenings should register for MATH 155.
  • MATH 205. Introductory Calculus. 3 credits.
    A terminal calculus course (does not lead to more advanced mathematics classes). Acceptable for College of Business and some other majors.
    GENED: Cluster 3 Track I Group 1.
  • MATH 220. Elementary Statistics. 3 credits.
    Required or recommended for several major and professional programs. Psychology majors should enroll in 1st semester freshman year if possible. Others should wait until a later semester.
    GENED: Cluster 3 Track I Group 1.
  • MATH 235 Calculus I. 4 credits.
    Beginning calculus sequence for students with good algebra background. Prerequisite for many later following mathematics courses. Required or recommended for several major and professional programs. Biology majors complete their calculus requirement with either 235 or 231-232.
    GENED: Cluster 3 Track I Group 1.
  • MATH 231-232 Calculus with Functions I-II. 3 credits each.
    The content of MATH 235 integrated with algebra/trigonometry review. Students completing mathematics 231-232 may proceed to MATH 236.
    GENED: Cluster 3 Track I Group 1 (MATH 231).

When to Enroll in MATH Courses

Students planning to take courses in the algebra-precalculus-calculus stream (MATH 155-205-231-235) should begin during the first semester if at all possible, as these courses are the most dependent on the typical high school curriculum and it is best to continue while this content is most familiar.

Elementary Statistics (MATH 220) is also dependent on high school algebra experience, but problems resulting from forgotten high school algebra are somewhat offset by enhanced perspective students can gain from some college level classes in other disciplines.  Students whose placement score requires MATH 105 preceeding MATH 220 should take MATH 105 as early as possible.  For most majors, it is not as crucial that students begin statistics in the first semester.  Nevertheless, excessive delays should be avoided and students should enroll in MATH 220 sufficiently early so that it will provide the most benefit for other portions of their programs.  See the list below.

IDLS majors should generally enroll in MATH 107 in the first semester, but students considering other majors in addition to IDLS could postpone MATH 107 until the second semester if other mathematics courses are needed for that major. 

Enrollment in MATH 103 is not critical during the first or second semester, but excessive delays after HS mathematics can cause difficulties.

For majors requiring both a course in calculus and MATH 220, it is usually best to enroll in the calculus course first.

Ideal timing for Enrollment in MATH 220 (Elementary Statistics) for Selected Majors:

It is recommended that students placed into GWRIT 101 should postpone MATH 220 until a later semester.

Economics: Prior to Econ 385.
Health Science: Prior to Bio 270.
Nursing: Freshman year as recommended by nursing advising.
Kinesiology (220 recommended): Freshman (2nd semester) or sophomore year.
Psychology: Freshman year.  First semester if recommended by advisor.
Political Science: The semester prior to POSC 295.
Speech Communication: Prior to SCOM research methods (280).
Social Work: Semester or year prior to SOWK 305.
Business: Students should take COB 191, but may substitute MATH 220 if this is required for a double major. COB 191 should be taken during freshman year.


If you have questions about freshman advising please contact Dr. Elizabeth Brown.

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